It's day 5 since I got back- I have finally gotten over the jet-lag, having pulled off a regular day and night yesterday. It helped that I had a friend visiting, and couldn't just go to bed at 5 pm like I had been doing earlier. I feel a lot more refreshed and happy today - setting my clock right and having company have done wonders.
B and I are back to our long-distance routines. Bridging the time-zones and making time for phone calls and syncing lunch breaks and wake up times and bed-times so we can have time to talk and chat. Resuming this routine was not easy in any way, but the transition was so quick that on the surface it seems so smooth- almost as if the past one month never happened.
Thats when the photos and reliving the memories of the past month help. My sister made fun of my dad who, after the wedding, kept reviewing, on a daily basis, the photo slideshow that my b-i-l made and sent him. I find myself doing the same thing now.
One of the cool things my dad did was to have the slideshow to be projected on a screen during the reception, which took place a week after the wedding in B's hometown. All of B's family were there here and as they couldn't make it for the wedding, they enjoyed seeing the photos like that and this idea became a big hit.
Our reception was also fun because we did not use those huge throne chairs and sit atop the stage. B and I mingled in the crowd, got introduced and got to chat up the guests- even if for a fraction of a second before getting pulled away to someone else. I like all those photos because they are all in the moment- my eyes widening with recognition when a friend I least expected to show up walked in, a bunch of B's aunts herding me and fawning over me... Group photos with various people - I did not need to have that plastic smile everyone warned me that I had to put on for the reception..The photos I can't stand are those of us or the guests stuffing our faces with food- I cannot understand why photographers have to take such close ups- this is after telling them multiple times not to take pics of people eating. I absolutely abhor those photos.
One of my closest friends from my grad school days- M, made it for my wedding- she was the only friend of mine there, and I am so thankful for her- she helped me get ready at the unearthly hour of 3 am, along with my cousin sisters. My sister, who's the one I'd trust in these matters had a billion other things to take care of, and I don't know what I'd have done without M. Her presence totally calmed me and put me at ease.
While I was really happy for everyone that came, the people that made it really easy for us were the ones - like M- that made their own way there, avoided calling us for directions the day of or the day before the wedding, took care of their own accommodation and simply showed up at the wedding. These were more often than not outsiders, who navigated their way without knowing the local language even. I hope I can attend a lot more weddings from now on than I 've done in the past, and I hope I can be like them. Then there were relatives- for whom putting up with family was not good enough - who wanted to stay in hotels, and then wanted my dad to make those arrangements. Then there were also relatives, who, did nothing useful except sit in a circle and chat and gossip all day long and wait for teas and coffees to be served, while a zillion things had to get done around the house and the few people that actually did work ended up doing all the work. It was quite an eye-opener, and I am told this is standard operating procedure at weddings- it was new to me simply because I haven't been to enough weddings.
While I enjoyed every bit of my "big fat" Indian wedding, I don't know where my parents got the energy, the drive and inclination to pull something like this off. I don't think I will do it ever. Because I don't think I am up to it, and more so because it reinforces a lot of things that I fundamentally don't agree with...