I had spent 1 whole long month matching my hair accessories, nail paint and jewelry with the exact shades of my lehenga for my godhbharai ceremony. My peach, turquoise and golden lehenga looked just perfect for the day function. My corset type of peach and golden blouse revealed my tummy almost negligibly. On the d-day, everything was perfect, the hair, makeup, my pretty lehenga, dupatta draped on the shoulders, my dainty bajuband & made-for-my-lehenga jewellery. I also carried a matching hand purse and strutted in golden stilettos. After the thousandth selfie clicked alone and alongwith my sister, I was finally asked to enter the venue and grace the audience with my presence.
I entered the venue slowly alongwith my sister and cousins with the cameras trying to capture every moment, whether that was a flying hair coming out of my bun or the soft conversation with my cousins. When I was in full view of the guests present, I could almost hear the whispers regarding my look! Overdone! Beautiful! Not Bad! How critical can people get of the bride in I thought! From the corner of my eye, I saw someone rushing towards me, it was my mother-in-law. She was smiling widely and I thought she would come and compliment me. But instead, I realized that she was stealthily pulling at my neatly draped dupatta and trying to cover that itsy bitsy little view of my tummy which was visible through my corset. Isko dhaklo! she whispered as I fumbled to quickly do something to cover up.
My confidence fell one notch down, but nevertheless moving ahead I climbed up the stage where my fiance was standing. He gave me a broad smile and I knew that this man for sure would like the way I looked. It was a love marriage and I knew him this much atleast. As soon as I came up, cameras started blinking all around the stage like a press conference and amidst all this I heard my fiance say, your hair look weird! I couldn’t really believe it! 2 notches down now, but I thought what the hell, let the world think what they want to, I like the way I look today.
The funny part starts now actually when the real ceremony started. Traditionally in the Godhbharai ceremony the bride is supposed to sit down while the women from the grooms family shower her with gifts, do her makeup, apply mehendi and basically make her ready. However, in the modern scenario the makeup is already done, the jewellery is already worn, so now what? Well, like the older aunties feel, traditions are traditions and they have to be followed, let what you are feeling go to hell!
Realizing what lay ahead, some of my recently married cousins whispered in my ear, get done whatever they are doing, we’ll remove it later! That was atleast some consolation. So they opened the jewelery boxes, the sari boxes for all to see. I haven’t worn any of all that in 7 years of my marriage is a different thing, but more on that later! A young girl from the groom’s side, one of his cousins, was made the bakra, while the brainchilds directed her from behind. She took out the nailpaint first which was completely a different shade from my current one. I gave her my hand but thankfully she just painted half of my smallest nail in that colour. Then it was mehendi, then lipstick (again different colour), then jewellery (non matching) and then when I thought it would all end, the bright red tikka thali was bought forth! A large blob of red tikka alongwith rice was placed on my forehead and I didn’t need a mirror to know how horrific it looked. Pictures were getting clicked at a faster pace than light. I would look so useless in these memories, I thought.
I was still getting over my makeup horror when I was asked to get up from the floor and take all the gifts placed on my lap in my pallu, walk to my mom and put it in her pallu. Not that difficult you would think, even I thought so! I tried to get up but my huge lehenga got stuck in various places under my feet and I just couldn’t get up with my hands unable to help as they were busy balancing my pallu full of gifts! With massive effort and help of 2 of my cousins I finally got up and walked up to my mom, relieved to transfer all the stuff to her.
As promised, my cousin took me to a corner and started to remove the red tikka from my forehead slowly with a tissue. Out of nowhere an aunty from my fiance’s side glided beside us and said ‘Aapne to shagun ka tikka mita diya’ giving a dirty look to my cousin. Plzzz, shagun my foot, I thought at that time.
After the ceremony got over, I heard that some people had also said that my makeup made me look darker and I could have chosen a better colour and other negative comments on those similar lines. All this really put me down at that point. Now when I look back I feel that that day was there to be lived only once, and no matter in what position you are, getting married or not, people are meant to be judgmental. What is most important is that you remain at peace with yourself and enjoy every moment of the wedding celebrations!