This is Part 1 of series starting today. Please follow it on my wordpress blog..thevagabond.me or on my Facebook page The vagabond.
She thought she would be happy, yet now when the evening was coming close, she was afraid. She was anxious and couldn’t get over the panic she felt in her heart. She wanted to run away from these ceremonies. She just wanted someone to hug her and tell her that it would be okay.
Twice, she walked out to talk to her parents, but whenever she came out, relatives surrounded her. She retired back to her room, tried to shut her eyes and relax, but today peace eluded her. Her hormones were in frenzy and nothing seemed to soothe her anxious nerves.
What if the family she was getting married into didn’t accept her? What if the boy whom she had trusted so long was just like all other husbands, who stop loving their wife sooner or later.How many times she had sat listening to her mother, that all men are same, and they just eye lust?
Now it was too late. The Baraat would come in another 4 -5 hours. All the family was here to celebrate this occasion, the wedding which she had always dreamed of.
For the last 2 years, She and Aryan had been trying to convince their respective families to get them married. While it had been easy for her, Aryan’s mom had rejected her in the first meeting.
“She’s fat and look at her height! Doesn’t even reach upto your shoulder.” She had said.
“My son has got 10 offers, with a dowry of 20 lakh, I do not know what he saw in you.” She had whined.
Aryan had been very patient all through and acting as a bridge between the two families, they had finally managed to get them agree.
She never got cold feet then , even when her mother had threatened her that she will commit suicide. Aryan’s parents would keep delaying marriage citing one reason or the other. Her mom was sure that Aryan was just playing with her and would leave her one day.
“No one will marry you.”
“He will take your virginity and then you won’t be even pure to get married.”
“I promise if that happens, you will see your mother dead.” She would tell her every time she called them up.
Frustrated, she had stopped going home even on festivals. She would volunteer for the emergency duty and stay in her hostel instead.
Finally, Aryan had filed an application for court marriage. His parents had finally bent and agreed to get him married to the girl he loved.
They didn’t realise this was the easiest part. The extended Indian Marriages with we do not believe in dowry but believe in gifts syndrome was too treacherous for both of them to handle. Yet, they had stood firm.
However, today she felt lost. She knew this was a point of no return. She couldn’t go back to anyone ever in life. Her parents had borne all the humiliation for her, on their choice of gifts, on their income, all so that she could marry the boy she choose. If ever anything went wrong, she was the one who would have to bear it all alone.
“Radha, go and take a bath, my child. In half an hour, you will have to go to parlour to get ready” Her mother called her.
She rose up from the bed reluctantly and dragged herself to shower. A few hours more and she would not even be Dr Radha Mehta, the name proudly inscribed on her certificates.
She would become Dr Radha Arora, adopting her husband’s surname.
When the hour of Vidai came, no tears came from her eyes. She hugged each one of her cousins,her brother, her sisters, her friends and finally her parents. It’s only when she sat in the car and she saw herself surrounded by people she didn’t knew that tears started rolling down her cheeks.
She couldn’t stop her eyes from watering and all the pent up emotions burst like flood of tears when she reached her new home – Her Husband’s home.
The home which she grew up, where she learnt to walk, where she learnt to speak, where she played with her dolls, the place where she had her first crush, where she blossomed from a little girl to the woman she was now, was left behind. Now, she would visit it as strangers. Every time, she would have to go there, she would have to seek permission from her new owners. She suddenly felt so alone, among faces which she did not know.
Someone came and escorted her to be introduced to all the family members. She was supposed to touch feet of all elders and seek their blessings. She also would have to memorize all the names and match them with the faces next next time they meet. Her mind was still afar, trying to figure what her life would be from now on.
After a few more ceremonies, they finally took her to her room. As in Hindi movies, she had expected a decorated room for her first night. What she found was a disheveled room.
Someone came and changed the bedsheet and told her to rest. Her eyes were searching for Aryan. He probably was busy somewhere. Feeling all alone, she dozed off to sleep.