The Light in Me

“The light in me honors the light in you ” says my yoga instructor.

Diwali 2016 : I ate  Magic beans and milk chocolate from Trader Joe’s instead of jalebi and adhirasam from Grand Sweets. I received seer from my family by choice who live near me instead of my parents who live far. My celebration was with people who share love instead of blood or language or culture. It wasn’t the taste of my grandmother’s homemade food that caused a lump in my throat but a tight hug from my friend wishing me well. 

Thala Diwali ( First Diwali after your wedding). In my culture, the first Diwali is considered special. The couple is given a lot of attention on this day by drowning them in calories, gifts and love. To me it was yet another festival far away from home and now my husband too.

When I sent out an invite to all my friends at work who have never celebrated Diwali..I didn’t think of it much. I reserved a table at a restaurant that promised a BIG BUFFET. Everyone were excited and started asking questions. I explained the celebration and about ‘Thala Diwali’  the previous day. 

As we sat down to dig into the buffet I received a bag filled with goodies. I was told this was my seer or the gift bag that parents would have given the couple. Though my family by blood couldn’t be there together to celebrate , my family by choice did. As I felt overwhelmed, thanking them over and over , all my friend said was “You deserve it” . I don’t know if I deserve it but I knew I wished for it. And this was the world fulfilling my wish in its own way. 

It definitely is going to be a very memorable thala Diwali 🙂 And I truly completely felt the festival of lights within me. 

“The light within me honors the light within all these people who made my day ” Happy happy Diwali to all of you from R and J 🙂 

On traditions to carry forward..

“Woohoo!” the little girl said as her grandfather dusted the heavy cardboard box and brought it down from the attic. It happened every year and every time she saw it, it was exciting. Every doll from the boxes will be examined for damage and made ready for display. Make shift steps would be set up for the dolls, brown paper mountains for the little paper men and women. There used to be something new every year- paper mache craft, punch book themes, crochet dolls- Harry Potter, Rocket launches, Native Americans , Cinderella, SpongeBob ..in addition to the traditional Chettiar bommai, Dasavatharam, Astalakshmi. She would be his apprentice and would learn a new craft every year. 

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The Six Month Milestone!

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Six months since the big day. Good food in our bellies, henna stained hands, decorated with colorful flowers, animated conversations and bright smiles,  surrounded by the people we love. The day I had to wake up at 2 AM to get decked up for the ceremonies that started at 5 AM 😛 It definitely was a very memorable day !

In the long four hour ceremony, I still remember that moment when I felt “married”. It wasn’t when my dad gave me away to the new family or when R tied the sacred knots. It was when the priest asked us to look into the other person’s eyes, after walking around the fire seven times. As we looked into each other’s eyes, the priest reminded us about love and our promise to be there for each other. It was the moment when it hit me , all teared up I said my vows silently, promising R my everything. Our words had always been love, compassion, commitment, acceptance and independence. Continue Reading

The ‘Married Name’ Conundrum!

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“You didn’t change your name ?” 

“No I didn’t because… “

I have answered it so many times now in the last few months.

No I am not offended by the question since it is a norm for centuries and so people are curious when someone decides not to change their name. And then comes the second question

“What would your name be if you had decided to change?”

“Ermm..” …the conversation continues for 30 more minutes as I explain the various aspects of a south-Indian name.
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The Broken ‘First Night’ System!

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Do you have to prove you are pure on your wedding night” asked the hairstylist .

I looked at her in shock (actually a mix of emotions) through the mirror.

I was getting my hair done just before I was leaving to India for my wedding and we were having small talk
I am *X country person* and I would expect my daughter to prove she is pure on her wedding night” she added

That did not make this conversation any more comfortable . I changed the subject and avoided her question. I was offended no doubt, but also kind of POed with myself for not having said anything back. But I did know I couldn’t have said anything that would have made the conversation any better.

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The New Journey Begins!

Yes, I am back with a change in status! Now I have to tick the ‘married’ box in any application and introduce R as the husband 🙂
Starting with saree shopping the day I arrived in Chennai, finding a tailor to stitch blouses, buying jewlery, dealing with various vendors for flowers, food, photography, bangles, mehendi, return gifts, meeting guests who cannot make it to the wedding prior to it. Every evening when I walked home, all I wanted to do was sleep. In addition to the physical work was the added emotional stress and tensions with the immediate family.
The days before the wedding days were almost sleepless, not just for me but for the closest family and friends as well. In the end everything was a haze. I did what was told to me, I smiled the whole time, I made sure I ate every meal. I made sure I enjoyed the long process and that I was happy the whole time.
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Did someone come? Not come? Didn’t like the food or loved it? Was someone not treated well? Did everyone receive the return gifts? Etc etc etc ..I have no idea. Well, maybe that’s what happens when your wedding is almost 3 days long.
I had set a reminder to post every two days during my trip in Chennai. But I couldn’t , I couldn’t partially because I was busy and partially because I had too much to share and express which I couldn’t,  if you know what I mean. I would open my WordPress app, start typing and close it without posting. This happened quite a few times and finally I gave up. I just stopped trying and went ahead to experience ‘The Wedding’.
Anyways all is well, I survived it. Lots to share, lots of new learnings and experiences. I hope to write about them soon.
Yours truly
The married Jan 😉