Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chooda, my pretty pretty chooda

It was exactly five months back, that I got up, dressed myself in a nice but not brand new salwaar-kameez. Mom had to convince me for quite a many days before I decided that I will not buy a new outfit for that day. It is believed that a girl should wear old clothes and then give it away but I told mom, that isn't happening. We mutually decided on something which looked traditional. I also wore matching danglers, I tied my hair in a simple braid. When my grandmom, uncles and aunts, Jhai Ji, Chachu, Chachi, Mamu, Mami saw me, they said I looked beautiful and a true blue Punjabi. I liked that. Before, I could talk more, mom called me and said, the ceremony is going to start. I shouldn't delay else we will all get late. I went and sat, slightly nervous, slightly happy for something very real, very special was going to happen. The pandit Ji, said some prayers, did a few things and then I closed my eyes. I was going to wear Chooda, the only mark of a newly-wed, as I understood when I was four. Both my Mamu-Mami, took one arm each and slowly and carefully slided down the maroon and cream bangles. I wanted to cry and I did. A very beautiful Punjabi folk song was sung in the background - sada chidiyaan daa. It was an emotional moment and I lived it, moment by moment. When I opened my eyes, a few minutes later, I saw my arms, covered with handkerchiefs so that I don't see Chooda. I lived through the day, without trying to look at my arms. In the evening, while I was getting dressed as a bride, all I wanted to do was see how my chooda looked. It was pretty dear blog, very very pretty. I touched it many times, moved it whatever space was left in my arms.

I have such sweet memories of my chooda that I can't help but smile; from random people asking in office lift for sweets to old ladies in NewZealand asking where they could buy those pretty bangles. I used to be perpetually in awe of my chooda. Amazing, isn't it, how things become so real, that they become a part of one's identity. Today, 5 months hence I have carefully taken out half the bangles and kept the other half in my arms. Oh! I miss them already. Happy pictures from November, 13 and November 14 2013 :-)



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mumbai - that I hadn't seen

You know dear blog, irrespective of what people feel about Mumbai, I like Mumbai, I really like Mumbai but unlike my first stint, my second stint here isn't very pleasant. I feel confused and often bewildered by the ways of the people here. The same people who I thought were no-nonsense and would be the least kind of trouble makers.

I live very close to office and thus cannot find an auto, I have never cribbed about that because I have always believed that if Mumbai throws problems on you, then it also showers you with twice the number of solutions. So I figured out soon, that unlike Delhi I could just tag along with anyone taking an auto and be safely dropped close to home or I can walk down like many others or I could take a shared auto to Bandra station which will pass by my house. I found the third one most hassle free  and thus regularly started doing it. One fine day at about 7 30ish I did the same, I took the auto almost oblivious of who was sitting next to me. I felt suddenly someone trying to come close enough for discomfiture. I turned sideways and gave a ferocious look, he retracted. I got down and rushed home. He was a man of about 40 years, a regular office goer, a nondescript native who had dared to do something outrageous. That left an ugly taste and I became much more conscious of my surroundings, of public transport in this beloved city. Other day, it was a Saturday, AD and I came back from Phoenix Mills at about 11. We found a small place to park our car, when suddenly, a man of about 50 along with 3 other people started misbehaving with us. He did so because he claimed that it was his parking and NO ONE could ever take that. My blood boiled for he looked at our Car number and said, look the arrogance of Delhiites. I was aghast dear blog, I wanted to slap him tight; the stinking, crude man who belittled us for no fault of ours. It pained me how he stereotyped us and threatened us. He said in as many words, "Gunda raj hai mera", he meant, get away or you are in trouble. We got away. This is about a three month old incident. Just when we thought we are settled, quietly in our little house, we got a jerk yet again. AD was in Goa for work last week and I had a crazy schedule in office so practically, there was no one at our house. When we got back, we noticed something peculiar with our car. The edge of the window panes were all tampered with, AD took the car to a mechanic only to find a 12 inch steel scale being extracted out of the window pane. The mechanic told AD, someone tried real hard to steal your car but couldn't.

Isn't it sad dear blog, that a newly wed working couple has to deal with such nonsense everyday. We
pay our tax, our house rent, the auto fare, everything that we are supposed to and then grapple with such basics. Look at the irony of it all, I switch on my TV and I watch ads after ads of how each of these political parties is
going to make our lives better and then dejected I think, really!?!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's a lazy Sunday dear blog, boy has left for office half an hour back and I am listening to AR Rahman's track from Highway, in the middle, thought of you. What do I tell you today, vacation to New Zealand, being a happy chef or Mumbai. I think I will pick up the first, for obvious reasons, one it was my happy honeymoon and two because it was truly amazing. We began thinking of our vacation even before we were formally engaged, I think partly because we had fallen head over heels for each other and partly because it is supposed to be cool to plan a vacation together :D Like a lot of other things, we had different ideas in mind. Boy wanted mountains, quaint towns, peace and just the two of us, I on the contrary thought of sea beaches, pretty cities, romantic dinners! I suggested to him that let's figure out what our married friends were upto and take their recommendations.

