My Wedding - a Funny Affair
My wedding was a funny affair. It happened in a crowded hall. My bride and I sat on the raised stage under a lovely flower canopy. It was a short ceremony. Rings were put by the betrothed on each other’s right hand. A gold chain was hooked around my bride neck and a pair of thick Jasmine-Chrysanthemum garland was exchanged amid much fanfare and shouting and flash bulbs.
It was while having the prodigious feast that I started scratching my neck. By the time I had reached the middle of the feast, I had to discontinue the eating business and get on earnestly with the scratching business. My bride sitting beside me was bemused by my new- found passion. Couple of well-decked good looking teenagers sitting in the opposite row had started giggling. Now I was scratching away quite unashamedly!
It’s allergy! My uncle, who was a medical practitioner, seemed to understand the reason behind my not so acceptable behaviour. He quickly got me to a private room adjacent to the dining hall and sent the waiter with a prescription. My upper garments came off, so did my chain, glasses and watch. They agreed to keep the ring, however. My inflamed body had swollen up in places including my face and neck. My near tears bride was ushered in with assurances. One look at me and her pretty eyes nearly popped out if their sockets. I tried to smile but I don’t know quite how it looked.
It took a while to get my allergic manifestations to subside. The antihistamine administered gave me a good sleep. When I finally got up, the swellings had subsided, so had the marriage crowd. By the time my newly married wife was in jitters. We were whisked away to my ancestral home for the night. We reached there without further misfortune.
As the night approached the traditional yet so unique first night was about be staged. To accentuate the romantic air, some of my creative cousins had decorated the wedding suit with floral arrangements, mellowed down music and dimmed lights. The last one was not part of the organized scheme. It was more because of severe shortage of energy. The master bed was covered by a floral canopy and the bed was strewn by jasmine buds.
I was first led hearing some of the lewd jokes and pertinent suggestions contributed by all knowing cousins for whom the experience I was about face was long over. As for me it was a bit tormenting. You can’t possibly imagine what fear a closed door can invoke! What would she be like in our exclusive company? Would she laugh at me for the allergic manifestations earlier? Would she show some anomaly that was well covered by her glittering sari? I was absentmindedly biting my nails when she entered with the conventional glass of milk that is so much part of a Nair bride on the wedding night. I started and turned around slowly feeling very conscious. I was somewhat comforted to notice her weary look. I forgot my uneasiness and patted her shoulders as I would pet a dog. I really didn’t know what to do. Suddenly my tongue just wouldn’t move. My throat felt dry as it should according to the hurried education in these sorts of things given by Balu, one of my cousins. We looked a sight. Two clumsy individuals!
The moment passed. I found my tongue at last. I suggested we should sit on the bed. She readily complied. Earlier, I had removed every jasmine bud spread on the bed spread fearing another allergy attack. The cot creaked not so reassuringly. She extended the glass of milk looking at me out of the corner of her eyes. All shy! Hmmm, I thought. In my pretension of nonchalance, I gulped the milk down. But I choked on it, a spree of cough followed. The more I tried to subdue it, the more aggressive it became. My bride was up and looked at me with her bulging eyes. I don’t know what emotion was prevalent in her eyes at that time, but romance was the last thing there. I tried to assure her with a gesture of my hand. I got it under control eventually.
There was a long stretch of silence. Then I started laughing. My bride joined after a pause. The tension melted and we giggled like two teens. We held each other’s hand and there was an un-describable closeness at that time between us.
We talked at length. In subdued tone, still very conscious, we talked about this and that, I looking at her face she taking fleeting looks at mine. It must have gone on for some time, only when she stated to yawn I realized the need to sleep. I switched the light off and went to the bed, got under the canopy and pulled the sheet over. The swish of the fan was loud, but my heart pounded louder. Now what should I do? Should we do it now? Shouldn’t we? If I proceeded, would she think I was an impatient wild brute? If not, will I be judged an impotent? Or worse, a gay! You don’t know how extreme thoughts could be when you think alone under a loud fan and a quiet bride beside.
Finally I summoned courage and turned to her and was about to hug her when I realized she had gone to sleep. I could hear her even smooth breathing. I understood the tension she must have gone through. I longed to hold her close, but I feared it would wake her up. So I lay on my back as close to her and looked up at the patterns on the wooden ceiling faintly visible in the moonlight coming through the window. I must have lain like that for a long time before sleep angel brushed my eyes shut.
I jumped up. There was a heavy thing on my chest. After ruling out all the possibilities included an aerial attack or worse a terrorist attack, I knew the reason. One of the bed posts had given way under the weight of the copious flower decoration on top. Luckily only one side had come down. My spouse was spared. I gingerly got up, woke my wife up. She started! She was appraised of the situation in hushed tones. Having extracted a pair of cushions from the Diwan, we lay on the floor each one to one’s own thoughts. In two hours I woke up groggy. I was alone!
The worse was to come. All gave me knowing looks. My nieces in teens giggled when they saw me. Even my mom gave me a reproving look! As if I had done something wrong. I didn’t even touch my wife. Not exactly, but nothing other than touching! My wife was grinning mischievously too. She didn’t look her awkward self any longer. I was working up. My dad patted my back and gave me a look which seemed to say it happens sometimes. I gave up and smiled smugly. Who cares?