The wedding in my previous entry was all I had hoped for, and more. This occassion has provided me with fodder to nourish my solitude for more hours than I care to log!
There is no subsitute for the amazement I feel at discovering how little people's impressions have changed. I've always prided myself on being forever attuned to the passage of time, and that I have grown so far away from my 20 year self, that she no longer even speaks to me.
However, meeting family who remember that 20 year self, and address me thus, reassures me that the timeless self prevails, and what is more, is recognized more than I realize.
There are too many details to ennumerate, both large and small. For instance, there was the lunch on the day we reached, just before we got our hands decorated with henna. I don't remember what we all talked about or laughed at, but it was trivial, similar to all we've talked of and laughed at in the past, and comforting like the diurnal cycle, with the certitude that we shall, all of us, talk of and laugh at the same things until a'the seas gang dry, and the rocks will melt wi'the sun.
One thing that was missing in this wedding was the nervousness of the bride and groom, who were very comfortable with each other and their families, and genuinely enjoyed each part of their wedding: they did not seem distracted, over-extended or stressed at all. In previous weddings, the bride and groom were always separate, so isolated within their immediate families and demanding ceremonies, that the attendees were often left on the peripheries, socializing among themselves.
However, in this wedding, even though we all were unbelieving and ecstatic at meeting everyone else, all the festivities revolved around the couple, who were at the centre of all the action and excitement. They sang and danced with abandon, infecting everyone with their very obvious joy. We were all treated to a different, exuberant side of my quiet, philosophical cousin; I have captured him spinning on the axis of his friend's hands, laughing uproariously with his head thrown back, comfortable in his wedding finery. I shall keep that image as a prototype of a good wedding celebration.
I had also mentioned in my previous entry, the importance of having my daughter with me, whose excitement I was counting on to kindle the magic of weddings, and I was not disappointed. Contrary to my expectations, she chose to wrap herself in a heavy silk sari for the ceremony, and conducted herself with marvelous grace in it! She didn't mince her steps, but danced exuberantly; she didn't keep adjusting the palloo, but used the passing breeze to make it dance with her; she didn't make the sari seem cumbersome for her slight frame, but used it to reinforce her confidence in her self and feminity.
Neither did she use this occassion only to dress up. She, along with her cousins and newly made friends (whom, I am sure we are related to, just not sure how), actively participated in the festivities, even when it involved no dancing. For instance, during the actual wedding, she arranged herself in the front aisle, with various generations and branches of our family, to better witness the proceedings, bullying her cousin to take pictures of important parts she might otherwise miss. At one point, we could all hear my teen sigh audibly and follow the sigh with a long-drawn "awwww!" at the "cuteness" of it all.
Now, after a few weeks, the honeymoon is over and we are valiantly trying to get used to our mundane realities; but the pictures have just been uploaded and there are requests bordering on demands for missing moments & dvd's, and a burst of comments and exclamations over the visible ones, making us all re-live the wonderful weekend we all spent together so long ago, just a few minutes past.
What can I say? These are fragments I have shored against my ruin.