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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Love v/s Arranged

The wedding bells are ringing in my family, with two of my cousins getting set to be married this year. While we are pulling up our socks,(and shopping for our trinkets and anklets) I took time out yesterday and observed the on-goings from a mere 'third-person' point of view.

Yesterday, marked the onset of the preparations of both the weddings and as I attended each, one after another, I found myself smiling at what I observed.

The similarities: I am from the boys' side for both the weddings. There's hullabaloo for both. The brides-to-be are being welcomed warmly, and shown-off even more!

The differences: To start with, the first and the one more meaningful for me, is scheduled for April. The other,  is slated to happen in December.For those who notice: Yes, I am going to need two different sets of clothes to wear for both the weddings owing to the extreme weather differences. However, my observation skills are not so shallow!
While the one in April is an arranged marriage, the other is arranged-via-love!

As both my sisters-in-law were introduced to our family at large yesterday, I noticed the stark differences in questions asked by people, and the reactions sought and received. The bride who's been arranged to be a member of the family was asked: "So when did you last speak to him?", to which she shyly replied saying, "Just this morning." She was assessed , adjudged and (if I may say so) scanned by those who belong to the oldest school of thought. However, the results and conclusions of these were not discussed. The other questions which followed included her likes and dislikes and conversation was kept light so as to keep her calm, especially since her him is currently out of town. A certain fear, caused by  a sense of newness, filled her eyes and as much as we tried, it was tough to make her feel at home.

Cut, to the house where cupid struck: Not so long ago, the bride in question was sitting in my house in an Angry Birds t-shirt with my cousin brother, who introduced her as a 'friend'. Even then, I had pointed out to my mother that she was BBMing to her 'friend' across the room! However, not much was looked into it. Soon thereafter, my cousin decided to make it official and now they are ready to the knot now. From a red cartoon t-shirt, she switched to a red saree and although she looked pretty in her entire ensemble, a similar fear filled her eyes! However, the questions were different. It usually started with "So how did you'll meet?" and went as far as "What did you see in him, to like him?" Here, fortunately or unfortunately, there was less effort to make her feel warm and welcome. Everyone seemed to be teasing her, and pulling their leg. Hushed conversations included comparisons of their looks and each one voiced their opinion on whether or not she would fit in. On the other hand, the arranged bahu was apparently, going to mingle perfectly well and would 'look after' the family responsibly too!

Answers there, became questions here. Reassurances there, became teasers here. Discussion there, became jokes here. Certainty there, became apprehensions here!

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