My first day in my In-Laws’ house
I still remember my first day, my very first stay at my In-laws’ house. Had loads of thoughts flowing across my mind as to what is going to happen and how my stay is going to be. A real warm welcome topped with a traditional aarti was how I entered home. Lots of smiling new faces, out of which some were familiar as they had attended the wedding. I had a smiling Namaste throughout. My Sister-in-Law quickly helped me drape a bright, yet light-weight, nine yard sari. My In-Laws escorted us to their puja room. The fragrance and shruthi (low pitch soft bhajan was on all the time, right from early morning till late evening, with of course a break in the noon) came close as we were nearing the puja room. We lighted the lamps for a new beginning filled with happiness.
I was then made to sit in a place where my Mom-In-Law introduced me to each member of the family. Every introduction had a Teeka, aashirwad and a gift of course, which went on for two hours. I was literally tired with the smile on and sitting cross-legged for so long which I’m not habituated to. To top it all, the nine yard sari was never in my comfort zone and I was all waiting to get rid of it.
Mine was an Andhra wedding and my In-Laws were really looking forward to complete their Iyengar rituals. Therefore, it was decided to have the rituals done once I reach my new home. Though the rituals were not sequenced the way they actually take place during the weddings, yet the ambience, crowd and specially the nadaswaram made me feel that it’s another Tamilian wedding that I’m a part of.
A small, well decorated swing, full of flowers, was arranged for where we were made to sit. We hardly had any place to sit as I felt it was too small for two people, literally squeezing ourselves into the swing. Later, I learnt it was meant for the couple to adjust to whatever is available, yet have a smile on their faces. We had some aunties singing some traditional songs. All I could see was most of them laughing and making fun of us while we were swinging, it was a very funny moment indeed. Post jhula-jhul, we had loads of pappads in a huge wide mouthed vessel for us to break it on each other. First I was very scared, thinking it would hurt my head. After my husband broke the first one on my head, I felt it was awesome fun! Believe me, I took one on each hand that is two at one go and played the game. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! In fact I felt like playing it again, but couldn’t express to it to anyone.
Finally, we had the pundit to perform a small puja where I had to change into my new Thali (mangalsutra). The non-stop shlokas all sounded like Greek and Latin, yet a very precious moment! My Mom-In-Law got me a beautiful gold version for the yellow thread. I loved the end-product; it was, I swear, such a beautiful cute looking mangalsutra! Three days of food, fun, people and of course loads of pampering from my Mom-In-Law along with a set of Dos and Don’ts while I left to Namma Bengaluru to start the next new phase of life!!