I know it sounds cliche, but some girls grow up dreaming about there perfect wedding. I was one of them. All of my teen years were spent day dreaming about that perfect man, and what beautiful wedding I would have and how special ‘my day’ would be. I am a Bihari, and we have those elaborate weddings like most Indian weddings, that last a few days and the ceremonies go on and on through the night. I am also the eldest girl of my generation in the whole family, and so, my wedding would have to be a big occasion because it’s the start of the wedding series; after me, would be my cousins, and sisters, so on and so forth.
Well, I did meet my perfect man… when I was 16 years old. We were together in school and it was nothing short of a perfect school romance. After school, we lived in different cities for higher education, where he pursued his medical degree while I pursued law. We miraculously managed to survive in a long distance relationship for more than 9 years before we got back together in the same city.
All this while, the pressure of my marriage started building up on me. Relatives are an interesting breed of people. They derive some twisted pleasure in tormenting you. I used to dread going back home on vacations, because the aunties and neighbors believed that it was their solemn duty to remind my parents that I am old enough and that I would cross that age limit where I could have a pick from the lot of boys. Apparently, once you cross that age limit, your choices are limited to guys 10 years or more older to you, or guys who do not earn as much, or guys who don’t look as good. The good ones get booked early on in the game. Relatives exist to keep your parents from bad parenting, because god forbid that your folks forget their duties towards you.
Well, in any case, three years back, we told our parents about each other and that we intended to spend the rest of our lives together. My guy met all the criteria a Bihari parent could possibly ask for. Good looking, Check. Great family, Check. Stable career… a ‘Doctor’ you say, Double Check. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet all of his parents’ criteria. I wasn’t the right caste. You see, my family had had their share of rebellious inter-caste weddings. So they were pretty burnt out by now, and had grown to accept such unions. But for his family, this was their very first. So, we tried to ease them into the whole concept of “caste is irrelevant…love conquers all…‘ marriage is a personal choice’.. blah blah blah”, but they wouldn’t budge. And remember… my biological clock is ticking. My relatives are pecking on my parents head like a woodpecker. So, amidst all the pressure, rejection and insecurity and after a lot of unsuccessful attempts to bring our families together we finally decided that we will get married in spite of them.
April last year, we got married in a temple, in presence of a handful of our friends. And it was the Perfect Wedding I could have ever asked for! It beats all the big ceremonies and grand weddings I ever imagined. It was the most beautiful day of my life. One of my sister was with me (I really missed the other one). My best and oldest friends were there managing the whole affair, better than any relative could ever had. For me, it was the day of love for my partner, with whom I had already shared more than a decade, and a day of respect for all those who were present or could not be present but wished us well. All my girly notions of ‘a perfect wedding’, vanished. It did not matter if I had the perfect dress, or if I had those haldi-mehndi ceremonies, or the catering or decorations were non existent. Three years of coaxing and begging the families did not matter that day. We counted our blessings, accepted and understood our families’ difficulties and took a stand for us. We had an ‘unconventional wedding‘ and we had a day to remember for the rest of our lives.