Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm writing this from Coimbatore. I'm here for the best of all reasons. A wedding. This time it was my cousin, J. I've been here four days now, dressed in sarees and high heels, with jasmine buds in my hair. I met relatives I never knew I had, some who I vaguely remember, and an increasing number of familiar faces.

On the evening of the reception, when I sat down for a little while to give my sadly abused toes some rest, a little girl sat opposite me. She picked the petals off a daisy and blew them in my face.

I've gossiped with my grandmother and aunt, acted as wingman for J till his best friend showed up, sung till my throat turned hoarse. I've smiled at people whose names I no longer remember and promised to visit them, someday. Promises we both know I won't keep. I've soothed hurt feelings, cleaned and packed, carried messages and baggage, talked and listened. Listened more than talked. I've also not slept very much.

The wedding vows they took were basically a dignified pinky-swearing, to be best friends for the rest of their lives. I liked that. I stood and watched J get married in a shower of rice grains and rose petals. The music got very loud for a second, everyone was standing in a tremendous crush, and then it was over.

I'm alone now for a little while, after being surrounded by people for three days. I'm not smiling because it hurts my face. People keep coming in every once in awhile to talk. We've formed tenuous bonds, working together for a common cause. I've done this before, more times than I can count. Each time, a few more bonds last. Here, after all, we are already bound by blood. I feel very rich to have so many people who care about me.

I leave here tomorrow, back to my old life, but slightly changed. Change is good. It is sameness that is frightening. I think we need occasions like these, so we give pause and reconsider our own lives, but also so we realise it isn't always about us. For a little while, we celebrate the lives of the people we care about.

I stop typing every once in awhile to look at my henna-stained fingers. I'm very tired, but I think, at peace. Tomorrow is another day.

1 comment:

  1. Pranesh SivakumarMarch 29, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    I was too in that same marriage you know....