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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bride Forever

Published in "Chicken Soup for the Indian Bride's Soul" 2010

“Girls like it, especially if they’ve never been married before - it’s the dress. Girls want a wedding, they don’t want a marriage.”- Salman Rushdie
 
Marriage brings with it the thrill of shopping and I too did mine like a princess.  The most important item on my list was my bridal lehenga. After looking at almost a hundred, I selected a beautifully embroidered bright red one. When I draped it on myself, I experienced the immense joy of becoming a bride. I wanted to look the most gorgeous woman on the planet that day.

Finally, the D-day arrived. The wedding was taking place in Gwalior, hometown of my fiancé. My mother-in-law had booked the best salon of the city for me.

Nothing can beat the pleasure of getting dressed as a bride and along with my sister, I reached the salon dreamy eyed. To my shock, there were almost thirty brides sitting there! My wedding date was supposed to be an auspicious one and it seemed like all the spinsters of Gwalior were getting married that same day! So here I was sitting amongst a horde of brides, waiting for my turn to get dressed up! It felt like I was a part of a mass marriage ceremony!

As I sat and watched, I saw several girls getting transformed from ugly ducklings to beautiful swans. Suddenly, my sister got a call informing us that the Baraat had arrived! And here I was, looking the ordinary girl next door.  

My head started spinning and I yelled at the supervisor of the salon for so many bookings, delay and mismanagement. She panicked and hastily started doing my make-up herself. I was too confused and nervous to even notice what she was doing. This was my biggest day and I was supposed to look like a million bucks! But it had all gone terribly wrong.  The lady was finished with me in fifteen minutes and there was clearly nothing great about the way I looked. There was nothing I could do now.  

As I walked towards the mandap, I felt all eyes were gaping at how commonplace I looked after keeping the groom and his family waiting for so long. My heart was heavy but I forced a smile. The next moment I saw my groom walking towards me. He looked serious. “Oh God! He is obviously as disappointed as I am.” I cringed.  

As he came close to me, he swiftly bent forward and whispered in my ears “You’re the best looking bride ever.”

I stared at him until my sister nudged me to look down. A smile spread on my face like a cool breeze and I forgot everything that had happened earlier in the day. That moment onwards, I felt like a superstar. Even my wedding pictures show how radiant I looked that day.


I may have been one of those thirty brides that day, but for my groom I was the only one! I was his bride forever!  



So Mr. Rushdie, what ultimately  matters to a woman is to have a man who expresses his love for his woman with smile on his lips and truth in his eyes, all through the life.