I hardly remember enjoying the rituals during my wedding. There was too much happening at the same time for me to grasp anything. Everything is just a blur, especially the rituals where we just did as we were told. The whole family drama, the relatives, the preparations to welcome a new bride and the customes to make her feel comfortable were all lost on me then. I was too pre-occupied with my feelings about the changes it would bring in my life.
However, when recently my brother-in-law got married I got a chance to live my wedding one more time…and truely enjoy it this time! Having been close to both bride and groom, I got an insider view of the preparations on both side. As they went through the selection of different things to begin their new life I remembered having endless discussions with my then would-be husband about what all we should buy now and what all we will buy later – together…all the while taking advise from my sisters, mother and good friends. Then came the smallest of rituals which all hold some meaning to bless us and prepare us for the new life we are about to step into.
Watching them from the outside this time I could see it all in flashback. I could see myself as the excited bride, all decked up, following every ritual in earnest, clearly enjoying the attention :-)! I could see my husband looking handsome in his Sherwaani and smiling to the world at large (more to himself 😉 ). I saw us hunched up next the the holy fire during the Pheras listening devoutly to the Mantras being recited for us…but really hearing and understanding them now.
Then came the homecoming of the bride and the nervous excitment of my in-laws about making the new bride feel at home in the new household. I saw for the first time how they were all earnestly making an effort to put the best foot forward and welcome the new bride. I was taken back to my first few days in this new family every where small details had been taken into consideration to ensure a smooth ride for me. I was touched all over again as my mother-in-law made a list of all the things that should be kept in the new room to ensure she didnt have to ask for anything and remembered that I too had found everything ready for me. I remember how on the 2nd day my father-in-law had declared that now I would come before my husband in his consideration so I should never hesitate to come to him if I ever had a problem or complain about my husband. Everything now made so much sense and brought tears in my eyes coz for the first time I could see my in-laws and my own parents.
A special mention goes to my elder sister-in-law. Having come to the family first she had survived in a household totally unprepared for a girl’s presence. Her suggestion to my mother-in-law to make certain arrangements to make us more comfortable were not lost on me. I understood that she was trying to give us everything she had to arrange for herself. Having benefitted from her thoughtfullness I took an active part in making the preparations to welcome our newest family member.
I am now much more a part of this family than I ever was. I now know that a groom’s family is just as excited, nervous and eager to include a new member in their family and their life as the bride is. I feel I am very lucky to have found not just the perfect husband but also the perfect family to spend the rest of my life with!