30

Desperate times, desperate measures

I was dreading this very moment ever since I booked my plane ticket to India. I was thinking of what to say, how to say, and most importantly how to avoid it. But I couldn’t come up with any sort of concrete plan. I decided to wing it. Ladies and Gentleman, if you haven’t guessed it and you are in the age group of 24-beyond, shame on you! It was the shaadi topic. The big question on why and how will I get married.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but around January-February, my parents broached this topic on Skype and I ended up crying and everything. They wanted to put my name down in Anuroop which is a Maharashtrian wedding portal operating out of Pune. It has online services as well and a separate section for NRIs. Anyways, they gave me time till November because then it would have been a year since the xBF left and they assumed a year would be enough to get me out of the mess. Huh, rookie mistake.

So when I reached India, I was coming up with the most creative ways to escape the topic. I did the most ridiculous things ever. My parents have a habit of taking afternoon naps after lunch. After eating, they go into their bedroom and usually chat till they fall asleep. I would escape into the living room to watch TV. Sometimes my mom would call me to the room, but I would just say no! At times she told me to turn the TV off/Come out of the room/etc but I would simply say no. She would laugh at me because she knew what was going on. When I met the school friend at Vaishali we spoke about how parents are getting harder to handle about this whole marriage business. Visiting family friends and relatives are down to grab throats and thrust us into the wedding fire for no rhyme or reason! I asked a couple, if meri khushi bardasht nahi hoti kya? (Do they not want me to be happy). But sigh, all my rants and no’s were being generously ignored. When I told Hrushi(the school friend) how my parents are talking about Anuroop, he was like, “Oh! I am on it! Look me up.” 😀 By the way, my mom asked pretty much for a bio data on him when I mentioned I was meeting such a guy. She is literally walking around with a Sehera in her hands like the tv ad for a marriage website.

On our way back from Mumbai after the visa stamping, my dad asked me if I met the xBF. I told him I spent the 2 days right in front of his eyes except the time I went inside the consulate. How could I have met him? He kept digging further and I told him that I was not in contact with him. He kept probing and I kept up my yes/no non-committal answers. I think I wore him out(successfully) and he said what is he supposed to say when mom raises this topic! I told him to slink away to another room just like me. 😀

One of the days, my mom and I went to a jewelry store to buy me solitaire earrings. I was looking at the rings kept there and told her I will get only a solitaire for my engagement ring. She exclaimed so loudly that I think only the Panipuri wala at the end of the street did not hear her. “Thank God, you at least have plans of getting married!!!”

But the dreaded moment arrived soon after. My mom caught me sitting down leisurely on the couch and my parents decided it was time to put me on the stands. They asked when, why, and why not. They asked me some uncomfortable questions, if I was still hoping for something and if we should call Scube up. I just lied and said no. I was done. But I told them whenever I am ready, I will tell them. I also told them that I need time to find my own boy. I pretty much announced that I was going to date around! My mom got a li’l bit flustered but told me as long as my intentions were ok and I was not going to embarrass them, it was fine. Now, I have to say that their response surprised me quite a bit and sort of was a googly. :-/ The only conditions were that the boy should be Hindu. Fair enough.

I added, that if I cannot find someone, I will honorably ask for their help. They asked if they could still put my name down in Anuroop to at least look at proposals. Now, the whole reason I told them about finding-my-own-boy was to buy time. So I kind of got stuck there. I told them to give me some time. My dad asked how much. Now I don’t know what I was thinking, and if it were my engineering brains, but I told them 314 days. There! I managed to stun them into submission. But surprise, surprise they agreed again and as a compromise, they agreed to start 314 days from 1st Jan 2015. So, 15th Nov is the due date now to put my name down across websites, unless I decide to do it myself by then.

Why 314 days you ask? In that moment of desperation, Pi jumped into my head. 3.14! Getit?? Now that I think of it, I should have used the Avogadro’s number.

