Have very very often been called “The one man Army” and why not, for someone who’s handled the most trying of milestones all by herself sure deserves every bit of that adage. While most milestones have had their share of my patience, there are two, that needed a whole lot apart from my patience alone, one was “getting hitched” and the other, what is the next most trying post getting hitched, you’re right, the first time Mommie phase.
If I were to even begin talking about getting hitched, oh! it would seem to, take you your lifetime to read through an entire series of comedy of major errors. To cut it real short, here I was planning in minutest detail, teeny weeny meeny miney minutest detail a Punjabi wedding, whose? My own. Ah! I know how girls love planning their trousseau, the fabric, print, embellishments on their wedding dress, the jewellery to go with it, their look, their hair, their footwear, the color on their nails maybe even colour co-ordinate the grooms dress with their own and if they’re far fussy maybe “plan” and give their fair idea of what decor or food on the table they would want for the wedding, nothing ahead of it.
I did everything else but this and maybe thats why I till date do not understand all the fuss that surrounds what a bride is gonna wear and how she’s gonna look. Apologies, but I really really don’t.
Mine was a wedding suddenly formalised and to be materialised in less than a weeks time. For once here was a bride rushing up and down even minutes before she was actually going round in circles tied up with the Man of her dreams in a Gurudwara. The caterer, the decorations, the power back-up, the invites, the formalities, the paperwork, the bling, the blah blah. I was not for once bothered about what I was wearing or maybe even how I looked , there was plenty else to be scurrying around for, whilst all my then “to-be better half” did was get high and try and look sober all through his wedding, with his Bride to-be panting and huffing in an attempt to ease out the creases. It was an “inter-religion” marriage with all the hullabaloo one could expect. You reap as you sow they say, but we’d sowed whatever we were reaping together and here he was merry making as if he was the only one getting happily married!!
After having been someone to arrange one’s own wedding and a full fledged one, mind it, right from the word go to all the teen-tappar and more, there’s really nothing more one can NOT do, ever.
Anyway, thats why am often called “The one man Army”. To think of it what actually helps you sail through all of this are some silent, behind the scenes noble souls who’ve secretly and silently been praying for your good. This saree’s tale wouldn’t be complete without a narration of what my shaadi was like nor without the mention of someone who was watching the cacophony and commotion and praying for me all the time. My very Bengali clerk in the Office, Ghosh Babu, the ever cribbing, forever ranting, disgruntled, disorganised, very talkative, loud, never quiet Ghosh babu. Someone you’d absolutely thoroughly detest to pass on any work to coz of all the cribbing that would follow the minute you’d call out for him. Ghosh babu was not a big Computer fan and he’d endlessly irritate you with the clickety click noises from his “almost falling apart typewriter”. He’d have heaps of paperwork and papers on his desk yes, he would still in an instant jiffy be able to look for what you wanted, always. Ghosh babu was one of his kind. big bellied, very-very bengali in his diction and mannerisms. He’d have stories to tell you which I realise today were not his attempt to while away time but an attempt at conducting an “on the job” training kinda mahaul for you, lest you learn something from the oft-narrated instances.
Ghosh Babu was always watching and observing, all attempts to be discreet and prevent any overhearing of tense, terse phone conversations also could not keep him away from knowing that the preparations in a way were draining his boss. Probably now is also the time to look back and realise that we often called him “Dada” instead and why. So once the dates were finalised for the wedding Dada walked upto me one day with a little bundle of what looked like something wrapped in brown paper and he first started with the usual tiring , seemingly non-sensical talk, and then he gave me that packet and said “Madam, aap mana nahi kar sakte ho, yeh main apne gaanv se laya hoon aapke liye, aapka shaadi ke liye, hamari taraf shaadi mein aisa pehente hain”, he obviously went on with much much more, but this is most of what I remember. Sometimes it’s not possible not to tinker with your principles and so I accepted it. When I unwrapped the bundle, inside it was a Bengali Taant in off-white with gold and red circular floral bootis woven all over and a very rich border in red pink and gold. Frankly I very often think of Ghosh Babu, for a lot of reasons, he’s taught me a lot, but when you’re going through a stressful time like this and someone does something unthinkable of the sort, that person is hard to forget and harder not to be remembered often. Am blessed I have quite a few of such angels.
I waited all these years, almost eleven, but I could never find an opportunity quite right to don the saree. Also because I had never ever worn a cotton before, never. One fine day when there was a reason to celebrate and a special one in its own way, I pulled out the saree laden with nostalgia and decided to drape it. It felt awesome, I felt awesome and there was , in reality a weird sense of someone watching over me all the time.
Over these years I have lost touch with him, but I’ll hunt him down again for the sake of all that he’s taught me and for my very special wedding gift.
Here’s a pic of me in all splendour, pairing it with a beautiful pair of hooped jhumkis from Deepa Sethi Jewelry and the red celebratory and traditional white and gold kadas from Kohar.