A Fast for Love

karwa-chauth-celebration

Karva Chauth has always been lavishly celebrated between A and I  since years now. All through university, we have been doing all the filmy stuff – secret fasts, bangles, bindis and mehendi a day before, dressing up traditionally the day of, A coming to see me secretly as the moon rose, or at times, handing me a Mars bar and a bottle of water to break my fast in case he wasn’t able to come…. Breaking the fast at night, and asking for a long and healthy love with this boy that I have been gifted by Above. 😀

(I’m in a very romantic mood today, in case it is not obvious :p)

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How I found my Sagan Outfit

For the Sagan ceremony, I had my heart set on the famous Katrina lehenga. I even loved the colours that it originally came in – shell pink with cream and silver.

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I had conveyed this request to the in-laws because they were the ones who were getting me the outfit. However, I was a wee bit disappointed to see just how famous that lehenga had gotten!! Replicas were everywhere, and so the originality factor was zero.   

So I made up my mind to have a look at what was out there. The family took me out shopping last week on Navmi: A, Mom-in-law, Dad-in-law and me, their “to-be daughter in law”, and off we went to Karol Bagh. At this point, I was thinking about one-piece dresses, but continued to keep the Katrina lehenga as a back—up. 

The first few stores we visited had only lehengas and saris – no dresses, and so we walked out. After leaving the 3rd shop empty handed I started to feel a little conscious of the fact that I had my in-laws with me, and I really didn’t want to seem like a demanding girl. However, I really didn’t want to compromise on the dress either!

We stopped my shopping for a bit because we came across Gujrals. A’s and my father-in law’s Sagan outfits were selected here. As we left the shop and were walking around, the clouds gathered, and it started raining, quite heavily.  We ran to the nearest store – guided by A, and it turned out to be Frontier (smiles, smiles).

Here I found what I was looking for! And it was not the Katrina lehenga. After trying on about 6 – 7 dresses, I finally chose a beautiful, floaty net one in rose pink. It had delicate antique work all over the bodice reaching down, and had a huge ‘ghera’.  I felt like a princess wearing it!

Since it was being made-to-order, I got the colour changed to red. The wedding lehenga is a riot of colours but has fuchsia as it’s base, so I did not want to repeat the pink factor here.  Stonework changes to red from pink, and everything else remains the same.

When they heard that I needed the delivery in just about 3 weeks, the shop assistants balked and said the delivery could not be completed on time. Thankfully, a bit (or rather quite a lot) of coaxing changed their minds, and my measurements were taken.

The delivery date is set for 2 days before the Sagan – can’t wait to see how it turns out! Shopping for this outfit turned out to be a memorable experience – the romance of the rainy weather was perfect, and it was like Frontier just beckoned – thankfully, I heeded!

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P.S – shopping with your in-laws is the best way to break the ice and get more comfortable! Bonding over kulfi at Roshans’ really helped me settle down 🙂

 

 

The Hunt for the Wedding Lehenga

I always had this secret doubt about wedding lehenga shopping: that I would not fall in love with a lehenga, and would have to compromise on what I would be wearing at the wedding.

Thankfully, thankfully, I now know what it is like to fall in love with your wedding lehenga!

I would like to thank peachesandblush and thedelhibride, through whom I came to know of Om Prakash Jawahar Lal in Chandni Chowk.

So how does one fall in love with a lehenga? It is a mixture of love at first sight and love at first trial. When we sat upstairs in the shop on the white cotton mattresses, there were heaps of lehengas lying all around – and they were all awesome. I had a huge grin on my face because I just knew that something WILL click here. Before here, and after as well, I had seen other lehengas – all the same: net with zari or stonework with satin or something similar underneath. Blah!

I also had reservations with the colour red. First of all – too common; second – I felt like a red lehenga would age me. Shades of pink suit me and “my” colour has always been fuchsia, so it was expected that the heaps of pink would catch my eye.  I remember excitedly looking around and I couldn’t wait to have all these awesome lehengas shown to me.

Finally we were settled, and the lehengas were brought out. Out of the ones that were shown to me, I selected about 5 that were put aside, which were then draped on me by the shop assistants. The first one I had chosen turned out to be extremely heavy, and so I put that aside. The other few were good but not great, and so I sat back down.

There was this one particular lehenga that I had glanced over but not selected. My Mom asked for that to be shown. In the meantime, I spied this gorgeous chunni in a very unique colour sitting in a heap and so I asked for that. It turned out that the chunni was for the lehenga that my Mom had asked for. When it was draped on me, it looked awesome! But due to the unique colour of the chunni, it did not look bridal. The problem was solved by the double dupatta drape – bridal colour on head, and the splash of colour on my shoulder. I had secretly wanted a double dupatta lehenga, so it all fit right into place and when the draping was completed on me, I beamed – here was my very unique, very pretty lehenga I was looking for: I had finally found it!