In the course of four months, we had in our dreams traveled the entire globe, we had been to Bali, Maldives, Australia, Europe, Bora Bora, New Zealand, Mauritius. We were practically scratching our heads on where to head to. The only thing both of us were convinced about was that we wanted to take it easy and relax while holidaying. I don't remember how and why we zeroed New Zealand but one fine day, we knew that New Zealand is where we were headed. Far far away from our country, we decided to go. While we started talking and googling more about NZ, we figured out that it fits in our scheme of things, it gives AD mountains and quaint towns and it gives me sea and cities, more importantly it gives us all the space that we needed after the wedding. Many people had told us, that NZ is as beautiful as it can get but I was completely in awe when I saw what all NZ had to offer. The country is such a picturesque place that I would always be confounded to what to click and what not to. There were times, when AD would stop the car and we would just gaze at the mountains, oceans, sun together. It was too much for a person like me, who has always been comfortable in concrete structures. When I would breathe, it would feel light, the nostrils could almost smell the airy air and
the muscles would open up to the breeze.

New Zealand just didn't boast of outstanding views but of extremely warm and friendly people too. People who would greet everywhere: in the shopping arcades, in restaurants, while clicking pictures, while sun bathing. They would pass such nice gestures to complete strangers. It was heart touching and very comforting, after all, we were just two brown people, married for a week, in a far far away land. They would compliment my Chooda, red bangles as they would call it and give me a thumbs up for having jumped out of the helicopter!

It was an amazing amazing vacation dear blog but you know what, there is no place like home. So go on, explore the world but come back home soon, very soon :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I do

It's been such a long break from writing to you dear blog. I have been away not just from you, but from everything else that used to be. Honestly, I don't regret it, you know how it is, how one event, one relationship, one person takes precedence over everything else. I am not sure where to start from, what's to write about first - wedding, being married, away from home, life with AD, Mumbai or the new ex-CM of Delhi (just kidding :))

I think I am not over my wedding as yet, I don't think I will ever be, so why not pen it down here, somewhere in the online space, where my grandchildren will someday be able to read and laugh at their toothless old granny. I don't know if it is now that I have started going in the fast forward mode or was I always like that. Anyway, coming to where I started - my wedding. If you ask me to describe it in one word then it would be BEAUTIFUL, you know just the kinds I had always dreamed of. It was picture perfect, the chill in the air, the flowers, the candle lit stage, the instrumental music, the food layout.. I loved each bit to pieces. AD was late and I kept waiting for him not like a coy bride but like a happy, chatty bride. I wasn't nervous at all, which was hugely surprising because I was a nervous wreck a day before. Just when he entered, I got up to brace that one walk which is supposed to be like THE WALK of life. I walked along side my cousins and friends underneath a bed of roses. I felt like a superstar, with cameras flashing all over, I was overwhelmed by the feeling that the day, that moment had indeed arrived. Before, I went up the raised platform, AD  stretched his hand to take my shaky hand in his and then we stood smiling and blushing. We exchanged the garlands and laughed like this stupid couple in love.

The good part, I mean another good part of my wedding was that I didn't feel sleepy at my usual 11 30ish, I was wide awake and took all the vows with utmost sincerity and devotion. It was only after takings the 7 pheras, it dawned on me that I am going to go, leaving my mom dad alone. I cried and cried and cried some more. I hugged daddy cool and told him that I don't want to go, he cried with me, hugged me tight and then softly gave my hand in AD's. I don't think any word can describe that feeling, that sinking feeling of leaving your parents, your home and going with this one person. I took that leap, I did, with a heavy heart and tears eyes, entered a new relationship, a new family, a new life. I am thinking right now of what to write next because the new life with God's grace turned out to be fantastic not like what it used to be, but great in every sense! That in short dear blog was a glimpse of my very gorgeous and amazing journey called - I do!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Countdown

