Sister

My sister went away to her in-laws house today. The wedding went fine: minus the usual glitches of managing a hundred people everyday: I need soap, Mr. X who's on that sofa wants some tea, etc. It is always fun meeting relatives who I had last met twelve years ago. Everyone tells me how little I was when they had seen me last, and then they're surprised to see me all grown up. Some people would attest to the fact that I haven't; but thats a different story. ;)

All these days it has been hectic. And the more difficult part, I found, was telling elders in some cases what was to be done. I completely know that they're guests in my house and they aren't supposed to know where the market is or where to find the scissors, but still directing people and asking them to go and drop off three kids at another place was kind-of awkward. But I got over it, and accepted it as part of the job.

The part that was unacceptable was that my sister was getting married. I always thought I wouldn't be bothered: I'll come, do my duties and get back to my life. I believed she was just there as another person in the house -- social customs and rituals were just a wrapper for the real event of a man and woman starting a new family. Strange as it seemed, I was feeling fiercely protective about her all this time. I knew that this was a love marriage, I knew that they liked and loved each other, and I knew that the pair had our parents' total heartfelt blessings. But still I wasn't happy: I sometimes felt I'd dare anybody, any-damn-body, even her husband, to dare harm her in any way. But I didn't have time to think about this: it was just a nagging thought throughout the time when I was running errands.

Bengali weddings have a ceremony when we bless the bride before her actual wedding with gifts that she takes with her to her new home. I discovered how much I loved her on this day. All these years that I've been in hostels, I've been able to meet or interact with her very rarely. As such, I had believed, I wouldn't really miss her after her wedding: she would still be a phone call away and the brief meetings would be there anyway. But somehow my heart grew heavy. All those lewd jokes I used to pass with her, all those teasings about how her husband has a secret ringworm infection which she'll come to know when the time comes, all those times when I had been angry with her for not even putting an empty cup of tea she'd had into the basin -- they all appeared so childish compared to what treasure was about to go away.

Last evening, and very late into the night, the wedding ceremony got over finally. We were told about some more rituals from the groom's side, and therefore she had to be sent away early in the morning. I stayed up all through the night, and soon it was time for the actual "yatra" in the car. It happened just like in the movies. Everyone around me was crying and weeping. My dad was inconsolable: I had to hold him steady and take him through it all. I had told myself I wouldn't shed a tear, and I did not. I was consoling everyone else and lending them my chest to cry on. I was issuing orders and taking care of the logistics: who sits where in what car, find that missing driver, make sure that the last minute rituals went smoothly. I was finding something funny -- it was just like in the movies and was thus apparently making an effort to keep a long face. Then they went away. The car moved out of sight gradually and everyone silently went in. I took my dad to the bed and then walked around a dead silent home for some time. I went back to the gate, and as I stared out towards the road, a little tear tricked out. Something broke inside me. I howled and wept. I didn't understand why myself: I never thought I will cry over this. But I couldn't stop. My grief was my own private sorrow, I didn't need anybody -- I held on to a tree for support. Then someone saw me and took me inside, let me sit on a bed and cry my heart out. I suppose it takes me a little time to grasp the importance of everything in life.

I don't know why I'm recording this private feeling on this blog: maybe I shouldn't do this. But this has become a diary of sorts, and this feeling right now even as I type it twenty hours later is something I want to record. It is sad, but it is beautiful as well. Fare well, my sister -- your brother will watch over you.

Comments

  1. commenting seems like transgressing on something personal. But liked the post.

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  2. Beautiful. In a way am glad you went through all those feelings and emotions, for they are what complete our life. I hope your sister is happy in this new phase of her life.

    Will wait to hear more details of the wedding.

    sky :)

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  3. Bam!It was,by far,the most beautiful post I've ever read in my entire life.

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  4. Your memoir made me shed a tear. Nothing I have read has had that effect in a long time. Beautiful, Sudipta.

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  5. Well, I don't have a sister, so I can never understand your feelings.

    But nevertheless, I'm glad you have been able to share your feelings.

    Congratulations on getting a new brother-in-law, by the way! Hope he's of the nice kind :-P

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  6. Btw, that 'fgsox' was the word verification thing. I assure you, that I'm not from planet Zorg.
    Come to think of it, thats a nice place actually.
    But I digress.
    Awww...:)

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  7. your sister will be happy wherever she goes coz she has a great brother like you!

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  8. Wow, that was beautiful!

    Reminded me of myself when I saw my younger sister off when she got married. By that time I was married for four years and had lived in the US for a good part of those four years, but still, it was heart-wrenching to see her go off.

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  9. I wonder if my brother felt the same way. I should make him read the post. :)

    My best wishes to the newlywed!

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  10. beautiful!
    reminded me of my marriage, when my brother was doing all of this, and I tried hard not to cry. I didn't, but he did.
    you have written it so well,I couldnt control myself today.

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  11. Da, I don't know if you remember this incident or not. You had consoled me when I cried cos my closest friend had quit the company. I, somehow, stopped myself from crying before her. When I was back home, I locked myself in my room and cried out my heart. When I told you the whole incident, you told me I had shown the true relationship!

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  12. Beautiful Sudipta! I just remembered my wedding and how my brothers would have felt back then.

    Wishing your sister a very happy married life.

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  13. Shreemoyee, thank you.

    Sky, thank you. Although I'm not quite sure why you're glad -- I never wanted to feel any of this, really.

    Spirited, thank you.

    Shruthi, thanks.

    Galadriel, thanks.

    Alka, :)

    Hari, for his sake, I hope so too. :)

    Whizkid, thank you. And welcome onboard.

    Coconut Chutney, :) So, how's the weather around there?

    Pallavi, thanks.

    Parijata, yes, I know... it always is. Welcome onboard, by the way.

    Mala, thank you. Do let me know what your brother thought about this :) P.S. - Even if he sighed in relief, we deserve to know! ;)

    Girl from Timbuktu, thanks. And welcome onboard.

    Manasa, yeah I remember it in bits. It happens to us all, I suppose.

    Syrals, thanks.

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  14. A wonderful post, almost tear inducing.....me wonders, one day will my brothers be just as protective? :)

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  15. such a sweet post.. but you know what.. the most awkward moment will be when you see the same things happening at your wife's side of the family :)

    i hope you enjoyed the wedding! and managing it ..

    reshmi

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  16. Duhita, yeah, thanks... and trust me your brothers already are as protective. Just that it never surfaces.

    Sweet Alien, thank you. When I get married, I think I will be trying to stifle a laugh. :)

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  17. This was a very well written piece... immediately reminded of my bro who kept saying, "your marriage is too far away... be gone quick" and then cried at my vidaai.... and then just about a month and a half later tells me, "you've been gone so long... come and meet us"

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  18. This is such a sweet post...i hope ur sis know how lucky she is to have a bro like u :-)

    hoping ur feeling beta now.

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  19. Anks, thank you, and welcome onboard! Like they say, only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

    Marlee, thank you. My sis, well, she knows I'm there. And yes, I've been better for a long time! :)

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