I want share some happy memories of my wedding on my wedding anniversary 🙂 My husband came to see me on May 20th (1984). Their family agreed to the marriage on May 21st at 9pm. The next day was Tuesday, and therefore not an auspicious day to start any work on wedding preparations. So my mother tied money in a yellow cloth for Srinvasa Perumal at 10pm on Monday night, and technically started the wedding process on Monday itself :-))
Ten days later, we were married!
As soon as my wedding was fixed my maternal uncles were informed. Two of them went to interview my husband in his home immediately. Both of my uncles had lived abroad for several years, and my husband was a student at The University Of Texas at Arlington, doing his masters degree in mechanical engineering. Luckily for him (and for me) my husband passed the test conducted by my uncles with flying colours! I was a lecturer in Meenakshi college at the time of my marriage. The photo of me that was given to my husband’s family was actually a group photo. There I was, along with my colleagues from college. My husband happened to know one of them since her brother was his former colleague. He mentioned this to us when he came to our house to see me. So we got a lead to make enquiries about him through him itself. 🙂 We also found out soon enough that his family was very well known to one of our relatives. Our marriage was definitely based on blind faith! The marriage preparations were vigorously going on even as the enquiries on my husband were being made. Logically the enquiries should have preceded the preparations. 🙂
One request from my husband’s side was to conduct the wedding at the earliest, since he had to return to the US very soon. So right earnestly on Tuesday morning the astrologer was visited and the muhurtham was fixed for June 1st. Realising that Wedding Chathirams will not be available at such short notice we decided to conduct the wedding in a hotel. This was a controversial thing at that time! In our community many in the older generation would not eat in hotels. 🙂 So a separate cooking arrangement was made for a few of my husband’s relatives. Home-cooked food along with paayasam and other sweets were brought from home and served to them for every meal during the function.
The owner of Kanchi Hotel had taken tuition lessons from my father-in-law. That proved to be an advantage to us. There was less resistance from my in-laws to conduct the wedding in a hotel, due to this connection! Thank god that man was poor in studies. :-))
The wedding hall was actually only available for the previous evening’s Nichayathartham. So for the Muhurtham and Reception a shamiana pandhal was installed on the lawn and our wedding was conducted there. When Crazy Mohan, Balaji and their family arrived for the function, my relatives were thrilled. They asked us how and why these celebrities were attending the function. We then came to know that they were my husband’s first cousins. Such was our hurried wedding that we did not have time to enquire about the extended family.
Printing invitations, sending them by the Indian postal service and actually seeing all relatives and friends at the venue on our wedding day was nothing short of a “medical miracle”! All my sarees were purchased in Nalli within a matter of two hours! Come to think of it, it is still unbelievable that we managed to get Pattappa, The Cook, not only to cater our wedding but to make the bakshanams at home. To top it all, Sudha Raghunathan performed at our reception in the evening. It was her first concert after the birth of her first child. She was a close friend of one of our relatives and that is how the concert was arranged. Later in the day we came to know that she was also related to my husband!
I am ever so grateful to my parents and to the helpful hands of my brother for conducting my marriage in style, at such short notice, arranging for the finances and other things with such precision. I guess it was meant to be!