Got Hitched, Hooked and so very Married!

January the 9th came and went in such a blur that Mel & I are still periodically *ahem* pinching ourselves just to check our married status.

Emulating the centrepiece Shawn Lewis made us

Every one who attended the Pereira-Almeida wedding exclaimed over how smooth it went, how perfectly planned it seemed to be and how wonderful both the receptions turned out to be. Every time I hear exclamations like these, I mentally cross myself/touch wood/offer up an Hallelujah.

Why? Because a bride who has been planning her wedding a year in advance knows no respite from stress. Take it as a skewed ‘Confuscious Says’, but there’s the truth for you!

Take the nuptial mass for instance. It was to be a bilingual mass with a majority of the celebration in English and the rest in Marathi. Everything fell into place 20 minutes before I had to join Melroy at the church.

The last offering (a house of thermocol that we simply couldn’t obtain at the last minute) and the gospel readings and the people to do the various readings and the person to organize all of this (Val) were all minute decisions that had me nearly hyperventilating right until the offertory got over.

I even had Mel bemused by my slightly crazed expression during mass!

The nuptial mass went beautifully nonetheless and the choir exceeded my expectations, which is something.

Then came the wedding car fiasco. An open top jeepney was what Mel & I had decided for a wedding car. It was to arrive on the wedding morning all sparkling clean and polished black.

It arrived in the afternoon, all muddy and looking anything but impressive. The ever-dependable Rosalyn assisted by Gursimran and Joel managed to transform the backup car (a purple Honda Civic) into a gorgeous wedding car 10 minutes before Mel and I had to leave for the reception venue!

But I must stop with the nerve-wracking things that went on during those few days. Simply thinking about them is enough to make me break into a cold sweat.

What matters is our families were with us. What matters is friends who stood by us. What matters is the bonds that were strengthened. What matters is the love that enveloped both the wedding houses in a warm caccoon for those few days and thereafter.

What matters is Mel & I got hitched. Finally. With all our flaws and thorns and ups and downs and yucks nd aarrghs, marry we did. And how!

For all of you who made it for the wedding and made it a night to remember and savor forever, thank you!

For all of you who couldn’t make it for whatever reasons, we missed you tremendously!

For all of you who I missed inviting, I’m truly sorry and hopefully by the time the next big celebration comes our way, we shall be able to enjoy your company.

Thank you for being such fantastic friends!

Mamma Mia! I got the ‘Giving Away’ Song.

What do you when you come across a movie that gives you a delightful glow all over and makes you grin from start to finish?

Well, you go right ahead and grin with complete and utter abandon and savor the warm buttery feeling. That’s what you do.

You enjoy it without a thought for anything else going around you or for anyone around you for that matter.

That’s what I did while watching Mamma Mia. Grinned like a loon and lost myself in some welcome nostalgia. Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Honey Honey, Chiquitita… these were songs that colored many a picnic and school performance for me. Add a wedding theme to the entire package and I was done for. mamma_mia_poster

To find a movie that has me enthralled from start to end is a rare thing. Unless I am watching it in a movie theatre, it is difficult to peg me down to the seat for most films. Which is why I think I ought to count this one as special.

Abba has been around for a long time now and all through my growing years, uncles, aunts and cousins would somehow resurrect a Dancing Queen or Voulez-Vous at some get-together or another (on tape or with conky singing).

A lot of pyjama parties in college got jiggied up with Take a Chance on Me, Mamma Mia et al and my best friends would string along a ditty or two quite sensationally, mind you.

I am quite sure they will end up doing the same for the bachelorette party as well. Incidentally, the hen party Sophie’s friends throw her in the film make me relish the thought of my own and rub my hands in anticipation.

Another thing I ought to be thanking the film for is for finally giving me the father and daughter dance song- the ‘Giving Away’ song as we Bombay Catholics like to put it. Counted as one of the main dances the bride has to dance to during the reception, the father-daughter dance is special, signalling the final farewell a dad can bid for his little girl (the mom has her chance when she bids the bride from the childhood home).

I have watched this particular dance a number of times at a number of weddings and as my own looms closer, I know it will be every bit as special for me as I had always envisioned it to be. My dad is no great dancer and neither can he swing me around like a fine gentleman.

But like every other father of the bride, I do know that he will want to Freeze the Picture and remember me as the little, sniffling ragamuffin he bid his first goodbye to when I went off to school for the first time. I hated every second that was spent slicking my boy-cut hair down and every gleam of my new shoes that morning. He still managed to click a photograph of me though and everytime I look at it now, I grin.

This time, it is not school I shall be leaving the home for, but to a new life. It is the great unknown, sure; but this time, I shall have years of love and advice and all the freedom he dusted the growing years of my life with.

For that, I am forever greatful.

The picture may not be frozen, but my goodbye shall hardly be graced with an absent-minded smile.

