Marital Mayhem

Clad in a gaudy red benarasi saree, (which still makes me wonder what Rhett Butler would have said about it) and yellow metal all over me, with thick flower garlands thrown in for a good measure, and a tinsel veil to cover my modest head topped with a sola topi (for the lack of a better identifier), I got married. Not that it has stopped me from thinking about other men (Hmpf!) but anyway, that’s a pretty neat summary, I think.
Although what I meant to say is that I went through the motions of marriage that last at least three whole days according to ancient Hindu and Bengali traditions (unfortunately four in my case).
The purohit hired for the job fired away in Sanskrit as I watched copious amounts of fruits, ghee, firewood, and other things being given to the gods and later, lying around as waste. Of course I understood nothing of what was being said. And most people are completely at ease about it — these are for the high and mighty and as a (supposedly) coy bride you are expected to not understand these rituals. Nope. It is mandatory that you keep your mouth shut and not even attempt to understand what’s going on. Add to that the intermittent additions to the list of rituals from distant relatives, occasional verbal duels, one or two sudden discoveries of missing items and a mad rush to get them, and a house crammed full of people — you get the picture, right?
Marriage is a test of your nerves, if you’re a girl. And I still don’t know how I fared. All I know is that after all the pushing and shoving, I would like to tear off the make-up, snuggle up with my dogs, and perhaps sit alone with some coffee and cigarettes to think about it.

My Wedding


Hi, I'm Sampurna and I'm from India. I love to write, paint, and play with my dogs. Catch up with me at Halfastory's Blog. Happy reading!

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Posted in No Make-up
21 comments on “Marital Mayhem
  1. Perhaps sitting alone smoking with a cup of coffee is exactly what you need! I cannot fathom the magnitude of what you have just gone through (the ceremony, the concept of a life joined to another person, etc.), but the idea of it makes me want to run away and live in a forest… How are you? Was the marriage what you wanted? Does your husband know about your blog?

    • Sampurna says:

      Ah! I’m so glad you asked after me instead of singing out c-o-n-g-r-a-t-u (Fu**ing) lations! 😀 But I’m sure we are still on the same page. I crave for the forest more than ever before! As for the marriage, I never wanted the jingbang, but that couldn’t be avoided. And the husband? He knows about the blog, but not about this post 😛
      You are giving me ideas, lady! I think my next post will be on the husband (TH) 😀

  2. Yatin says:

    Yeah I hear you. I bribed the purohit and it worked out in my interest. Another friend had even more creative idea, He found a busy purohit on a busiest wedding day (you know those chosen days of year marked for first wedding!). The purohit himself was in a rush for his other assignment. Did they make you fast to starvation? That was my worst part.
    This is indeed half a story. The other half, husbands half begins where your ordeal ends, and let me tell you something suffering is subjective term. What you have seen in the first half is just the tip of an iceberg; the torment husband undergoes in second half is no less than an epic.:)

  3. Sampurna says:

    In my case, Yatin, my brother bribed the purohit we hired. But poor fellow had a tough time explaining the needlessness of time-consuming stuff to the groom’s side purohit — visible conflict was simmering at the edge of the fire as I laughed away to glory 😀 so much so that one of my cousins asked me to shade my teeth for the sake of the cameras .
    As for the husband’s side of the story, it’s nothing but occupational hazard. You can’t crib about that! 😀
    By the way, I did not starve. Much as my mother clamped down on me, one of my aunts ensured I was well stocked 😀

  4. Marilyn says:

    I have to say I loved this….but I want more. You only got started and am I correct that there is so much more to write? I love this first part but give us more! Thanks for coming by my blog.

    • Sampurna says:

      Haha you’re already calling it a first part, which means the gaps in the narrative are tellingly apparent. Coming to think of the time when I wrote it, I think I was only trying to grasp how big, how many, how much, how on earth (!?) and other such things that were constantly playing out before me like reality TV. But guess you’re right. I might have to write a more faithful account of the goings on… Btw your blog is awesome and I keep visiting 🙂

  5. So you’re married. How does it feel to be married, Sampurna? You’d have an interesting take on that. 😉

    • Sampurna says:

      Thanks for commenting, Itihas. And here’s something straight from the stables: I’m a conservative when it comes to conservative institutions like marriage 😉

      But seriously, marriage is a lot of hard work. E.g. I have to behave myself well a lot more than I felt compelled to when I was single. And although it may get a tad too *overwhelming* for an opinionated loner like me, coz, in India, you get mollycoddled big time; but it’s fair deal. You care for someone and get cared for in return. Didn’t have the luxury of this kinda give-n-take when I wasn’t married.