After falling in love with the piece, we actually left without ordering it because I felt like I hadn’t seen enough options. However, your first love always has a special place in your heart. I did look around some more, but the uniqueness of that lehenga was unmatched, and so I went back after 5 days to order it.

I almost had a heart attack when I was told that I was too late to order it now and that their workers would not be able to complete it on time. However, the shop owner soon persuaded them, and my lehenga delivery date is now set for 3 days before the wedding. We are cutting it really close at this point, but that’s what happens when you walk in to order your bridal lehenga less than a month before the wedding.

I can’t wait to pick up the lehenga and say “Welcome home!”

Wedding Prep on Steroids

The last week has gone by in a blur. Internet was not set up at home, so I was unable to post before this, but here is a quick update on the progress:

 

Day 1: We were severely jetlagged, but we gathered our strength and went to Chandni Chowk to finalize the wedding invites. The box and the invite leaves were worked on. There is no bigger shock to your system than going from Toronto to Chandni Chowk in a matter of 24 hours. They actually have ‘people’ jams there!!

Also – thank goodness for the Metro. A distance that would have usually us over an hour to cover took us 20 minutes. This is also the day that I first went to Om Prakash Jawahar Lal. Will dedicate a whole post to this. 

 

Day 2: I went off to check out salons on this day. Since the wedding is in Noida, I do not want to book a salon too far from there, so I visited all the salons in the Sector 18 area. So far, Looks salon seems to have really good makeup – I will probably book that for the wedding makeup and book Lakme for the pre-bridal.

After that, A and I went off to Lajpat Nagar to look for Sagan outfits. However, we ended up just roaming around hand in hand like lovesick teenagers :p

It was awesome to be dating again in Delhi, though to be fair, I did check out a few stores. Didn’t like anything I saw though. Still, it was awesome having roadside ‘tikki’ after so long. I was trying to keep away from the gol gappas because I did not want to fall sick. When I felt my self control flagging, A literally picked me up and took me away from the chaatwala J. I also checked out the designs the mehendi vallas had for bridal mehendi here. Thankfully, the design I am looking for was easily available. I love the baraat and doli scenes in mehendi! Also checked out Vidya Tikari, but was not super impressed.

 

Day 3 and 4: We were off to Punjab on these 2 days. Went shopping there for the Sagan gifts. I also bought my mehendi lehenga from there – it’s mehendi green in colour, just what I had in mind, so how could I not pick it up J. My chooda and kaliras were also bought. I am not allowed to see the chooda till it is actually on me – dying to see it! This was a fun trip – total Namaste London vibe – and the dhaaba food was deeeelish!

 

Day 5: Back in Delhi – went jewelry shopping on this day – for both me and for gifting purposes to my in-laws. Mom also bought other stuff like chaandi ki thaali for the tilak ceremony. After that, I was actually able to get some street shopping done. Got myself some comfy harems and a jodhpur trouser.

 

Day 6: Lehenga shopping day. Separate post coming soon.

 

Day 7: Today. Will likely go for Sagan shopping again.

 

Still looking for floral jewelry – why is it so hard to find in Delhi??

 

 

 

 

 

Delhi- First Impressions

Landed last night after a comfy flight.
First impressions of Delhi after 4 years? Yay for all the developments, boo for the traffic. Despite all the changes, it is supremely familiar and remains the Delhi of my heart.

Best moment of last night- running straight into A’s arms! God it felt like we were apart an age, though it had been just 2 weeks.

We’re off to finalize cards today and probably start the lehenga hunt. Hope I’m able to fight the jetlag.

…And Here We Go!

I have been missing from the blog these last couple of weeks. That is because I had been going crazy at work trying to finish up my projects – I was working longer hours AND weekends! I had just enough energy to come home and collapse on my bed. However, the trade-off is that I get 7 weeks vacation, so no complaints.

I leave tomorrow for Delhi 🙂

Good old Delhi – how I missed you! I’ll be landing there after four whole years so it will be quite a change for sure.

When I had started this blog, it was with the intention of preserving snapshots of my state of mind, and so I really wanted to jot down what is going on in my head as I embark on the greatest adventure of my life.

In the stress of packing and shopping, I find myself going through weird emotions. At work, I would forget for a minute that I am getting married – I would suddenly remember and there would be butterflies in my tummy. I’m happy as a lark, and as sad as… well, as a bride leaving her home. Throw in excitement and apprehension as well – it’s a heady cocktail, and I feel like I’m high ALL the time!

