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Pen Your Pride

Raj – Anjali wedding.

I woke up at six am to get ready for my wedding.  I was so nervous.  Getting ready would take a few hours.  God knows how heavy my lengha was, but it would surely keep me from racing around.  My mother and aunts gathered around me to get the lengha on.

My mom stood behind me, “I can’t believe my baby is getting married.  The years have passed by so fast.  Rima’s already married and now you.  That just leaves Rakesh and then you’ll all be gone leaving my home empty.”

“Oh mom, you know none of us are that far away and we always come home.  Plus, Rakesh and I haven’t lived at home in a while.  But, if you’re going to be sentimental, than please do it before my make-up is on.” I joked.

She smiled back at me.

She held out the lengha for me to step into and then pulled it up over my waist and pulled the strings tight.

“You’ve lost weight since we last tried this on.  Anjali, you’ve lost too much weight.  Hopefully, after marriage Raj will plump you up.”

“I thought all girls were supposed to lose weight before the big wedding day.”

“But, you already looked perfect.”

She pulled the lengha a bit higher and adjusted it until she was happy with the way it rested on my waist.

I pulled off my t-shirt and slipped on the blouse.  I pulled my long hair away and my mom connected the hooks in the back.

Now that the base was on, the hair dresser came in and combed my long hair.  She must have spent at least thirty minutes just combing it out and putting God knows what products in my hair to create a smooth shine to it.

She styled the front so that my hair partially covered my forehead and then pulled it back in a ponytail.  Once she was happy with that, she pulled out slivers of hair from the sides to curl later.

Then she went to work on the back of my hair twisting and turning my hair into a delicate updo that wouldn’t even be seen since I was going to wear my duppata over my head as was traditional.  I know Raj would have preferred for my hair to be down and for me not to wear the duppata, but who was to argue with thousand year old traditions.  Plus, being a bride to me always meant wearing some shade of red or maroon and covering my head for the traditional ceremony.

“Okay she’s been sitting in that chair for so long, give my beti a break,” my masi (mom’s sister) commanded.  “Go to the bathroom before we put on your duppata.  Rima go get your sister something to drink and some upma to eat.”  Rima quickly left the room as masi threw around orders.

“They’ve all eaten and already had two cups of tea but everyone has forgotten about you,” masi said half to me and more to herself.

I went to the bathroom to take care of mother nature and to stretch.   I’d been sitting in that chair for what seemed like hours.  I took my time and took a few minutes to myself sitting on top of the toilet seat.  I did my pranayama (breathing) exercises to keep myself steady.  Who knew being a bride could make you so anxious.  I didn’t even feel this nervous the first time I had sex with Raj, yet here I was feeling nervous about sitting in front of priest and repeating Sanskrit vows and walking around the fire with Raj.  Weird and unexplainable.

“Are you okay Anjali?” Rima asked through the door.

“Yes, didi, I’m fine.  Just let me wash my hands.”

“Okay.”

I walked out of the bathroom.

“Are you okay?”

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