The dress I wore at my wedding reception lay hung in the mother’s wardrobe for close to a decade. I was there when she had picked it up for herself, one afternoon, with both the grandmothers in tow. The first time she wore it, a kind photographer also captured a beautiful shot of her and the father together, long before candid photography became the buzzword. She relinquished it to me even before I could ask for it. And I had always dreamt of raiding her wardrobe for one saree that I could “borrow” for my reception.
The shoes that led me to my wedding hall lay snug in a yellow case in my drawers for more than a year. The mother had been hugely disappointed that I hadn’t begun using them sooner; she had picked them up with great precision from a small market in Rajasthan. Now of course she knows why!
The churidar I wore for the griha pravesh ceremony was a set that I almost tossed aside. I had returned twice from the cash counter to reconsider my choices, for you see, an unstitched piece of cloth is too much of a commitment to take on, in the absence of a trusted tailor. But it had been a long evening and the colour was too pretty to let go off. So it too sneaked itself into my wardrobe, months before we had an inkling of a wedding.
In small, subtle ways, I had been prepping for the event long before I knew of it. And when I did, I found myself with very little time.
When the wedding invitation wrote itself one evening, I remember thanking the folks for letting me put it together. I remember feeling a part of something larger that night. That the words I had written weren’t actually mine, but just a gift to me.
I was unabashed in asking for help, from friends and strangers alike, invoking every iota of goodwill I had accumulated in the last three decades of my life. And most people didn’t disappoint. My mehendi artist was a name to me off a newspaper article I had read online. He only had a name, number and date for me. But he showed up a day before the wedding ceremony to apply the most beautiful mehendi on my hands and feet.
I’ve seen the strangest of my wishes come true. I had wanted to meet the card vendor, for no valid reason, mind you! But the universe granted me that and so much more.
The man I’m married to was a part of my social circle long before we saw ourselves together. Until one casual coffee date one winter evening changed our lives forever.
Nothing came close to the look of pride on the father’s face when he saw me decked up for the wedding ceremony. I held up my eyes for approval, as I’m wont to do. But we barely exchanged any words that day. And when the husband and I walked into a roomful of family and friends, for the reception, (gleefully, an hour behind schedule), the father was beaming. When we sat down for the final dinner with the extended family, he got up to feed a jalebi to each member of the family; a memory I’ll keep with me for life.
It’s been a magical few months, with everything falling into place, beautifully, rapidly, almost miraculously. Like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Today, “My heart is at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never miss me. And that which misses me was never meant for me.”