We had a marriage in the family and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. People from different corners of India got together and celebrated the occasion. I had almost forgotten that a cousin of mine could sing very well and he entertained us with melodies from the movies of the 60’s and 70’s. We spoke of the childhood that we spent together, the fights we had, the good times we shared and it appeared as if the 3 days we had together were just not enough. Two of my cousins spent two days with me and we left for Calcutta together. Coming back to an empty house brought tears to my eyes and I found myself wanting to return to my childhood days. I brooded over the days gone by and realized once again how lucky I was to have spent the formative years of my life in the company of such people.
Marriage is an occasion that brings the family together. A social gathering. People talk of doing away with elaborate rituals to save time. But each of these has a meaning. The simple act of two ladies welcoming the couple with an aarti for instance. It is usually done by including one each from the bride’s and groom’s side. This is a way of introducing one’s relatives to the other side. The maternal uncle and paternal aunt (Mama and Bua) feel puffed up and important.They are in great demand all the time! Each one plays a role and everyone feels included.
The marriage is over and people have already started looking forward to the next occasion. But more than the celebration, marriage means the coming together of two families. Very often it is the coming together of two cultures. It is an occasion for mutual respect. The girl enters her new home not really knowing what to expect. If she is received with love and affection there is every chance that she’d reciprocate in the same manner. The girl’s parents are equally anxious that their precious one is comfortable in the new set up. If initial hiccups are attended to, it may not be long before the two families bond well and become friends for life.
We have started living like isolated pockets of society. Let occasions such as these bring us together – so what if it happens only once in two years!