Tuesday, November 02, 2010

tare hai barati,chandani hai yeh barat.

This post can be classified as one written in the genre of commissioned posts. This time the lovely chandni of bohemian rhapsody has requested of her friends to participate in a wonderful contest (details at the end of the post) . Considering my wedding can be read as one of the Indian Weddings (Low Calorie Special) for one half of the parties involved in the wedding, I guess Chandni thinks I can send in an entry as well. Going through my post I would say it qualifies for the "My dream wedding – Simple or lavish?" topic. What do you think?

So read on....
Once upon a time in a small town in Pakistan a mother had nightmares that she would lift the skirt of her daughter’s wedding lehenga to discover the bride wearing some hideous sneakers, so fond was her daughter of running shoes. Well, her daughter did kind of live up to this self fulfilling prophecy; strapping on as she did her running shoes every time a Prince became much too Charming.
And then one day the daughter discovered that she would rather walk into the sunset with someone rather than bolting away...of course before signing on the dotted line she had her own super private blessing ceremony where her eccentric group of friends; with their multiplicity of perspectives on God and being godless, on love and lust, the soul , the spirit, and sexuality, celebrated the commitment she was making and prayed in their many languages for the couple (And Thats All Im Telling). Yeh sab tau theek hai all this is OK as moms say, but the two families needed something that could give them pictures that go in the album and that could be framed on their walls. Im lucky that my sister had been kind enough to give my mother the Big Fat Pakistani Wedding Tamasha where everyone and their grandmother could be treated to the whole band, baja and bling. Sister's wedding had provided a number of occasions also for the much celebrated gift economy to flourish, so this time around my mother could somewhat overlook that the celebrations were a trifle less over the top.

However, we had to keep in mind that the two mothers had some expectations of the day that had to be respected so it could not be that the wedding day was as ‘unorthodox’ as I would have liked, there was as they say (and this is my rehashed Bollywood wisdom of the year) sex aur sanskar ki kashmakash. In short how could we celebrate our Veer met Zara moment without making it an Aman ki Asha special? How could I hold on to a vow I had made long ago of not allowing a maulvi as middleman, to mediate my relationship with my man and Maker and still invite God to my wedding? How could we make it a day that celebrated the culture and traditions of our respective families and still toed the line when it came to the bureaucracy of the city we lived in? Simply put how could it be the day I dreamt of when I closed my eyes but still be real enough for those who watched us with eyes wide open.

Of course only the guests that afternoon and later in the evening can tell you whether we got the balance between the ‘ real ‘ and the “ Oh my God this seems like out of this world' right. But I am very proud to say that I got through the days leading up to the ceremony without breaking into hives or having the tight constricted feeling in my chest that had marked other count downs. Let me though be very clear that the internal conflicts, the self doubts that plagued those other occasions, those other countdowns, had been all mine; and should not be a reflection on the merits or lack thereof of the other parties involved when I bolted away from signing on the dotted line.

Finally as the wedding day approached I could afford to take a very contented sigh that everything seemed in order. I had someone who had supported our love story From The Beginning reading us our vows, and the celebrant who was officiating the ceremony later in the evening had promised to stick to my script. (I have to apologize if I sound a bit like a drama queen but a couple of months before my wedding I had the misfortune of being in one where the cleric tore up a marriage certificate to show that marriage is more than a piece of paper. And where the person officiating spoke about the world wanting Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve. I also wanted to be proud of the commitment I was making that day in a way that did not exhibit that I had entered some exclusive club all set to totter about very smugly in my stilettos). However just as I was rubbing my hands quite happily for the chef had promised to accommodate the varied dietary requirements of all the guests invited, a casual remark by one of the managers at the restaurant burst my bubble. Alas, my lovely sunset ceremony by the sea was the same evening as the Grand Final. Oh to be a bride on the most important day in the sports calendar for a football crazy city. For someone who had wanted to escape the Caught in Camera Flashlights look that brides sport standing on a wedding stage, it was poetic justice that I was going to be the silly woman in her wedding finery surrounded by a crowd of rowdy football fans. But God was kind, the crowds were far far away in the distance, and people only honked their cars (in respect) as I crossed the street in my mother’s wedding gharara rather than Woh Dekho Dulhan. Yes, I wore the skirt of my mother’s gharara with a new shirt and dupatta, I also carried a zardozi poth silk batwa that was actually the sample for my sister’s wedding dress (so it was not just their prayers that were part of the ceremony). Earlier in the afternoon I wore the white and gold I favoured with a look demure enough that my mother could frame it for the walls.