I honestly don't know where the past 8 months have gone dear blog. Today, a night before all the functions start, all I want to do is write to you, be with mom dad and talk to AD. My outfits, shoes, jewelery, pictures, invitations.. all seem to be taking a backseat. It is like this surge of emotions that I have been holding but they come back and shake me harder. I think most girls go through what I am going right now. Nervousness, trepidation, anxiety.. of what is in store. I look at my room with fondness that I have never experienced before. I look at my dad, as if there can be no man as handsome as him. When I go through what I am going through right now, I ask myself why, why on earth am I so worried, when I am marrying someone whom I have known for more than an year, someone who loves me from the bottom of his heart and has promised a thousand times to keep me happy. If it is not about AD, then why these jitters. I don't have an answer, I really don't. All I know, is the pain of leaving your parents sometimes overpowers everything. The uncertainty of a new house of new relationships unsettles me immensely. Please dear God, give me the strength to be calm and embrace the very scared marital bond.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Those wedding things

Its been a month dear blog since I last wrote to you and I feel like I am already a new person. Wedding is just round the corner and am I stressed or what! Whoever said that marriage gives butterflies would have been a normal person, just that he/she articulated the feeling much earlier for a whole lot of us to relate to. I know AD like back of my hand, but still stepping into marriage looks like this super huge task. Actually, I feel it is more about the wedding day than the life before or after. There have been innumerable times during these last eight months when I have been super ecstatic and excited about all the things that I was doing. Matching accessories with outfits, shoes, heels, makeup, dresses, venue, menu, dance practice, it is one heck of an experience.

I have discovered whole new markets that cater just to the brides-to-be. How when you enter those markets, you are the special one, how anything and everything that you ask for will be arranged for (of course with a huge price!) but well, its your time, your event and everyone does everything possible to make it perfect. I went to few stores to get accessories and there are 3 for whom I want to make a special mention - Much-More, BGs and Soni Sapphire. These stores have created imitation jewelry for every possible outfit that a bride-to-be could ask for. What exquisite designs and fabulous colors, such an exhilarating experience. Same holds true for the shoes, I have lost the count of the number of shoes that I have bought. Red, Golden, Silver, Pink, Black, I have bought them all but the greedy me still want to buy a pair more!

Its very funny the way I deal with things these days, some of it I have picked up from my work and a lot of it is because I am quite finicky! Like, I met the decor guys the other day, boy was I a pain, I sure was. What fabric, to what flowers, to what lights, to what cushions.. I bombarded them with thousands of questions. And the poor guys after having convinced me after 2 hours that they will pull my wedding off were asked to send a detailed mail with each point that was discussed. I also harassed the chef guy, what gravy, to what ingredients, I wanted to know everything, I just fell short of asking him to send his recipe book. Please don't judge me dear blog, I am slightly a control freak and when it is my own wedding, I have lost whatever little sense I had. Less than 15 days to go and I have so many more things to figure out! Tata dear blog!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dance baby dance

Oh dear blog, how I have missed you intensely and dearly, how I wish I could write to you more often. How I could tell you about Udaipur and Manesar and all other fun things that I have done. How I miss, writing about people and places. About things here and there, of no major consequence to anyone whatsoever. How I could tell you that I still read and write but only and only about weddings. I know I sound a bore, but do I care, nope I don't!

My latest fascination dear blog is getting all my family and friends to dance. I am such a demanding bride to be, that I sometimes wonder how my loved ones are coping up with me, but well they are, and must I confess, they are doing it superbly well. Someone once commented that how in a wedding everyone dances and eats and enjoys and how the bride and groom sit in a corner looking constipated and tired. I was so aghast at this that I said, those must be stupid people. In a wedding, if someone is real happy then that has to be the bride, groom and their respective parents. So, I decided that day, that I am going to be a dancing bride. I will dance till people come and tell me that I need to pose for pictures too and sit pretty even if that's just for name sake. In my madness of shopping, researching, planning and some more shopping, my lil sis didn't let this take a back seat and I am just so happy about it. She takes out time everyday to speak to the choreographer, list down songs, coordinates with everyone. I am a dance enthusiast and so its ok for me, but can you imagine I have convinced mommy, daddy cool and AD. I mean its no mean feat. All three are quite boring, non dancing people but then they love me and well what all can love do to a person!

The other day, when I came from work, tired and dead. I rang the doorbell and saw a tall handsome man shaking a leg on a Dev Anand's classic. Joy filled my heart and I was overcome by emotion. I clapped and laughed and encouraged till my parents got their steps right. It was with such intensity and cuteness that my daddy cool was trying that all I wanted to do was sit and watch him dance for the rest of my life. If daddy cool is doing his best, AD is not far behind either, he very enthusiastically looks up for songs, gives his inputs and is actually wiling to spend an entire day dancing with me. I am blessed dear blog as always with so much of love around :)