Story so far...
They have successfully completed their journey of life- almost. Now counting their days- she lies paralyzed and he tends to her despite his old age, this is the story of their courtship, wedding, life and love. An arranged marriage that has all the hullabaloo of an average Indian wedding, follow the story of their wedding and there after.
The fruit salad tasted just perfect. The rasam smelled awesome and i move to my room for the last dash of make up. The lemon yellow organdy saree showed me a little plump, but glowing! A bindi in the forehead and a dash of sindoor, i am ready for him. Restless, i walk the length of the house. The little brother looks rather bemused at my restlessness and gives me a sucker punch on the way to the kitchen. Mother is too busy with her cutlets to note the fight between her children.
Finally they arrive- the groom and his brother to give us the formal invite for the wedding. With a small smile, i am dismissed with all humility. The discussion continues on the church, the choir, the priests, the wedding hall and other arrangements. I sit transfixed on a chair, with my eyes and ears trained on him. All i could listen to was the musical baritone he was talking. Nothing else registered.
As he gifted me the first saree he bought for me which attracted him when he was window shopping, i could not trust myself! Imagine, a man buys saree for his fiance without asking her choice of color or material..how unbecoming! The moment i see the fine silky fabric and my favorite beige color, i envy his selection. With a smug smile, i collect it. Do we women acknowledge our men buying us gifts? Never! It is always, it could have been better...
Invited for lunch, the duo dig in as i wait patiently at the table, serving dishes with mother. "She made it", boasts mother, serving the rasam. His face remains impassive as he tastes it. It has way too much salt only when i tasted it later. The fruit salad too went to his hands with the same- " she made it" introduction and the reaction was pretty much the same.
Only when poor me ate it later did we find that the pine apple had turned the salad to a sour potion! After the meal disaster, it was time to check the wedding arrangements. His brother left the house with father to review them and i was left with mother, him and the little ones. "He knows you are very sweet!", he says to me as i stand baffled. He points to an ant marching defiantly from my neck to the upper torso. Peals of laughter erupt from mother. As if picking cue, she suggests we watch the engagement video in the other room. With the video on, she silently moves out of the room, pulling the little ones behind her. Brother number one gives me a mighty pinch on his way out, as i yell in pain.
Holding his hands and watching our past, dreaming of our future...those moments were probably the happiest of my life. It took almost half an hour of cajoling and coaxing from his brother- "shall we move" anthem was sung a fifty times before the mister decided to move from my arms finally. A chaste kiss on my forehead and he is off. It takes me forever to regain my composure and wave good bye to the groom's party.
It has always been a difficult task to wave him goodbye. Be it on one of his numerous travels abroad or the simple errand run, i find waving him bye unnerving. I try to flex my fingers and wave. They remain still, stuck to my sides. He continues spoon feeding me, his hands shaking and my mouth drawn in a stubborn line. The phone call in the morning from the children has been a huge dose of adrenaline for us both. Children...how did we ever manage to grow old with them? The boy who gulped down watch batteries and the girl who stood watching cartoon as blood oozed from her head...i smile again, this time, content.
To be continued...