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A crash course on crying at weddings? Yes! Check out these classes that reinforce this ridiculous expectation from a bride and the ‘ladkiwale’!
The other day, I got a forwarded message on WhatsApp. I had a good laugh going through this image.
I do not know about the authenticity of the news but Google came up with a few links related to this crash course on crying. You can check it out and thank me later for a ROFL moment! While I marvel at the entrepreneurship skills of that lady who came up with such an innovative course, I am thinking about my wedding day and ‘Vidaai’.
Yours truly got married in the year 2015. Let me tell you about the years before my marriage. I started staying on my own since I was twenty-two. The first time when I left my home to go to the college hostel, I cried my heart out. Being the only child of my parents, I was a pampered and overprotected kid. Staying on my own was a liberating yet frightening thought.
My parents were unhappy too. How was their kid going to survive on the hostel mess food? I still remember my mother requesting the hostel warden to keep an eye on me as I was going to stay away from home for the first time. In many ways, I guess that was my actual Vidaai, back in August 2009.
November 26, 2015. In the midst of various rituals and hordes of relatives, I was being ushered into a decorated car. As a newlywed bride leaving her home, I was expected to shed tears. My father was busy ensuring that the ceremony went off smoothly and was nowhere in sight. I could see my mother’s moist eyes. And I could feel a dozen pairs of eyes searching my face for a tinge of sadness.
Well, I have never been great at displaying my emotions in front of others. After six years of staying on my own, this moment felt like one of those innumerable instances when my parents saw me off at the airport or the railway station. Only this time, there were too many faces waving goodbye and I was decked in bridal wear. I was definitely sad because my mother became sad at that moment. “I will see you tomorrow during the wedding reception,” I whispered to her with dry eyes. She nodded.
While that intimate moment was between a mother and her daughter, it got scrutinized by many.
“I heard that you didn’t cry during the Vidaai? It seems that you are so happy to get away from your parents!” I was being judged by a neighbourhood aunt during one of my visits to my parents.
“I cried a lot during my first Vidaai in 2009, had no tears left for this time!” I winked, trying not to laugh at her expression.
P.S.: This post would be incomplete without listening to Enrique’s song Love to See You Cry. I am imagining my neighbourhood aunt singing the first few lines of this song while seeing off a bride! There are thousands of such aunts who think that a girl with dry eyes during her Vidaai loves her parents lesser than a girl who sheds tears. It is the time to stop such conventional assumptions and judgements. A bride is free to express what she feels at that moment- cry or smile at her Vidaai, armed with the knowledge that a marriage does not mean cutting off relationships, rather adopting new ones.
Published here earlier.