OMG! I am not single anymore! It was/is a sinking feeling every now and then. I am married. Neither I nor Shankar was able to come to terms with it.
Visa app docs – check
Visa interview – check
Reception ceremony at Chennai – check
Pack bags for the long temple trip ahead – check
The ride begins! Wait! The ride (temple trip) already began, with the first one being the all famous Kabaleeshwar Temple at Mylapore, Chennai.
With the messed up road trip schedule to the various temples at Tamil Nadu, hardly did we have time to realize the wedding. Ten temples in four days! Never had I done it, and never will I agree to do it again. For all the temple trips that I avoided all my life, I had to finally pay off. Shankar, excited as he was had utmost fun. Starting from Chennai soon after the Reception ceremony in an Innova packed with seven of us – add in dad, mom, uncle, aunt, grandma we set off to experience the longest road trip to temples ever.
Both of us having lived away from the country side for more than six years, the temple visit felt appealing, with greenery all the way, and the local-ites walking around, and stopping at open temples, poojas, bells, poojaris (who turned out to be fortune-tellers sometimes). However indulged in city life you are, the sound of bells in a distant open temple, and the fortune tellers getting far more excited about our lives than we ourselves do, the vibuthi, kumkum that the poojaris give us at every temple, the ever holy diya that is typical of how we seek God’s blessings make you feel good. After all, we hail from that very place.
The second most exciting part of the trip was visiting our kith and kin, and all of them offering the best possible food. I am sure both of us added a couple of pounds at the end of the trip. It felt at home, at every relative’s house. Day and night, we were travelling in the car, visiting temples whose names we could not pronounce properly. Having completed one round of temple trip with my parents, Shankar’s parents were here to take us through another trip. This time it was an awfully tiring journey; owe it to the bad roads and the ‘mini’ car, as I think it is. It was another round of temples, and visit to relatives’, only in a day’s time. It was the toughest journey by far which lasted 20 hours with half an hour breaks at various temples.
Life is fair anyway, gave me a day to spend at my moms’ with those yummilicious food varieties hot from my mom’s kitchen. No doubt, moms are the best cooks for their kids. Days passed by, and the day was fast approaching, when I had to hug my mom with tears and say ‘tata amma..see you soon’. Lazy as I was, my mom, dad, bro, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandma all gathered at my in-laws to help me pack and send me off. They were nostalgic moments. I cried, and so did my mom. My bro, though didn’t express, felt sad. I didn’t have words to convince myself or my family. Shankar was gleaming with a million dollar smile, happy to leave India with ‘his wife’.
With the rush, I hardly realized anything. I held my mom’s hands tight as we left for the airport, Shankar’s mom sending us off from our home. After all it had to happen then, and there we were at the airport. We were running short of time for departure and this cut short the emotional send off that I thought was going to break me. There began my new journey into a new world and into a new life.