Monday, February 23, 2009

My best friends wedding

For once I actually thank the Indian railways for delaying the Kurla-Coimbatore, I was almost 25 Kms away from the station, somewhere in Kanakapura, when Goli called me to give the good news. "The train is one hour late".

So we reached Coimbatore 6 am, checked into our hotel, after some suryanamaskar and meditation, we ventured to the city. The wedding function wasn't until evening.
Thanks to Goli and his adventurous spirit, we visited (climbed up) the Murugha Malay temple, and then had lunch in one of the popular 'Annapurna' chain of restaurant.At last I stood at the wedding venue, in Ree's room where she was getting ready for the wedding.

I myself had properly preened for the wedding spending close to 3 hours in the salon (and a bill to match it). "I'm fighting with Prasanna", she said with a mischievous glint.

Here I was, looking at the girl, my best friend, who I've seen growing up, from that weird Bong Mumbai snoot, to a child like Tamilian Iyengar mami.

And the transformation was unbelievable. A part of me wanted to scream, "this is totally child marriage, and that's illegal", and another part of me stood in awe, at Ree's sudden maturity which was alien to me. This was certainly not impulse queen I'd known. This was a woman ready to start a family.

My throat chocked as I saw her carrying the maadu saree, with such a grace, that even I as a Tamilian probably couldn't.

Reema in Maadu Saree

The wedding ceremony took place in proper traditional Iyengar style with unjaal (swing) and Kashi yatra, and Ree even sported a cute aandal kondai, and it was so touching to see her entire family following the instructions with an innocence of a child. And Coimbatore provided a perfect setting for it.

At the photo shoot

We left from the wedding next afternoon, after a hearty elay pota shaphad (banana leaf meal) with mixed feelings.

Having grown up all over India, mostly in north, it would be an understatement if I said I have not always appreciated my culture. But In Ree's wedding when I saw a family who were complete outsiders, embracing the culture, probably even better than their own, I felt quiet unnerved. And here I was, barely able to make a proper conversation in my own mother tongue.

Pruth and me
I really did not know about Tamil movies, or literature, and certainly did not know how to read or write Tamil. It strikes me, that its not that 'I don't know', its was 'I don't care'.
But I've decided to change that.
Life is all about deepening roots and broadening your vision and here is one of my active attempts.
Pic credits: Goli , Avinash and Vikrant (Reema's brother)