“Mom how beautiful you look in your bridal dress” , exclaimed my daughter admiringly, as I winced inwardly looking at the extremely raw, unmade, sulky bride in the picture.
Yes that was definitely a reluctant bride….
The picture successfully unleashed a flood of memories, a mix of all kinds of emotions.
It was the early 90 s, educational degrees acquired, a great job landed, the only thing required was a perfect husband to complete the perfect picture.
My parents were under intense pressure from all and sundry to get me married as soon as possible, and being the first born in the family added to the pressure. It had become the priority on every relative’s agenda on both sides of the family to find the elusive groom for me as soon as possible.
In the meanwhile I had taken the first steps into the real world of Professionalism from the protective shell of Home and Parents. From a laid back easy going introvert, I was suddenly thrust into spotlight, a field of action, of deliverance , of responsibilities, of leadership. I was enjoying every bit of my new life. It was a process of evolving, discovering and relishing of the new “ME”.
Having been bred on a staple diet of books like Mills and Boons, Barbara Cartland Romances, Silhoutee Romances, Jackie Collins, I was a die hard romantic who wanted to fall in love with a tall handsome guy. Alas such things happened only in books and movies and not in the mundane lives, is the sad conclusion which life taught me.
I most certainly was not ready for “Marriage” yet, having tasted the intoxication of financial and all other kinds of independence .
Marriage for me at that age signified a life of bondage, beginning with the wearing of a saree which hindered my movement, which hid my identity in its folds which transformed me from a carefree girl to a fettered woman.
Marriage for me at that age signified a life of slavery in the kitchen and the bedroom , neither of which I was prepared for.
Marriage for me at that age was to live with a total stranger and a stranger family at a stranger place, which was a scary prospect.
Marriage for me at that age was giving up a job , a dream, a life which had been my goal since a child.
There was no escape, it was only a matter of time.
Finally the elusive groom was spotted and bound.
Excitement in the air.
Lots of action happening around.
Chaos and turbulence in the mind and heart of the young bride.
What would he be like?
Would he be friendly or clip my wings?
Would he talk in telugu or urdu?
Could he speak English?
Did he read books, watch movies?
What should I call him?
Would he allow me to visit my parents?
Would he permit me to continue with my job?
Would he be friendly to my friends?
What about sex? What should I do ? how how how?
No one to talk to…
No one to ask to…
No one to reassure me…
No one to counsel me…
It was a plunge in the ocean of life at my own risk either sink or swim..!!!
It was a journey into the unknown land…
Either a land of darkness or of sunshine…
With the maturity of an enlightened soul, with no options left,
With a firm belief, the reluctant bride took the first step into the unknown…
Determined to swim to a land of sunshine and happiness…
“Kabool hai, kabool hai, kabool hai” ,the reluctant bride says to a life of committed trust and love.