I spent some time trying to describe what I am feeling at this time. I had a nagging feeling that I have actually experienced this feeling before (which is weird because I have obviously not gotten married before!), but then it came to me. It’s the EXACT same feeling as….

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You know that 2 second gap between when the roller coaster has reached its’ height and when it actually starts to ‘fall’? There is always an agonizingly slow ascent, where your tummy clenches and clenches, and the adrenaline readies itself.  Finally, you are right at the top, looking down. The view is awesome, but you cannot take your eyes off the sheer drop. Your stomach has tied itself into knots, you’re feeling sick, yet excited, yet terrified. You try and brace yourself for the rush you know is coming, for the adrenaline to hit, and for the ride to “really” begin.

That is exactly, exactly what I am feeling now, albeit ten fold magnified. I feel like I am a bundle of bristling nerves and energy. A is already in Delhi, so he gets to hear me go through this on the phone, and I have him puzzled as well. One minute we’re excitedly discussing our honeymoon, our dance performance, our new home, the other I am crying because I’ll miss my family. Poor thing gets the task of juggling between lover and best friend, but he’s doing a fab job (If you’re reading this, you really are :))

I think this will be the last of these mixed emotions. Once in Delhi, I won’t even have time to think – it will be that busy. We have a long list of weddings and parties to attend apart from our own, and I am looking forward to all of that.

Just hope that OUR wedding is pulled off amazingly– this is going to be wedding prep on steroids!

And so I’m almost packed and ready to go. We fly tomorrow – I also leave this home tomorrow (sobering thought), but still- the romance of a lifetime awaits, and I walk into strong and capable arms.

Let the roller coaster drop now! :p

Toasts?

Question for all brides out there:

I really want to take a moment and get on stage on my Mehendi function to address my family and friends that will be there. Toasting is an integral part of weddings here, and I find it really touching. I would looooove to toast my family and to acknowledge all that they have done for me over the years. It truly does take a village to raise a child.

2 questions:

1) How appropriate will this be for a Delhi wedding (read noisy and drunk – will people even stop to listen?)

2) How do you do this without crying?

Showers of Happiness

This last weekend was a super busy one!! I was busy all day Saturday with a work event and party, and so when Sunday dawned, I was content to just lie in bed. Not to be – my brother dragged me out of the house on the dumbest of excuses, and I was out all morning. We finally came home at about 1 30 PM.

I opened the door, and everything was decorated in pink – pink balloons, streamers. And a room full of women wearing all shades of pink yelling “Surprise”!

I was standing in the middle of my surprise bridal shower.

I remember the silly grin on my face never left me, and I was just so bewildered by it all! It was a super duper party arranged by my Mom and a couple of friends. The theme was pink butterfly, and so once I got over the shock, I was sent to my room to change into something pink.

All my clothes were packed, so I dragged out the first pink thing I saw – a brand new fuchsia long top. Perfect. I teamed that with tights and headed back down. Showers are silly affairs, but a lot of fun. I was made to wear a tiara and sit in the center of the room. I was blushing so much that I must have matched the colour of my shirt.

As is the custom at showers, there were a lot of games, and they were sooooo much fun!! We had the “dress made of toilet paper” one. I chose the winner for that, and it was the team that gave their bride model a pretty dress AND a pretty toilet paper hairband. Then there was the “advice”. All the women had written down their advice on little slips of paper and I had to read them aloud. I was so embarrassed – there was stuff like “buy a blanket one size bigger than your bed”.

The girls had emailed ‘A’ a bunch of questions about his likes, dislikes etc, and I was asked those same questions. The guests bet on how many I would get right. I actually got 7 right, and 3 women won the prize. The ones I got wrong? “What would A want you to wear on the 1st night?” Now – even if I knew, I wouldn’t answer because I was sooooo embarassed!! Another wrong answer question was what he is scared of…. I wasn’t sure. The answer was “losing you”. That really was special!

There was this one game where a ball is placed in a pair of pantyhose, and tied it to the waist of the ‘player’, who is blindfolded. They then, have to knock over a bottle kept on a table using only the contraption around their waist. Needless to say, it brought up a whole lot of inappropriate comments, and if a lady knocked the bottle down on the first try, everyone else would giggle and say that she had a lot of “experience”. It’s a marvel how dignified Aunties can turn into giggling schoolgirls, while the real schoolgirls stare at them open mouthed!

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I chose the best dressed girl and there was a present for her, and then I opened up all my presents –  got a bunch of useful things and some cash. 🙂

There was also the most delicious and pretty cake ever – I did not want to cut it!! And then I did not want to stop eating it!!

