It’s finally over!!!!!!!!!
Pardon the euphoria, but the big shopping is finally over. We have shopped for the wedding and the engagement saris and they now proudly occupy the top shelves of my mum’s cupboard.
Let me recount the incidents of the day chronologically. My day started before sun rise as I had to go to the Central station to pick up mum’s sisters who were coming to shop for the saris. My mum’s elder and younger sisters came on time at 6.35 AM, so you can imagine how early I had to rise. : (
Anyway the entourage was still incomplete with mum, dad, 2 aunts as yet another aunt was to join us as mentioned earlier. This is the wife of my mum’s younger brother. So another pick up was done by me and finally at 10.30 we were ready to go. Thankfully and mercifully we had hired a cab, a Qualis that seated 7 excluding the driver comfortably. So with a lot of mixed emotions I sat in the front seat and navigated to D’s house.
D and her household had worked out several permutations and combinations with their furniture to work out the best possible seating arrangements for us. So when we reached I saw the same sofa lying in the same position, made me wonder what all the fuss was about.
Anyway after the customary exchange of pleasantries mum borrowed a tray to give them some fruits and sweets as is the custom. I never knew that you borrowed plates for that till then. So we sat down into the much arranged and rearranged furniture when we were offered a lot of munchies which I declined as I was not too keen (surprisingly!). And after mum and me declined coffee (I drink coffe/tea only on business trips on compulsion, else I generally decline, mum avoids them altogether). The other chose between coffee and juice. I was waiting for my juice, but they FORGOT me!!!! I waited patiently trying my best to politely indicate to D that I was thirsty. But as she was made to sit next to me and trying to act coy and demure she chose to stare at the floor.
So as is the norm I texted her though she was next to me, (I thought a nudge would be impolite) and waited for her reaction. Unhappily for me nothing happened. So my people rose to leave with me still parched. Then I loudly asked her if she was carrying her cell. That made her scurry to her room where she saw the phone and my waiting text message and made her come and apologize. Finally I got my drink. In between this the chief culprit my darling sister (now she will be officially my sis in law), who forgot to give me my juice came up and we all wished her for her birthday.
After I finished my drink I announced that I’m ready to go. I had already threatened D that she would drive with me in the cab, but she refused as she did not know what would be her parent’s reactions. So when we came down to the cab, D’s folks announced they would take their car and follow us. Then D’s mum (bless her) told her firmly to ride in the cab with us. So with a big smile on my face we set off.
We were followed by D’s folks in their car, a white Maruthi 800 that had the words “Dirty harry” proudly written on it. Now these words may aptly describe my car in its current state, but I was educated by D that Dirty Harry is the name of some character in an old western movie. So there you go.
There was a lot of banter in the cab, the women folk in my family have a lot of humour in them and they are always needling each other. They have a term in Tamil for it called “Coimbatore Kusumbu”, unfortunately no English translation would do justice to it, and so we can call it CK for convenience. But the fact is they are always ready to needle each other. My dad assumed the job of the navigator and our driver was not very knowledgeable about the many options to reach T. Nagar. As the usual NM Road was chocked with traffic I suggested a detour, the driver took the wrong turn and we went on a long ride. To cut a long story short after a couple of wrong turns, one bribe of 50 bucks for violating a No Entry sign and a humungous traffic jam near the Kodambakkam bridge we finally reached our destination Pothys a big clothing store in T. Nagar.
Now let me detract to tell you that the venue was predetermined by mum who was advised to the effect by our neighbour. Personally I was not keen but mum had made up her mind. D had set her heart on shopping in Kumaran, another shop of repute nearby but as she did not want to adopt a confrontational attitude she accepted mum’s choice.
So it was Pothys and we were guided to the floor where the silks were housed. It was an impressive room with a huge collection of colourful silk saris. So after telling the shop assistant our range we were shown a few saris to start. The shop assistant then asked if we had any colour preference. I had decided before hand that the colour theme for the wedding will be Dark Blue and Silver. Now blue has always been a favorite colour of mine and silver was better than white which would have been very common. So blue and silver it was and we asked for blue and silver.
