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Sunday, February 9, 2014

I do

Such powerful words, I do.
It’s a declaration, a promise, a solemnity, a commitment, a secret, a decision, a communication, a signature, a word (or 2)… Just 2 fragile yet very powerful words change your life. For the best or for something new and beautiful to start and experience; at your own discretion and your own judgement.

I was blessed to attend 3 weddings in 2 months (would’ve been 5 if not for a folly). Usually a recluse from such events, I decided to stop avoiding them and go to celebrate my friends and their newfound love path. I attended my 1st north Indian (UP) style wedding, my 1st Goan AND Catholic ceremony and then a South Indian Shetty wedding. All were beautiful, very different and I was glad I made the trip to them all. First was an impromptu drop and must-visit to a UP style wedding. It was a dear friend’s sister’s nuptials. Very grand and in true north style spared no expense and glory in celebrating it. Well… at least someone was celebrating the girl child and her heart's desires. I wasn’t able to stay long but the friend ensured I didn’t miss a glimpse of the bride and her husband as they walked from the dressing room to the grand display that awaited them. Then came the Goan catholic wedding for a friend (no longer just so-n-so’s brother). We shared a special unlikely friendship and I decided to take the odd hour flights and do the dance and song solo. It was worth it except I missed my man a lot. The whole ceremony and celebration was traditional yet with a modern kick to it. I enjoyed every bit of it. The last 1 was another very dear friend whom I have managed to keep in touch with over 4yrs since I met him in Capoeira class. Ours was and remains and unlikely friendship that has an annual meeting or 2 (if he flies down) and we share all our updates over 1 meal. This time he dropped the bomb that he was getting married. A mirror image in life and thinking to my Abeer; this guy was extremely stand up and a thorough gentleman. I was happy for him and incidentally managed to make it to his wedding and reception.

The 1s I missed and really wished to have attended in person were my friends (1 former boss) Reny and Vanessa. The latter’s was a plan that went kaput and I am still seething with rage over the 1s responsible. Anyways… The common thread that tied all of these was unlike the general image of Indian weddings: loud and coerced. All my friends married their sweethearts of their choices (nothing arranged). All had traditional weddings keeping their communities and rituals in mind but nothing was over the top. If anything, they were grand in their celebration of the couple rather than the money spent on everything. I love that. Where the couple is and remains in focus for good reason. At the church, I expected a long sermon of extracts of the bible. What I witnessed was a priest who knew the couple as young babies and now grown graceful adults, who knew their inherent natures and who pointed this out aptly at the ceremony. This was refreshingly beautiful and I listened intently to how a tailor made ceremony for the duo was conducted. At the Shetty wedding, the ceremony lasted for but an hour and it was full of humor and smiles. The groom’s parents took a backseat while his older married sister and her husband aided the ceremony and ensured all went well. And even though I did not attend Reny and Vanessa’s weddings, from the pictures and the people I know I can closely imagine their nuptials and the what it must have meant to them and their families.

These restore my faith in the institution itself. I never shied away from it even though my parent’s didn't set an ideal example. But then again they did separate and find peace for themselves – a painful decision they made. There are marriages where a couple may live till death did them apart but as a relief – sad. My personal thoughts have been more to build a life with someone, make it complete, a home, maybe pets, maybe children. The pets and children are HUGE life churners and it’s something I would do only in partnership with my better half and not alone. Hence, the ‘maybes’. But I never lost hope in the institution of marriage. It’s but a ceremony to celebrate and solemnize your love. I think of it as very unique and individualistic. One is free to make a marriage of their own barred by society standards (unless you are a slave to societal standards).  The truth is on the surface everyone pretends to live by the ‘blind’ rules. If you peek inside there are secrets to families and wedded bliss that you weren't aware of.

This I cannot share with my cynical beau. He is convinced that the way to a good life is a bachelor’s life. Which is neither wrong nor right. But just like media and society flame stories of the evil mother-in-law vs. daughter-in-law, boss vs. reportees there are the equally gregarious gags and quips on the husband-wife relationship. Where the husband is the emotional fool who fell into a trap that expires at the end of his natural life. I laugh too. But I also find it ridiculous when a wife is the poster-child for ‘entrapment’. Any life decision is purely your own or with the 1s you love. If you suffer, you suffer together, if you’re happy… well the general outcome is happiness together. Even though my witty half periodically announces his allergy to this phase of life, I turn away for not wanting to be influenced by it. I am not a cynic in love and enjoy a comfortable hopeless romantic tag. Just last month I went about planning a 1yr anniversary like it was 25yrs together. I knew it was over the top but in mind it was what I wanted to share with Abeer and there was no rule defining what was too much or too less. I know that for the rest of my life I will celebrate love with grandeur and gratitude because it’s the 1 thing we take for granted in its presence and then pine for it in its absence. This worries some of my friends who think I will burn badly (irreparably) if things were to fall kaput. I think that if I am with a man whose lack of belief in the institution of marriage hasn't phased me then surely I am in love enough to have faith that what lies ahead will also be good. I really wonder how I would celebrate 25yrs of togetherness. Hmmm!

Recently Abeer and I ‘lived’ together for 2 months. It gave me a whole new perspective to living with him. We did stay like it was make shift for 2 mnths and there were days where admittedly I wanted to bash him up or I felt hurt badly. There were some serious ups and downs, yet most days made me realize that on a bigger scale he was the 1 for me and I pined for him to walk in through the main door and go to bed at night with me… and yes the furball Elsa. I loved it. I’m addicted to it and now I ‘pine for it’. Here’s congratulations to all my friends who found and celebrated their love with a ceremonial union, to those looking – it’s out there… and to my cynical oh-so-funny beau Abeer… I love you more each day and that puzzles me <3