Friday, December 23, 2011

Rewinding the reel....

This entry is a part of BlogAdda contests in association with

It was only yesterday. Or was it ? Memories came thick and fast. Some vivid, some hazy. Like smoke; only to fade away into thin air. Disappear and yet be present somewhere in the background. 

Boredom does strange things to people; it revived the nostalgia for us. In a fit of boredom and in the lap of an empty nest, my husband and I viewed our marriage videocassette after two decades. Even though it was converted into a CD by our son, we had restrained from viewing it. Why, I am not sure. Perhaps due to an unfortunate incident which followed our marriage. So when the husband said, "It will be an adventure, lets  hold hands and watch the CD together," I was game.

I prefer to close doors on bad memories or shove them under a veil of assumed amnesia. My husband however, believes that suffering and pain are healers. If they are dealt with effectively, they cleanse our subconscious and make us happy. No wonder he enjoys listening to ‘sad songs' by Rafi,. Yes, even when all is well and the sun is shining brightly. It makes him happy. How, I don’t know. I however, do not prescribe to his philosophy and avoid going down those painful lanes.

Even though I had viewed our marriage photographs taken with the Fuji camera several times, watching the  marriage proceedings  in action was an emotional roller coaster. It evoked countless memories. If you’re a woman, then the first thing you notice in your old picture is your appearance. Given a choice, I would never wear the same heavy dress which did nothing to accentuate the figure of a young bride. The next shocker was the make-up! It was hardly there. And whatever was there was 'puraane zamaane ka'. My two aunts had painstakingly festooned my forehead with multicolored dots. And the huge nose ring? I could have walked straight out of Jodha Akbar’s set. Arghh…it had hurt so much. Not to mention the crimson shade my nose had acquired. 

Immediately after the self-flagellation, I embarked on a self- admiration soiree. The kohl lined almonds with thick lashes sans mascara looked mesmerizing.  Why do eyes shrink with age? Damn, the wrinkles! Why do they have to show up uninvited? Why doesn’t the waist-line retain its slender glory? The ravages of time are unsparing. Not even if we are ‘worth it’.

It was amusing to watch my friends and cousins fussing around me, hovering like mother hens. Why the fuss? I was perfectly confident of holding my twenty kg lehnga on a forty five kg frame. Then I started recalling  old acquaintances,  “Did you see her? She was my college friend? Did you see that uncle? He was our neighbor.” I felt my throat tighten instinctively as I saw my grandmother sitting pristine in white, watching all the proceedings without a hint of tiredness. Also, I couldn’t help but ache as I noticed that in a matter of two decades my own mother has aged considerably. In the pictures she appeared gorgeous, nattily managing the guests in her stilettos. And only yesterday, she was complaining of knee pain. 

Then I saw my smiling dad welcoming the baaratis.  Promptly my eyes welled-up and a stab of pain went down the heart. Why do people leave never to return? Not even once! Just for that warm reassuring hug? Watching him on the television in that moment, I could almost picture him entering my living room and caressing my head.

From the corner of my moist eyes, I noticed that my husband was looking at his own father rather wistfully. “You are lucky”, he said. “You have your mother; I lost both of them.” In the pictures on television however, the groom dressed in a white achkan was laughing and jesting with his office colleagues. He appeared happy enough for the entire state of Delhi. Why doesn’t he laugh as often? But then, who am I to complain.  Even I don’t giggle anymore. 

We suddenly fell into silence. To lighten the mood the husband playfully remarked, “It was such an important event. Why wasn’t our son present at our wedding?’
“If he was there that day, perhaps you wouldn’t have agreed to marry me in the first place.”

And we both laughed. 
The adventure turned out to be a miracle.Why? Because that day I learned to overcome my grief of two decades.

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  1. Lovely post Alka! I too can relate to most of the things and felt going down the memory lane as I too got our video cassette converted into a DVD and watched some time ago!

  2. Oh yes how can you.. you did not invite your son to the wedding oh my :) he he he he

    Hmmm how do you get the cassettes to DVD .. YEah i know a Dumb question I have visited india a few times and I want them on DVD as all memories are in there ..

    Merry christmas to you and everyone at home ..
    A very happy new year to you and family and everyone

    Take care :)


  3. I liked the "why wasn't our son present" line a lot :P :P. And the vivid description of bride as it used to be. You were 45 when you got married ? OMG !!

    Even though, I have both my parents with me and am too young to understand the complex interplay of emotions that come up at the time of marriage- not to mention that females have a whole different range of them all- but I do agree with Sir's point of view. Subconscious has to be free of backlogs.

    Sadly my parents do not have a video recording of their marriage- would have been difficult to manage in early 70s I guess. But as my mother remarks, father looked pretty handsome back then :P

    Merry christmas to you too :) Will wish for New years seperately :P

  4. Alka,

    You took me back on memory lane. Your last lines brought a hearty laugh. It is so nice to remember those good old days. We can only see our wedding album as those days there was no videography.

    Take care

  5. I do not know how I will react to seeing my marriage CDs after 20 years of marriage but I do not like my lehnga and make up even today :) :)

    Merry Christmas Alka and have a great New year :)

  6. lovely.. merry Christmas !

    Weakest LINK

  7. that sure must have been a lovely bonding walk down memory lane... beautifully narrated..

  8. You made me smile.A nice post laced with humour and lot of truth

  9. @Rahul...:)

    @Bikram...Yahan sab jugaad ka kaam ho jaata hai...any corner shop guy will do it for you. If possible send it to me, I will get it done for u.

