The mayhem had reached a peak. Dad had flown in a couple of days ago, and had expected to be on the road right away with the wedding invitations. He was in for a shock! The cards were not ready, and it was less than a month to the wedding.
Of course, the onus was on me and Mom, and we had to explain exactly how it was that we had not been able to manage this. I huffed and puffed, and told him that he’s welcome to it, and that’s how it became my Dad’s problem.
Now something about my Dad – he does not get angry often, but when he does…lets just say it’s best not to be there at the time. He was on the phone with the owner of the card shop, and I knew he had lost it when I heard him yelling on the phone crystal clear – and I wasn’t even in the house at the time. Dad seriously escalated the issue – the owner’s Dad and Dadaji were called, future orders were cancelled. Chaos. Noise. Serous threats.
The cards arrived the next afternoon.
But the boxes that the cards had to be fitted in didn’t. We were losing precious time at this point, so Mom improvised. She bought a few ‘potlis’ and filled them up with badam and misri. By evening, we were ready to distribute at least some of the cards.
The first card had to go to Ganesha ji, as is the custom. I remember this day very well. It was just the four of us – Dad, Mom, me and my brother. We went to the local Ganesha temple that evening. The short drive there felt surreal.
The taste in my mouth was like sawdust. I remember being very conscious of this fact. I remember all of us taking off our shoes, remember walking in. Remember facing the deity, wedding card and the box of sweets we had gotten as a Prasad offering in hand. The whole family touched the card. And then Mom told the priest why we were here. I remember his smile. I remember Mom pushing me forward, and I remember handing over my card to the priest who took it to Him. I remember the sight of my humble little card at the feet of my favorite deity. I remember shutting my eyes, and the world. I remember my dialogue with Him. I was a bride at his doorstep. And then I remember turning around to find my little family – everyone’s eyes tight shut, I could feel the love radiating out from them. I could feel the touch of blessings as they ascended. There are a few moments in life you hold on to. This was one of them. The sawdust taste had turned into the sweetest sugar I had known.
It all happened in a moment, but it was a lifetime I lived right there. We walked out of the temple, and on to the next shopping expedition, but something significant had happened that day. The first card was out. The Gods had been invited.
The boxes arrived in a couple of days. The entire family worked like a factory to fill them up, place the cards in them and label them. A lot of them were couriered. The others were distributed over the course of the next couple of days. The last card reached its destination just a week before the first event.
And so ends the story of the cards. It was a rollercoaster. But it was worth it. Months of hard work went into it. Everyone’s ideas, everyone’s love. Everyone’s names as well – my entire extended family found a mention. It was the best experience to hold in my hand the reality of months of drawings, the reality of a love story that transcended a decade. We truly were heading to the mandap!