27

All things shaadi

I was talking to my mum the other day and I mentioned to her how all beauty blogs mention that girls should start using anti-ageing skincare after 25. And I  am 26.5. I told her that I just learned washing my face properly and it is time already to begin worrying about my crow’s feet, laugh lines, sparrow beaks etc. I made up the sparrow beak part. I know it is not funny. But sparrows are cute. Anyways, I digress. She took the whole thing as ‘that is why girls should get married before their skin starts to sag’ lecture opportunity. My mom is sort of giving me time to ‘normalize my heart’ by November and then she will go get my name jotted down in some Marathi boy search registries. I shouldn’t even be calling it boy search because everybody knows a Marathi Manoos is well, so not a boy. The very thought makes me cry. I need a boy toy, stat!

I am just not ready to get married. But the weird thing is I love everything about a wedding. Except the spending money part and the getting married to a stranger part. My heart feels very torn between wanting a Yash Chopra style shaadi and wanting to do a simple arya samaj wedding to cut expenditure. I just love reading wedding blogs. I was obsessed with Mehak’s bridal files, and I would read and re-read her posts a couple of times in a day. And the woman went ahead and created this huge website called Wed Me Good to feed my obsession even more! Her website is fabulous! It has everything from clothes to photographers to makeup to invitations, and listed according to cities. Even though her lowest range is probably twice the amount I am willing to spend on my own wedding, I cannot stop myself from drooling over the stuff.  Her blog and some more blogs are responsible for the horrible tug of war in my head, between pretty shiny things and the desire to stay unmarried.

Even if I decide to go all out, Maharashtrians are not known to buy 50k worth of ONE SINGLE lehenga for ONE SINGLE use. I don’t even have siblings to re-use my piece of bling. We do not have Karwa Chauth or Teej. Most likely, I will be living in the States for some time atleast after marriage(if it happens). So it is totally pointless to collect Indian wear as trousseau. It will end up as a decoration for my wardrobe, but shut inside the suitcase. Also, what do I do with the 6 chip n dip trays and 12 vases that I will receive in my wedding? My cousin did a smart thing. She requested everyone to not give her sarees or suits or anything, and to give her cash only if they wanted to gift her something. She ended up making the guests partly sponsor their own dinners. 😀 Veeerryyy smart indeed, especially for the Baby Atyas and Mangal Kakus and Madhukar Mamas I will most likely meet after 20 years and for probably the last time ever. I love Indian weaves and the traditional sarees. I like the chiffons and silks equally. The Bandhanis, Leheriyas, Kanjeevarams, Paithanis are so gorgeous! It makes me super sad that I can’t get a collection of my own pretty sarees and jewelery because I am a lousy dresser. I have such pretty things in my closet, but yet I tend to wear the same t-shirt and shorts/jeans wherever I go. I am not even thinking about all the beautiful jewelry I want but I know I will never use it again. It makes me cry.

One thing that I learned after perusing these wedding blogs like they were a part of my syllabus was that there are several chapters dedicated to ‘candid photographers’. Basically candid photographers take pictures of random things like your kajaled eyes, earring, feet, your laughing face, your husband looking far away at your choli clad cousin, yawning, picking your nose and such stuff. The pictures are all touched up and look simply amazing. It is like Instagram on crack, where your new saree is made to look old and your face glows like a million bulbs put together. The groom is usually overlooked and the pictures are all about the bride. Well, lets face it, shaadis are about the brides. Even I sort of want such a photographer. But holy molly! They charge around my month’s paycheck before taxes. When I get married(again, if I do) I will call my friend Abhi9, feed him very good food, maybe sponsor a Goa trip for him and make him take my random pictures and re-touch them. This is also what some blogs suggest, to enlist a friend’s help :). Problem solved!

So so so many more aspects to a wedding ceremony, all beautiful though! While writing this, I remembered this Tanishq ad where the girl is very resistant about meeting a guy but warms up to the idea after trying on some wedding jewelry. I have a strong feeling that my mom is using the same technique by mentioning her P.N. Gadgil visits and showing me saree and anarkali ad cuttings. I am still extremely resistant about getting married and will continue till I feel ready. Till then, I will satisfy my pretty-stuff-cravings on Wed Me Good. Adios, amigos.