    @Mishraaji..This comment of yours is straight from the heart....and it went right there straight to mine. God Bless you and your lovely parents.

  10. @Jack....I am glad u liked it.

    @Purvi...Typical girlie thing.


    @Mr Parthasarthy...I am glad you liked it.Happy holidays.

  11. I can completely understand what you saying.I think we watched our wedding video within the first year of marriage :) but haven't revisited it since. I do, however, browse through my wedding album often, and I always linger on my mom who died just 4 months after my marriage, and it feels so bittersweet. I did an album that is a collection of photos on FB on my 10th anniversary last year. That felt very nostalgic. I feel very sorry for your husband who lost both parents and you for having lost your father. Only those who lose their parents know the pain of it!

  12. Ohh I yakked so much on my wedding that the photographer had to shut me up to click the pics.
    And I screamed at the video camera guys when they shoved the camera on my face during my bidai.


    The video with me and the hubs popping out of flowers are trees is verry cringe-worthy!

  13. That was one sweet post, not only laced with nostalgia but also with love and humour. Unfortunately when we had got married there were not videos but only black and white photographs. We both have not sat together to see it for several years now. The post reminded me of the good old days. thanks. And a merry Christmas to you.

  14. a write up good enough to help many identify with it--enough to bring tears!!!....

  15. Down memory lane! Alas, time flies in only one direction :-)

  16. Even though I am not married, I can relate to what you are saying. My mum always complains of, how no one told her that her jewelry was all over the place and there is always looking at those who are not there.
    My mum's younger sister passed away within a couple of months of her marriage. And, I can imagine what she must be feeling everytime she sees her in the pictures, looking all happy at the elder sister's wedding!

    Merry Christmas :)

  17. @Rachna....Thanks dear, a heartfelt comment.

    @Purba...You screamed at the camera guy...ha, ha. They sure are irritating.
    Esp when they zoom on your face while eating.

    @Zephyr...:) Black and white pics are as special.

  18. @Beenu...Finally...Yayy...This is the most valuable comment and by the way you looked awesome on that day, two decades ago. Muah.


    @Sakshi....When we look at our old pics, we often cringe, hai na? Fashion and trends change ....but the memories are special. Merry Christmas dear.

  19. this was such a sweet post :) Merry Christmas and a happy new year to your entire family :)

  20. sorry for commenting so late, wedding memories.somehow females never get over it. but then i am not married either ;) about the mr rafi thing, its a GUY thing

  21. Some memories linger on, especially of those whom we love most.
    But is best to move on and carry on with life with the memories just lingering in a corner of our mind, without effecting others.

  22. This is such a beautiful...beautiful post!
    You made me think of my mother, my granny, my father and the rest of the jing bang at my wedding...

    and 45kgs, my god would have been such a head turner:-)I am feeling so warm and nice reading this...really touched my heart:-)

    can we see a picture of that beautiful bride with almond eyes, if not the video?:-)

  23. @Sawan...Thank you for spending time here.

    @Madhav...After being exposed to Rafi repeatedly even I have developed a liking for it.


    @Suruchi....I am five feet nothing so the weight is justified.Will send you the pic separately.Muaaah!

  24. such a sweet post:)
    Memories definitely are something

  25. that's such a sweet post :D beautiful memories :D

  26. beautiful memories.. and so true!
    I can relate!
    I wish we cud rewind the life same way ..But thTS the reality!
    belated merry Christmas and lovely ..NEW YEAR!

  27. 20 years of happy married life is no joke, you are entitled to few laughs and tears

  28. @Tarunima...:)

    @Rajlakshmi...:) Tnks

    @Harman...I knew you would....:)

    @Pestosauce....Very well said..thanks indeed.

  29. Once I told my cousin's son that his parents don't love him and that's the reason they locked him inside the bedroom on their wedding day. Poor kid believed me and he used to cry a lot for many months.

    What you feel after 20 years, I feel now. We don't laugh or giggle, life has so dull these days. Boredom do evoke some serious emotions...

    BTW, your son would have enjoyed that time travel:)

  30. The past is like a series of dreams you have irreversibly woken up from. It will fill your heart with yearning, love, mirth and pain. There could be cinders in that ash of time too.

  31. I think that I am like your husband in the sense of wishing to look back at suffering and sad times, then I can overcome them better. And I like sad songs too!

    May be we (I and my wife) should also do it, to look at our old video!

  32. @umashankar....You are so beautifully poetic in your prose...even while commenting.

    @Sunil deepak....Ha, it. It does stir up nostalgia. Thanks for reading.

  33. I don't have any recordings of my registered marriage....I can only visualize what all had happened... :)

    Laughter, parents, those all becomes hazy with time...I don't like seeing my mom and dad getting older with age, whenever I visit them I go in a denial..

    This was a brilliant read Alka, and it's amazing to get to know the personal side of yours....


  34. You are beautiful!!! <3

    I don't know what to say, the nostalgia of yours, I am yet to experience...Nose ring!! No, No! I won't ;)

    not the giggles but may the laughter and smiles of yours last forever :)

  35. A very beautiful post. I loved the walk down your memory lane. All the very best for the contest! :)

  36. A lovely post, so different form the ones i have read. And hearty congratulations on bagging the first prize!

  37. Made me completely nostalgic. Our 10th anniv was few days back. After I red your post, I realised, I haven't seen mine in 10 yrs..OMG. Do I dare to? I don't know. I could relate to each and every line that you wrote. I think every girl does.

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