Later in the evening as part of the civil ceremony Gman and I acknowledged that life as a couple will have happy days and dark. Kind of what our real lives are like to begin with? Though weddings should be a day when we can escape from the mundane of the every day, we didn’t want to be escapists. A blogger had asked of us once how we know a certain person is The One.In our case here were two people who had two very different upbringings. We didn’t share a language and spoke to God in very different ways. But Im hoping the events of the day kind of crossed that gap. There were some funny moments as well. My mother had borrowed our phone to speak to my sister once one lot of vows had been exchanged. For people who were experiencing their first “desi wedding” the instructions about keeping an eye on the plants seemed like part of the cultural traditions that the desi guests were explaining to them.
So with apologies to Kipling, Oh, East is East, and West is West but sometimes the North East and North West do meet.
And what happened to the mother earlier in the story who feared the sneakers under the skirt. Well though her daughter loved her enough to wear something with enough gold and bronze that a sister had picked out , the next week she went out to buy something in a Nayi Naveli Red. Albeit this.

All you have to do is blog about one or more of the following topics:

  • My big fat Indian wedding
  • What “not to do” while planning a wedding!
  • My dream wedding – Simple or lavish?
  • Traditions I love/hate in Indian weddings
  • My wedding shopping spree!

There are no fixed rules for content of posts. Anything goes as long as it is fun and original. Just use your imagination!!!!
What’s in it for you?
  • The best blog entry wins Rs 3000 worth of free credit on 99labels.
  • Second prize: Rs 1000 worth of free credit on 99labels.
  • Two 3rd prizes: Rs. 500 worth of free credit on 99labels.
And furthermore, you get Rs 100 worth of credit when you sign-up and an additional Rs 500 if any of your referrals buy from our site!
Here’s how to participate:
  1. Become a member of 99labels (If you are not a member already) by clicking on the referral link at the bottom of this post. (You get Rs 100 worth of credit free to shop!) .
    1. Create a log-in preferably using the email id attached with your blog. This is to protect the anonymity of some bloggers as the referral link (read rule 2) displays your email-id.
  2. Post your referral link on the post (This means that whoever becomes a member clicking on the link gets Rs 100, and whenever you referral buys an item you get Rs 500). To find your referral link
    1. Log in on www.99labels.com
    2. Click on “Invite friends” on the top menu.
    3. Go to bottom of page and look for “Copy and paste your personal invitation link” and paste the link at the bottom of your post E.g . My Referral invite – http://www.99labels.com/v1/Become-Member.aspx?re=xyz@gmail.com
  3. Copy and paste all the rules in your post.
  4. Leave a link to your post in the comments section of the contest page of 99labels http://blog.99labels.com/2010/10/25/wedding-week-blogging-contest/.
  5. Copy and paste this image at the end of the post and the category under which you have posted.
99labels wedding week blogging contest
Last date : 8th November, 2010
Other Rules
  • Multiple entries are welcome.
  • You can repost old blog entries as well, as long as they are original.
  • If you don’t have a blog, you can write as note on facebook instead! Just make sure to leave us a link in the comments section!
Shoot your queries at marketing@99labels.com
So what are you waiting for?? Blog away to glory!
Everyone wins!
Topic : My dream wedding – Simple or lavish?"


  1. Very well written, could picture all that you have described, would have been nice to see pics of you in wedding finery though!

  2. Great post. Thanks for posting your entry :)

  3. Loved the nayi naveli red shoes. The way you placed the shoes looks most shy and bridal.

  4. Awwwww loved it!!!this post is sooo you!

  5. Hi !
    I like your blog writing very much! I work for a Swedish social media company which has clients in India as well. I am looking for some great food and wine blog writers. Our members attend food and wine tasting events for free and blog about them and their blogs are linked to our european and Indian websites. If you would like to know more or be a membrer and attend our events in India, please reply to me at sarah@spotandtell.se
    Spot and Tell: http://in.spotandtell.com

    Look forward for your reply,
    Sarah Jones

  6. Loved ur post! Congratulations for taking home the first prize :)


  7. Arundhati: I dont think the world is ready to see me all bling. but if you look hard enough, you can catch a bit of the day event in the pics on the wall.

    IHM, Trish and Dipali: Aw, you are biased!

    Anamika S: Thankyou. You did well too!

    Sarah: thanks for the vote of confidence, but Im not in India. I do get about a lot.


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