I have always had my way. I lived for myself. I did whatever I wanted. I got whatever I wanted. I would not rest till things happened my way. If I liked a dress, I would think about it and go to get it, hail, gail or storm. If I liked 3 pairs of shoes, I wouldn’t bother about the price; I would just buy them all. If I didn’t like something, it was out of my house (and heart). If I was looking for a forgotten song, I would sit up whole night till I found it for download online.
When I was a dreamy 24 year old, I had big dreams about my wedding – the kind of dresses I would wear, the kind of decoration that will be done, the kind of card that would be sent out, the kind of hairstyle I would do. Somewhere, those illusions faded. And now when the time has come, I am quite uninterested in my wedding preparations.
For a person who has always had her way, it is so difficult to play along with things others decide for her. I realise I am doing too many things I don’t like. Some things have to happen a certain way, whether you like it or not, I am told by my Mother. Why? I don’t get it at all.
I feel discontent – following customs I don’t believe in, buying jewellery I don’t like, wearing clothes I don’t like, wearing colours I don’t like, agreeing to a wedding schedule I am not happy with, marrying a person I barely know, letting go of my books, shoes and clothes, letting go of my friends and my independent life. After heated initial protests, I have stopped caring about what is happening, even though it is my wedding and is supposed to be the most important event of my life.
This is big change, undoubtedly. I am supposed to embrace it and enjoy it. I tried. I looked at bridal wear in shop displays and ignored everything else. Shobha De’s Spouse was my Bible for a few days (till I stopped pretending to be brave and gave it up). Soon, I would be giving up meeting friends to learn cooking.
Life is changing. New elements have found their way in. No one talks to me about anything other than wedding. Only sari shops and wholesale markets will be visited now. I am expected to only prepare for the wedding and forget everything else. I have to stop enjoying solitude and get used to a family life. I have to learn to sacrifice and put others before myself – the 2 traits I had deleted from my system years ago. I am no longer a free bird. I am no longer a happy-go-lucky girl.
I was dragged to a gold jewellery store today. In the store that had at least a 100 customers, I sat in stoic silence – rigid and stubborn. At times, scowling at the gaudy designs. At times glaring at the over-excited customers. This was silent protest against the snatching away of my well settled, content life.
I wouldn’t mind if someone else buys my wedding clothes for me while I am left on my own to cope with the big change.
Sacrifice. Compromise. Adjustment. Traditions. Domestic life. I chant these words in my mind day and night hoping that some day they will make sense to me.