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Lunch was followed by sangeet and a night of dancing. Liquor flowed in the evening, and by dinner time, the party was rocking.

This was my first wedding event, and what an event. A beautiful surprise, tons of blessings coming my way, and crazy dancing. What more can a girl ask for – my Mom is the best for arranging this ❤ ❤

And so it begins…. 😀

Wedding Videos I LOVE <3

I wanted to share the videos that I really really love, so here goes:

First up is this one: It’s a Sikh wedding in Toronto. What I love about this one is the back and forth between all the different wedding events, and the fact that it is all centered by this funny story about the guy’s side coming to the girl’s house after the wedding for the official vidaai. The sisters block his path and demand a ransom to release his new wife to him. I must have watched this like a hundred times, and have even hammered it into my videographer’s head that this is what I want! Hopefully, he’ll deliver. Watch and smile:

This is another one that I really liked:

If you haven’t already guessed, I am a big fan of Film-Style Weddings, and they would have been my videographer of choice had the wedding been here in Toronto.

And here is an awesome proposal! This one went viral last November and I’m sure everyone has seen it but nonetheless: Prem proposes to Manisha in Vegas. Love it!

Here’s hoping that our pictures and video are as good as these! … Fingers and toes tightly crossed!

Emptying out my Closet

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I have been putting off packing for the longest time. However, Sunday dawned bright and shiny, and there was no reason to NOT give into my conscience, and finally dig into the task, and so that’s exactly what I did. 

One of the rooms in our house has been completely overtaken by suitcases of every size and colour. And they are ALL half-full. Looks like a complete mess, but there really is nothing to be done about it. It’ll only be wrapped up 3 hours before the flight – I know from experience. A couple of the suitcases are for me to take to the new house (immediate winter wardrobe for when we’re back), and the rest is stuff to take to Delhi. 

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So I finally opened up my overflowing closet to pack and purge. Thankfully I did a LOT of both, and I feel so good!! I fired up my Mac and watched back to back TV shows as I worked – really helped me with my pace. (Though I suspect my Mom’s yelling only helped with the speed!).

By evening I was standing in front of an empty closet.

And the tears just came.

The sudden realization that I am PACKING – not to leave on a holiday, but to LEAVE my home came like a huge thump in my chest. Standing in the middle of my room with my stuff all around me suddenly felt like standing in a cocoon with my parents’ love wrapped all around me. To be leaving all this… it can be so hard.

I found a huge stash of greeting cards in that closet, and I couldn’t resist a peek. There were my birthday cards from my family since forever, stubs from a movie we had gone to see , receipts for the earrings I got on my 16th birthday from Mom Dad. The first iPhone that Mom Dad got after I complained that I really really really need one, a note by my baby brother in his childish scrawl, pictures of a family holiday… A lifetime of memories – and I just really want to hang on at this point. Just want to pause these moments … want to be a just a daughter for some more time.

 Realizing that I will no longer be at the dinner table every night, nor will I be hanging around Mom in the kitchen, or lounging with Dad on the terrace or yakking with my brother in his room is a sobering one.

It is a testament to how much I love A that I am willing to leave this – couldn’t have done it for another guy. 

We went shopping this weekend and I came home with a ton of bedding. On the way out, my Mom stopped to look at a dress – it must have been for a 12 year old girl. She turned to me and said my little girl was in these dresses just yesterday – you’ve grown up too fast. It took all my self control to walk out of that mall dry eyed. 

Weddings are emotional, and doubly so for the bride and her family. It is exciting to look forward to the life ahead, but equally hard to leave behind everything else. Such is life. 

However, on a brighter note – we got the condo we wanted 😀

The real estate agent called in the evening to give me the news and it was very happily received. After the sad day I’d had, here was something really awesome! So the condo is on the 23rd floor with a gorgeous view. It was the master bedroom that sold me on it. It has an entire wall of floor to ceiling glass, and the view is amazing. There is a stream and trees right under your feet – and twinkling city lights all the way to the horizon.  That REALLY perked me up and I surveyed my packing again to check what will be sent to the new house. 

Picked up the box of cards again and this time I saw others – A’s first ever card to me – a “Sorry” one (yes we had gotten off on the wrong foot back then!), anniversary cards, movie tickets, framed pictures, folded up Toblerone chocolate boxes he’d gotten for me from Singapore….. just a whole bunch of stuff. It made me smile and I was thankful at that moment that I am only moving from one loving home to another. My family will forever be a part of me and no one can change that. But this is also the time to give A and I our space, to give us our wings. 

This is a bittersweet ride for sure. If there is one thing I learnt today it is that I will need waterproof mascara for the wedding. It’s going to be a weepy vidaai!