Last month was special… I managed to become a missus to the most amazing guy I’ve ever met… Yes, yes if you follow me on twitter you already know this, but this happens to be my first post as Mrs Shakti Salgaokar-Yezdani and I had to say it here too!
Weddings, I always thought were overrated. But as I saw it, this was my chance, sorry our chance to celebrate our relationship as it evolved. From being my acquaintance, my friend, to being the man I love and the man who loved me, my best friend in the world was now becoming my husband. It was a long journey together (and a longer one ahead), but it hadn’t been easy. We met on twitter, we belong to two different religions and these factors worked as wonderfully for us as they did against us. But I always knew that all this wonderful guy had to do was meet my parents and be himself. He did.
As a young girl, I never really dreamt of a wedding. So, I had no idea what I wanted on what is made out to be the biggest day of one’s life. To me, that day had been the day my debut novel was published. However, when he proposed, and the families met, the question we faced was, so what do we do?
We knew we wanted a civil marriage — no pundits, no Dastoors. The concept of Kanyadaan was appalling to me, and I believed that marriage wasn’t meant for my father to give me away. To begin with, I am not some property to be transferred. I am proud to be my parents’ daughter and will always be their daughter. A ritual may not change that, but I didn’t want to conform to the ritual either.
Therefore, a court marriage, with only close friends and family present was decided upon. A cocktail party with some dancing was in order, after all, a filmy girl was getting married to a Bawajee. And of course, a reception for all our extended circles was finalized. From buying the clothes, to finalizing the guestlist to scouting for a good mehendi artist who didn’t cost an arm and a leg, to finding a makeup person who’d make me look pretty on the day – the preparation hardly gave me the space to breathe. During the course of the two months leading up to the wedding, all the time I got my fiancé was in the car (thank you, Mumbai traffic) between meetings with the caterers, registrar and the clothing guys.
In all of this, it was a blessing to have my best friend around – she could be a professional wedding planner, in my opinion – and to have my mother give her sagely advice (and sometimes drive me up the wall). But the one person missing, and sorely missed was my sister. For as long as I can remember, she has been enthu about my wedding. She wanted to plan menus for each function, she wanted to have clothes exclusively designed from a hi-profile designer and many such fantasies had been voiced publicly, and rather authoritatively. And yet, she was in New York, being the hotshot copywriter that she is, and was flying in exactly five days before the wedding, and worse still, there was a two-day trip to Goa scheduled! How and when we’d put her outfits together, I knew not. What is worse is that the weekend that she was to take off, a blizzard rendered New York airports shut, and my heart and mind in overdrive. She made it in time. We managed to get her clothes, her accessories and other requirements in order in one manic day. Where there is a will, there is a way – and today I knew what that clichéd saying really meant.
The next morning, I was up and getting my limbs dressed up in mehendi, friends and family were keeping me company. And that was the beginning of a realization that I was much loved by those I love. Our love story was told in a musical format by his friends, a Shah Rukh special dance was performed by my sister and friends and the most special performance – my mother who never dances, danced for me made the Sangeet one of the most memorable days of my life.After a night of wild dancing — yes, I made each guest at the party dance with me — it was time to leave my parents’ home to get married. I signed the dotted line, and with that signature, I was given a gift. A gift of a new family, a gift of a new set of people to love and I was grateful for that. With a vow, the State pronounced us man and wife. I got married wearing the family’s jewellery – my mom’s wedding necklace, my great grandmum’s gold mala, my late maternal grandma’s naath (nose-pin), my grandma’s bangles and earrings and a kamarbandh that my grandfather gifted me. The women of my family toiled hard to make me who I am – inspiring me, nourishing me and nurturing me. There was nothing better than wearing their treasured pieces as I started on a brand new journey. My mother-in-law gifted me her own wedding necklace, and when she clasped it in place, I realized that while holding on to my own family, I had transitioned into being a woman of a new family.
The wedding made me proud. I live next door to Dadar Parsi Gymkhana, where weddings regularly make my life miserable. Traffic jams, midnight honkers, loud speakers and noisy baraats are what my nightmares are made of. Our wedding, as intimate and yet, elaborate as it was, did not cause traffic jams, we did not burst crackers and there was no noise pollution whatsoever.
And as I entered my husband’s home, it was obvious how silly and wrong I was to think that my book release was the most important day of my life. No sir, my wedding day was the happiest day of my life — make that the happiest three days of my life. To know that love holds us together is the most comforting feeling ever. And for that I am grateful…
Pictures by Arjun Mahajan 🙂