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– Weddings are fun, when they are not yours. The gossips. The food. The happiness. The dressing up. The general air of festivity that surrounds you is just so awesome. And, when the wedding is of a new tradition that you have no clue about, it gets all the more interesting. Well.. My cousin got married to a Telugu girl here in Hyderabad ten days nights ago. The Wedding was at 12.38 AM so much so that even the groom had to keep himself awake by constantly chewing a gum. Heh.

– There is a ritual wherein ten kilos of rice, mixed with turmeric, dates and such like stuff are to be poured on the heads of the bride and groom by each other. This mixing exercise happens the previous day and is to be done by married ladies. Since we, as in the groom’s side, were unaware of it, a few members from the girl’s side had come to the hotel where we stayed to help us do the ‘mixing’! After all of the married ladies from our side were done with it, I stepped forward to do the ritual. That is when one old lady from the girl’s side stopped me from it screaming on top of her voice that would have been heard by even Barrack Obama. ‘Only married women are allowed to do this. Not you!’, she screamed. At once, I blushed. What? Someone still thought I was youth although I’d forgotten to colour the streaks of grey hair on the front side of my head. Then slowly, she decided to keep the aappu. ‘You are not wearing your toe ring, right?’ Ouch. That was a bad fall. So much for my ego. Sigh.

– It’s a mystery how Indian women judge other women by the jewelry they wear regardless of the region they come from. My Chithi (mom’s sister and the mother of the groom) doesn’t like jewelry. She generally doesn’t wear any unless absolutely necessary. The morning of the wedding too she was quite the same with just a chain around her neck and going about in the hotel room. One of the ladies from the girl’s side who’d come there went up to my Chithi and asked her if she needed any jewelry to wear. Quite naturally, my Chithi was agitated although otherwise she is a sport. She didn’t respond to that inquisitive person anything at the moment. But, when we went to the mandapam, she wore hers, mine, my mom’s jewelry which was about ten strands in total and she looked like an Amman silai. She directly went to that woman and asked her, ‘Is this jewelry enough or would you prefer more?’ You must’ve seen the look on that lady’s face. Priceless I say!

– Okay.. I’d be missing an important detail if I failed to write about how we caught the train to Madras in order to attend the Wedding Reception there. After the Wedding got over at around 2 in the morning, our family with my parents left to our home and we were supposed to go to the station directly from our place. The station is about an hour and a half’s drive from our place. The train was at 4.30 and we booked a cab for 2.45PM. All was well until we were about to leave. From about 2.45 to 3.10, the husband was fidgeting with his computer downloading movies to be seen while in Madras, while the cab was waiting outside. I know.. Such a bad idea. The traffic had built up and the cab was kept waiting at every red on the road. Time was moving like it only can and I was palpitating like I was about to get a heart attack. In the midst of all this, the husband was happily sleeping in the front seat. I cannot get how this man can cause so much anxiety in others while continuing to be in the zen state that he is. We called my uncle who was also, along with twenty others, taking the same train to know if the train was on time. Alas, he was preoccupied with something else and didn’t take the call. It was 4.25 when we reached the station and the kids began to run as instructed already by yours truly. Only to be greeted by the empty platform and the yet-to-arrive train. Had we missed the train that day, I’d have strangled the husband but then he’s just too lucky. This was the fourth time in the last three years that he’s messed up like this. What can I do with him?!

– The Wedding Reception was in Madras and it was after many years that all of us cousins (from my mum’s side!) were meeting together. To say we had a blast is just too lame. Talking about how life has changed but feeling the same love for each other that we’ve felt over the years was the best thing that has happened to me during the trip. The highlight of this reception was when the youngest cousin in our family came to my brother, pinched his cheeks and said, ‘You are the next macha. Seekaram kalyana sappaadu podu’ with all of us laughing like crazy. Another happy moment for me came when this youngest cousin of mine took me to his fiance and introduced her to me as if I am his own sister. And then, this cousin who got married, calls me up one fine day and says, ‘Akka.. We loved the watches that you’d given us. In fact both of us are now wearing those watches only!’ I almost was about to tear up. It makes me really happy that I share such a sweet bond with these guys.

– Once the wedding and reception was over, it was time to prepare for the housewarming of my parent’s new house. They’d sold their old independent one and got an apartment instead. Cleaning up the house, preparing the taamboolam, getting the return gifts in place, getting the vathiyar-said things ready, so on and so forth. Sigh. Remember I said it is always nicer when it is not your own function. Then, one thing I love about our own functions is opening up gift boxes. Someone had given a saree and veshti for housewarming function. I wanted to confront them and ask them, ‘Saree? Really?’ But then, it is a gift, you see. And, I flicked one masala dabba which came as a gift for myself. Yes… I am shameless like that.

– After all this, I hadn’t gone to my in-law’s house at all. What blasphemy?! So, the last two days had to be spent there but again it was filled with visiting their side of the family. Now, after six years of marriage, I’ve got the courage to visit people (the inlaws’ side) as I really am. Without bangles. With the normal chain like thaali I have. With no toe rings. With small studs. And, no Sindoor. But.. I still visit people I really don’t want to. I try hard not to show my annoyance at them but then, it just shows on my face. I am waiting for the day I grow up enough to just ignore them but I doubt if I ever will.

– I missed doing a lot of things I hoped to in this trip. First one was meeting my friend J. But then, my days were jam packed already and she wasn’t there for long too. Also, I wanted to watch Anjaan. But but.. The reviews scared us like hell and we gave up. Although, the brother felt it wasn’t **that** bad, really. Okay.. Two places I ate and loved (apart from the wedding and reception, that is!) were Eden, as usual and Haven Sampoorna, in Velachery. The veg lasagna at Eden and the sizzling brownie at Haven Sampoorna were the highlights. The husband really wanted to go to Annalakshmi but that darshan has been postponed to the next visit.

– And last but not the least, I really felt glad that I was in Madras on its 375th birthday. I could only post a few tweets on that eventful day. I’ve Storified them for you guys here.

That’s it from me. How have you been?

P.S. – This is my 200th post. 🙂 🙂