…was carefully unwrapped from the mul cloth I keep it wrapped in, with the cloves to keep silverfish at bay, and the faint musty smell of something precious and stored. Yup, after I’d fallen to the ground and had old shoes brought to revive me when I caught glimpse of the choli which I must have definitely stitched in infant size, because there was no way even half of me was even hoping to fit self into the entire whole of it, I realised it had been a while since I’d actually taken it out to look at it. Could it possible that once upon a time I actually had arms that were matchsticks. You know. I could have been a stick insect and I never appreciated it. Arms that could be left bare in sleeveless tees and trusted not to jiggle themselves into the shimmy shake if all one attempted was an innocent bye bye gesture. Well. All that really means is that yours truly is never ever going to be able to do the red carpet walk and wave, but then, who really wants to. After all, yours truly is never going to be invited on said red carpet anyway, except perhaps to lay it out. The red carpet that is. What did you think?
Speaking of red, the lehenga is red. Brilliant red. In true blue North India style. With embroidery so heavy I almost had to be propped up at my reception with cousins and quick swigs of alcohol. Of course I’m kidding. I didnt need the cousins to prop me up, I didnt have any who would have taken on the task of propping me up, given that no one was willing to risk life and limb to be splatted under falling bride. Seriously though, given the size of them arms I must have been chicken proportions when I wore said lehenga, It was a wonder I didnt fall in a crumpled heap to the floor. Would have been nice though, bridelike swoon, considering one made a most unseemly bride with not the remotest smidgeon of any trace of tears during the bidaii only, I am reminded of, by the spouse, of my unseemly glee in hurrying to the honeymoon suite booked at closeby hotel, though I insistence was an urgency to use the facilities which one was unable to do in front of gadzillion swarming guests oohing and aahing over one. Brides are not supposed to pee. Right. They have to smile and look radiant, and not need to clean their teeth post dinner with toothpicks.
Anyway, the lehenga brought back precious memories. Of standing next to the man, accepting gifts and envelopes and wondering what they contained, and not knowing one would get around two dozen steel utensils and three lemonade sets, and the gift opening ceremony would be something that you would have happily traded for the pleasure of watching paint dry given the wow quotient of gifts that emerged from them wrappings.
I aired out said lehenga, noticed the fading and blackened gota work with a wry smile. It has been 13 years in the keeping, save for occasional airings and ooh ing and aahing with no practical use for it. Folded it, stuffed in cloves and wrapped in back in mul again. By next year, I think the waist too will seem impossible to get into. Will keep it as heirloom for the grand children to play dress up with. Now, why does that thought make me happy?
Yup, I’m earning them grey hair right I think.
What about your wedding outfit? Would you still fit into it. Sarees excluded from discussion of course, blouses included. I still fit into my saree. The Banarasi I wore for them pheras. As for the blouse. Well…..