The roseate dawn tiptoes into my bedroom, heralding a new day…arguably, the most special one in my 24-year-old life. The white pigeon perches on the balcony grille, awaiting its daily largesse. Its urgent cooing coaxes me to rise. I continue to laze…to savour the last few moments of my singlehood.
I finally step out, a thousand thoughts cramming my cerebrum. It’s a long day ahead…will our new strategy work? Only time will tell. But I don’t feel hassled.
The meditation sessions helped, after all.
My conservative family, surprisingly, has come around. They are supportive of my decision, of my choice of partner.
At least you’re not marrying a girl, Hansa, Dad had chuckled awkwardly.
My heart went out to him. Ma, too, gave me a reassuring nod. Accepting this decision was not easy for them. And I’m grateful for how they both stood up for me. And my friends? My comrades-in-arms…can I ever thank them enough?! The way they rallied around me – braving all the barbs and jeers, often from their kin – kudos!!
Oh, the fun we had during our costume trials…Sejal almost snitched my mehendi outfit, she liked it so much (we had a tough time finding a similar one for her)! And the lehenga? Ratna, apparently, felt my wedding lehenga was too red! Now what does that mean?! Can anything be too red…or too black…or too white? Hahaha…ask Ratna!
The minutes seem to fly. I sense a flurry of activity outside…have the guests arrived? While the make-up artist styles my hair, I scroll down my photo gallery, trying to shut out the peeking apprehensions.
The shenanigans we had these last few days, during my mehendi, sangeet, and haldi – precious memories to last a lifetime! I did feel foolish tearing up, when my squad grooved to that special number, Yaaron Dosti. Even our two-left-feet Darshan channelled his inner MJ and jived like there was no tomorrow!
Ma gallantly tried to mask her disquiet. Was something the matter? Later, I heard…the threats, the veiled warnings, the last-minute back-pedalling…losers, all!
I hated tweaking our schedule! Why is it so difficult to embrace change? To celebrate new beginnings? I keep wondering…the answers elude me.
As I step out in my bridal finery, the flashbulbs go berserk.
Easy, guys…I can’t even see the faces!
Woohoo, that’s my office team, in full strength! And my girl gang, with my parents…LOVE YOU GUYS!!
Ma needs a tissue!
Finally, the moment arrives. The vermillion irradiates my hair parting…the holy fire, garland and mangalsutra seal a promise of eternal commitment. From me, to myself.
My dream of being a bride stands fulfilled. Self-love and sologamy…my idea of a lifelong, unconditional romance. One, where I’ll always be the priority. And the secret behind my smile.
And if I ever seek love outside, well…a bisexual certainly has choices there!
Tomorrow, I’m off for my honeymoon, where I’ll waltz under the moonlight swathed in shimmering stardust, raising a toast, to my solo universe of dreams and dares!
Mehendi, sangeet, haldi – pre-wedding rituals in India
Lehenga – a traditional full-length skirt worn by Indian women, usually on special ceremonies
Yaaron, Dosti – popular Indian song celebrating everlasting friendship
Mangalsutra – a black-beaded neckpiece, worn by Indian women as a symbol of marriage
PC: Jackson David on Unsplash