P.S: Incidentally, if you thought this was a review of the movie, I am sorry to disappoint. It’s what the movie made me feel and what it made me think of with regards to my own wedding. That’s what this blog is about in the end. So I am glad you understand and even gladder you stuck on so far to the Plan “W”.

Phyre takes Flight

June 2, 2009.
3:40pm IST.

As I pen this down, I am hurtling through a blue sky in a absolutely magical ride at around 940kms/hour. All I can see around me is a white haze. All I can see below me are fluffy white clouds. Clouds one could very well imagine to be goose down, whipped cream, cotton candy or a hundred different things that feel equally comforting and feel just as lovely.

Airplanes are, without a doubt, one of the coolest things invented by mankind. As the plane I was strapped in taxied before takeoff on the runway, I saw an airplane take flight. It was the first time I had seen a sight like that with my own two eyes.

Graceful, powerful and in an odd way, divine. It was magnificent.

From then on, until the time I finally gathered my wits to pen this down, my mouth had been frozen into a muoue of awe and wonder.

Yes, it is my first flight. And yes, it stole my breath away. Literally.

As the plane slowly lifted off the runway, I felt nothing but for a wild sense of exhileration and gratitude. My first trip to someplace unkown in a transport I had never before experienced was happening alone.

I had the window seat. Heck, I had the entire row of seats. It was my own private strip in a flight almost filled with people.

So in my solitude, I grinned and exclaimed all I could. Mad and freely. My muoue slowly transformed into a gape as the aircraft slowly gained momentum and geared up for the fastest zoom-off I have known. A L O N E.

The runway soon became a strip under me and then a dull slash. The buildings became little dots and then spots. The murky brown seas gave way to turquoise waters and soon Bombay- the land I was born in and roamed around in for more than twenty years was little more than an inconsequential speck. Gone.

I am now further from home than I have been at any other point of my life. The three old biddies travelling with me make up my entire connection with my hometown. My cellphone has been switched off. There is no internet to while away time with either.

All I have is a borrowed pen, an old diary, some luggage, too many mangoes, my altitude-soaked thoughts and faint strains of “Katherine Kiss Me” drifting through my mind.

This is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting things to have ever happened to me in a long, long time. Far from being disgruntled (as I initially was) about making my first flight alone, I am happy and humming. Not a bad twist in my plight if I might say so.

What is even crazier in fact,  is that my first trip in an aircraft made for an unusual and unexpected anniversary present. The anniversary of four years of the start of my wild and passionate affair with a unique man.

Happy Anniversary Melroy. And for the man that you are, Thank You.

June 2, 2009.
4:10pm IST.

Dedications, Words & Their Worth

Another wedding invite made its way to my doorstep today, and guess what? It really was just another wedding card.

Not many people get married in the summer out here, owing to the humidity and heat. Whenever someone does tie the knot during such an extreme part of the year, you would expect them to make an effort to making it special.

But no. They don’t. It’s just a wedding. So it does not matter if the wedding and the myriad functions that make it up follow a generic pattern.

Call me fussy and hard-to-please, but do not tell me that a marriage can be impersonal and so completely displaced from what the bride and the groom actually want it to be.

Do not tell me

It was destiny that brought us together.

It was love that will keep us together.

is the best you can come up with on your own wedding card.

It. Is. Just. Not. Done.

When mum & dad celebrated their Silver Jubilee, my sister and I handled the invitations. We were lucky to find Joseph D’cunha of Nirmiti Arts, who by the way is an absolute gem and a certified genius, to help us out.Wedding-Quote

The words we wanted printed on the card came to me with no great effort and when Mr. D’cunha asked me to write him a rough copy, I unknowingly gave him an idea.

He handed me a pristine sheet of paper with a ruled sheet underneath and made me pen down the words in my head. He wanted to use my handwriting instead of the usual typeface!

My sister and I were gobsmacked! We had no idea such a thing could be remotely possible.

We heartily agreed to the plan and after nearly half an hour of writing with my hand held steady, I penned down one of the most memorable pieces I ever wrote.

Once upon a time…
Two young hearts met, courted
And pledged their lives to each other.

They created a beautiful home,
Where the hearth was always warm,
The food always aplenty,
And guests always welcome.

They have seen us- their daughters,
Grow from little pig-tailed girls,
To young women.

They have taught us the meaning
Of Life, Love & Family.

They spent 25 memorable years
Walking by each other
Through life’s ups & downs.

 I ended it then with the actual invitation.

Looking back, it was perhaps not the most perfectly written piece of prose on the planet, but it was special. So special, that mum and dad were touched and so were the people we invited. 

Cards that speak of love might be chucked into the bin. The words hang on though. Sometimes forever.

 Which is why I write my own cards. On a side note, it is also why I write more than I talk.