Now this colour theme is something that neither my folks, nor her folks nor the shop assistants could understand a colour theme. We were flooded with so many shades of green and the shop assistants (can we call them SA for short? ) were trying their best to convince them that they were blue. Now as mentioned before I cant discern colours but I was seeing all red, I was furious that these SA’s could be so colour blind. They asked us for a shade indicator and sadly none of our entourage had anything remotely close to dark blue.
After a while the women started trying out different options and tried to talk D out of her colour fixation. With all credit to D (she is an absolute sweetheart), she stood her ground. I lost my patience and with drew to a corner and amused myself watching the video shoot going on in the shop for some TV show I assume. Finally they managed to come shortlist a couple of saris and D was asked to model them in from of a long mirror which she did and we rejected both. Finally after much searching and discussion the now unfriendly SA’s gave a couple of saris as the best possible options. One of them I can vouch despite my colour blindness was something that looked brown, but every body said it was BLUE. Another was blue, a bright blue that looked very pretty. D looked good in both so when I was asked for the verdict I chose the blue I could recognize.
In the midst of all this the ladies retreated to another corner and quietly chose the engagement sari which was almost half the price of the wedding sari without mentioning it to D or her folks. The entire process took 15 minutes while the wedding sari took the best part of 2 hours. This sari is in the pink family I think, though I’m sure the ladies may have their own opinion on it.
After this success we decided to break for lunch, as the vegetarians were comprehensively outvoted by the non vegans by 2 to 7 we went to Anjappar the famed eatery where everything that walks, floats or flies are served on a platter, well almost. After a gastronomical escapade we again decided to check for my suits on an impulse. So we descended the restaurant in the rain which had started. (I think it rained because I had idlis for breakfast, I hate them). So we went to a small shop in Challa mall (more details in an earlier post). We saw a few designs that impressed D’s folks and most of mine except for mum’s elder sis. So we took the card and left. It was decided that we would part with D and family as we had more shopping to do, so we said bye and headed back to Pothys.
Amazingly in the next 30 minutes the ladies selected 1 salwar and 8 saris that had to be given to our relatives including the shoppers. So after all the shopping we finally decided we were through with Pothys. While this was happening dad and me decided to check for suits for me in Pothys, but we were put off by the indifferent staff and we decide against it. Not that Potys had a a slecetion of note anyway.
D meanwhile wanted to be around for the thali shopping which was the next in the agenda. Mum agreed to it and so she packed off her dad in their car and she and her mum joined us in Pothys. Trouble was brewing as my aunt pointed out that the bride will not be around when the thali is bought and she will only cast her eys on it before the wedding. Crazy as it sounds it is supposedly the custom. Dad agreed and I was caught between the devil and the deep sea, ok my folks and D if you should please.
Anyway a long meeting took place between D, her mum, my mum and my aunt about the thali. D was not happy with the current chunky design that was being sported by the ladies. She wanted a light and trendy chain to which my folks objected. The compromise was arrived at where it was decided that the thali (technically a medallion) will be bought by us. The supporting chain will be bought by D as per her choice and we will buy a necklace for the equivalent value. D again stuck to her ground and I was told that even her mum could not dissuade her. Based on the compromise we again left. D and her mum took leave with some relief.
My take on the entire issue is that we can do away with the thali. I felt that it was grossly chauvinistic to make the woman wear signs of marriage while the man is not constrained to wear any. I only want both of us to have identical wedding bands as the sign of marriage, but D would have none of it. In fact we were taught by a priest that external signs of marriage are not actually prescribed by the church and we can do away with it. But try telling that to D, my folks and her folks!
So then we bought a necklace for D and a pair of matching earrings. We finally reached home tired. But my day did not end till I had to drop back my aunts who had to leave the same night back to Coimbatore.
It was a long day and this post will give you a fair idea of what happened. It is finally over and now my folks are now getting ready to start the marriage work with a vengeance. I await for my aunts comments and feedback but that will be another post. Till then wish me luck!!!!!!!!!11