Wedding Dance

Posted February 28th, 2004 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Planning a wedding is difficult. Any wedding website will tell you that. Planning a wedding from a remote location is tougher still. But planning a wedding remotely between two people from different religions is toughest of them all.

Seejo and I have a lot in common. We share a common mother tongue: our parents were originally from central Kerala. We were brought up in Maharashtra (less that 100 miles apart) and grew up speaking Malayalam, English, Hindi and Marathi and visiting Kerala during annual summer break. And Last year our mothers got transferred to Ernakulam, Kerala and now live within miles of each other. With so much similarity between us we should have had several common acquaintances as well as a common ground for the wedding. However we did not account for the dividing factor that is religions and its impact on our upbringing.

Seejo’s parents insisted on a church wedding, my family refused to set foot in one. Seejo’s family cannot consider a wedding feast complete without a selection of meat dishes, while my family would not so much as sit next to a meat eating person. The wedding dress for a Mallu Christian wedding is a traditional plain white / cream sari, while no self respecting Hindu bride would wear white on her wedding (Hindus believe in white being a the color associated with widowhood). Traditional Mallu Christian brides are walking ads for jewelry stores while my family believes in the less is more concept. Our mangalsutras are similar in shape but the Christians make it “unholy” by adding a cross to the locket.

With all these differences arranging the wedding had its share of funny quirks, emotional roller coasters and difficult compromises. It was like doing an elaborate dance. Shifting gracefully between two sets of parents without stamping on any toes and still managing to look graceful in the end. That’s was what this whole performance seemed like.

Let us see how life greets us now….will it be bouquets or brickbats?

Caught With Pants Down

Posted February 17th, 2004 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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11 Standard. First month of junior college. Physics lab.

We were grouped 3 or 4 to a table and assigned some Physics experiment to perform. The professor demonstrated the experiment and sent us off to get the readings and write up the results. I went off to my table and soon we were busy trying to get the readings. It was early days in college so all of us were enthusiastic and wanted a chance to actually perform the experiment. We were almost done when I felt something was wrong with my dress. The salwar cord was usually tied pretty tight around my waist and now I could not feel it any longer.

I squirmed around trying to feel my pyjamas without being obvious. The squirming was obviously not a good idea for it slipped down some more. The material was one of those smooth silky type. The first thing to do, I decided is to stop it from slipping any more. …It already was halfway down my hips. Arrest the motion. Now. Standing didn’t help. I had to sit somewhere. Dhake one of my 2 lab partners was using the only chair around the table. I ask him to get up.

“Abey Dhake uth”. I command

He is not interested. “Nahi.”

Ouch I probably used the wrong tone earlier. I pitch my voice a note lower.

“arre uth na, I want to sit”. … . “Please” , I add almost as an afterthought.

No go. Dhake does not even look up. “Go get another chair … there are a few chairs in that corner”

Damn him, if I took two steps more my salwar would be near my ankles. I give him a few menacing glares but he is oblivious to the situation and is trying to calculate his standard deviations. He wanted accurate results ….he had already explained about the sins of manipulating measurements earlier: in great detail .

By now I was panicky….what if it slipped down totally. I would never be able to come to class again. May be I should try to see if seats were open in some other college….What should I do?

I spot Bini at the nearby table. I call out to her. She is busy trying to flirt with the hunk in her group. “Wonder why the hunk is in her group and I get stuck with Dhake. The nerd. Now the hunk would have given me his seat . No on second thoughts I don’t want the hunk to know about this. Oh hell I have to do something. Quickly.

I decide to use the full power of my lungs.

BINI.

Man I really do have power there. Bini turns around. In fact her entire group looks at me. Hell even Dhake looked up. She frowns at me and nods in the direction of the hunk. I get the message but I am desperate. I wave at her gesticulating madly. She obviously decided that my need is greater than hers and comes over, frowning at me.

I whisper the entire ram kahani to her. ….She steps back and looks at me critically. Oh yeah its loose. And your top slip is rather short isn’t it. Why don’t you sit down?

I glare at her. I start the story all over again. About how I need the chair and could she please go and get one for me from the corner.

Why don’t you ask Dhake to get up?

By this time I am too scared to be furious. I patiently explain again…how Dhake’s lack of chivalry and his erratic standard deviations.

Oh he will. “Aye Ajit (oops oh yeah that’s Dhake’s name!!!) , tu ek chair lekar aa please. Give this chair to Deepa. Poor thing she has a terrible stomach ache . Can’t you see how she is clutching her journal to her stomach”

Dhake looks at me and almost falls over in trying to give me his chair. I was not sure what did the trick. Bini’s pseudo saccharine voice or his dread that I might end up doing something totally inappropriate in a physics lab.

That was one problem solved. I sat there without moving till the lab hour ended. Now it was time to go to our classroom…How would I go up? Evidently I needed to tie this thing up. Now Ruia college ( atleast in those days) had very few rest rooms. The lady’s room was on the third floor and the physics lab on the ground floor. The question was how would I climb three flights of stairs with a salwar already dropping off to mid thigh.

So there we were a group of 8 girls surrounding me in a tight circle, with me in the center hopping gingerly up each step clutching my stomach.. It was a slow procession The comments from my so called friends did not help. With each comment and the resulting giggles, it only ended up slipping a little more. We did not reach the third floor. It was all over by then. The salwar was near my knees.

We found an empty teachers room near the zoology lab in the second floor and I ducked in and literally pulled up my pants. That was the last I ever wore that particular salwar kameez . Also I ended up “giving away” that hunk to Bini.