      • I’m an Indian too, and I know what you mean. You went on to give so many insights about your self with the comment.

        But didn’t you have the luxury to marry someone you love? or, was it all brought down upon you and you learnt how to love post marriage? Had it been the former then this side of your personality wouldn’t have shone.

      • Sampurna says:

        Good question. Wrong assumption 🙂 I married after 2 odd years of dating and a while of living in with my guy. So marriage was in the offing for quite sometime, and perhaps because of that, going through it for me was, like, an additional thing to do. Of course it also shows my cut-n-dried side of being. I’m actually downright boring and unsocial.
        Besides, marrying the traditional way resulted in my having to abandon my wild ideas. I’ve somehow harbored secret desires and ideas about adding making marriage fun, rather than a rite of passage. Of course all those ideas were strictly meant for others since i never imagined I’ll ever marry. Weird, I know.
        And yeah, I could tell your Indian origins from your name. Thanks for commenting, again. I hope I’ve not confused you with my answers 😀

  6. Haha, nope, you haven’t confused me and I’m back to entangle you more. Kiddin’.

    Well, good to hear that you are with someone you wanted to be with. Then how does it matter whether you had to go through things traditionally or the way you wanted. I agree, our mind tends to burn out after a while and we look back and start finding reasons to break our heads upon. I’ve been in relationships where the scent of inhumanity prevailed and even though it took more than me to keep it going still it managed to leave a scar. But that’s a long story. And I’ve managed to put it behind. Well almost.

    Marriage, at my age, sounds weird to me as well. I don’t really know what miracle is going to happen in a few years time but the idea is unexciting considering one can never predict the outcome of anything in life. Also, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one, even I am completely unsocial, but the most interesting person alive. 😀

    • Sampurna says:

      The most interesting…?! Well then I’m sure some girl will catch you before you know it 😀
      And you’re right. It doesn’t matter how the deed is done once ’tis done. Not that I don’t look back but I’ve realised that there’s no point in looking back and not doing anything about the things that I’m not happy with. Therefore I find myself constantly changing, checking, and changing myself more; sometimes to the discomfiture of ppl around me.
      Btw I think you write well. Write more!

      • Well yes, the most interesting to people who understand me well. But right now I don’t want any girl to catch me, since I’m busy enjoying my space and discovering my self more. I can live alone. And be happy at the same time.

        Looking back does hurt one, but only time can help in avoiding us from looking back.

        And, thank you Sampurna, since you think I write well then I shall continue writing forever. Going by the meaning of your name you have understood my words ‘completely’! 😉

  7. You should’ve got the Indian bit through my surname. Pure South Indian working in UK since a few months. Have to unfortunately return after a few months though. Huh!

  8. Devlina Ganguly says:

    A lot late in reading this, hence commenting…but yes, my wedding day was painful…I for one didn’t enjoy one minute of that mad circus…a quiet ceremony with a few close people and zero rituals (but loads of warmth) would have made more sense!!!!!

  9. Morgan Ross says:

    That’s the most unsentimental and hilariously acerbic account of one’s own wedding I’ve ever encountered. Too effin’ funny.

  10. parna das basu says:

    ohhhhhh marriages!!!!….wanted to be single again the moment the Purohit was ong-bong-chonging……was going through your blogs and related with this one…….:)

    • Sampurna says:

      Haha Parna, on my part, I had no hard feelings for the purohit. It was the hyperventilating people in general who gave me that concentration camp kinda feeling. Even now when I recall some old cats nudging me to sing to prove how accomplished I am…. makes by BP shoot up 😀

  11. parna das basu says:

    our Purohit had to take a train to Puri…he fast forwarded the entire ritual…that was a relief indeed…and the ritual where he had to place the bride’s hand on the groom’s hand…he did the opposite…my husband gave one of his sheepishly sarcastic laughter and said all for the love of juggernaut…:D..:D…

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