Some years ago, on this day I said bye to a care-free bachelorhood and said hello to married life. It was a ‘monumentally momentous moment’. I still recall the day. I still recall the day. A tamilian wedding in a temple. At the base of a hill. With hordes of relatives. Many friends. Priests & photographers ! And some monkeys ( real ones) from the mountains too.
That was a day filled with tensions caused by many. From anxious parents. To a more anxious brand new in-laws. Malicious gossip from all relatives who had nothing better to do. The temple priest, who kept asking me & my wife to be, to do as many acrobatics as he could conceive. And whatever, little breathing spaces that the priests gave ( more for themselves than for me), was usurped by photographers and videographers !!
The clamour, the queues of a 1000 strong invitees, all vying with one another to get onto the stage, and share the videographers attention for two minutes was interesting, to say the least. The routine was simple.
Step One: Vye with each other.
Step Two:Get on to the stage.
Step Three: Say something nice.
Step Four: Give an envelope with money.
Step Five: Stand in attention for the video.
I couldn’t figure that. I thought in horror of all of us standing still,for 5 minutes, in a video, for god sakes! We looked like mummies who moved in some Egyptian setting!! I tried doing some banter with people who would stand next to me. Sometimes, it would click. Sometimes, my banter would be countered with resolute silence. All captured on video !
The problem was compounded by the fact, that I did not know many of those folks who came up, congratulated me, and gave me an envelope with money inside! How I wish total strangers do that on a daily basis !!
The smell of rose petal garlands, the wedding suit (which by the way, I outgrew at record pace), the sweets and what not. Seems like yesterday ! For a day and a half, I was a star!
I read Kahlil Gibran, today. Its been a ritual of sorts for me on important days, to read his works. As profound as ever before he stood. Here he is.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, “And what of Marriage, master?”
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shade