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My Daughter's Wedding - The Post And the Pictures

Discussion in 'Varalotti Rengasamy's Short & Serial Stories' started by varalotti, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    “Sridhar, I’m sure you would have gathered enough material to write a story.” – A cryptic comment from my relative who saw me running around for my daughter’s wedding.

    I have materials not for just one story, but for several stories of every type of genre you can think of. You have the base for a romantic story, the plot for a thriller, the ground-work for a best seller, the foundation for a full-length spiritual book apart from materials that would fill several volumes of human interest stories.

    I am not going to give you all the stories right now. I will just summarise my learnings from this process.

    Learning No.1 Marriage Is a Gamble


    My daughter and I were in a restaurant after a long bike-ride. Suddenly out of the blue my daughter blurted out, “Appa, I’m in love.”

    The Dosa fell from my mouth. It appeared as if the whole world started going around me in fast circles. Preethi continued to talk about her love, her relationship with Anand, how decent it was and that they were waiting for my consent and blessings.

    Your Varalotti is a bundle of contradictions. I flare up when I see somebody driving on the wrong side of the road. But if there’s a serious accident – like what happened on the last Deepavali, a bike-rider virtually fell under my car – I become almost spiritually calm. My daughter’s declaration was more like that accident.

    I was unusually calm and prayerful while she talked about the boy and his family. At the end of it all I sought time.

    Two days later I confessed to my wife who is my only moral support these days “Indhu, I don’t think I can survive all these. If something happens…” She didn’t let me finish the sentence.

    When my girl visited us next the discussion continued. We were going in circles till she delivered the punch-line. I felt as if she punched right on my face.

    “Marriage is a gamble, Dad. Whether you fix the boy for me or I marry the guy I love. I am not saying Anand is the best of the guys around or that our marriage will be ideal. But we are convinced that we have enough love in our hearts to weather any storm that comes our way.”

    My laugh was philosophical. After all life is a gamble. Kahlil Gibran was shouting in my ears, “Sridhar, your children are not your children. They do not come from you; they come through you.”

    I agreed. The rest is history.

    Learning No. 2 The Castes, The Classes and The Choices.


    I was convinced, but not fully convinced. Paradoxically I went to the one person who is most likely to have the strongest objection. My Guru, Dr.Arangarajan, a very orthodox Brahman, who is teaching Azhwars to me.

    I went to the class a little early, fell at his feet and with tearful eyes told him about the developments.

    He was nevertheless shocked. I even thought that he might throw me out of the class. I steeled my heart and was looking for his response.

    “You say the boy’s father is an Engineer and his mother, a Bank Manager. You are an accountant. Education is the basis of livelihood for both the families. That should put you in the same caste and class. So don’t worry. Go ahead.”

    I was looking askance at him.

    “Your only choice in this matter is whether to marry off your daughter happily or take it as an affront and spend the rest of your life cribbing. As your teacher I’d suggest the former because God has assigned some tasks for you. Your girl has chosen her life. You continue living yours.”

    “But, Sir, you should grant me a favour.”

    “Shoot.”

    “You should come in person and bless the couple. That will be a strong signal we would be sending to the antagonists.”

    “Done.”

    He walked his talk.

    Learning No.3 It’s All In His Hands!


    The wedding date was finalised, the mandapam fixed, catering arrangements firmed up, and all the minor details were taken care of. Cultural differences were ironed out smoothly.

    Yet the wedding had all the ingredients of a 20:20 match whose outcome is decided by the last few balls.

    I became enlightened. Our hands should only work and pray. His Hands should bless and make things happen. I opened a prayer thread in IL – the first in the history of IL ever opened for a wedding- and confided everything in Him through you.

    Appa was ill and had to be admitted to the hospital on 8<sup>th</sup> February. Never knew when he would come out. The Lord who is addicted to showering His love on the least deserving of persons, intervened.

    He saw to it that Appa came out of the hospital on 10<sup>th</sup> evening. He gave enough strength to him to take part in the wedding of his very first grand child.

    The reception and the wedding were grand affairs that happened on a scale we were not prepared for. About 4500 people partook the food with us on these two days. The stage decoration was out of the world. There was a special “Jandai Melam” group from Kerala who performed on both the days. The bride-groom came on a huge chariot drawn by two horses.

    The sound of crackers reverberated through the north banks of Vaigai. We had hired two lady artists for Nadaswaram who produced the auspicious music suitable for the occasion.

    I felt like being pushed over by the crowd in the Mumbai VT station. I did not do anything but everything happened like clock-work.

    It took some time for me to realise that the push came all the way from the top. It was His hand.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Learning No.4 Never Underestimate Your Friends

    I had invited all my friends in IL, but thought ‘Who’s going to come all the way to Madurai? I might get a few e-cards at the most.’

    I was sweetly proved wrong. The one and only Chitvish, Lalitha Shivaguru along with her DH and daughters, Janani and Akshaya, Meenakshi Rajan along with her DH were there with us.

    Surprise of surprises, I met one Ilite for the first time. None other than our own Pad, Padmini. She had flown down to Madurai to attend the wedding of the daughter of a man, whom she had never seen before. I think that requires a special mention in the Guinness.

    Apart from my wife and I we had another resident Ilite Sudhavnarasimhan, Indhu’s sil, who was there to assist us prepare for the wedding. Technically this wedding was also an Ilites Meet.

    I took these ladies and their families to the couple and in a beaming voice told them, “These are my girl-friends, Anand.”

    Kamla had sent a bunch of flowers all the way from the US. Pushpavalli Srinivasan and Malathi Jagannathan had sent a beautiful gift which appealed very much to my princess.

    While distributing invitations I had missed out on many persons. It always happens in spite of (many times because of) extremely meticulous planning. I can’t forget my CA friend who came to the wedding though I had omitted to invite him.

    “Not getting an invitation is not an excuse to miss out on your daughter’s wedding. These things do happen, Sridhar. Don’t feel guilty.”

    I could only hug him on the stage and remain silent. I could not even apologise for I was afraid that I might break down.

    Learning No.5 An Accountant Learns About Balance Sheet


    I have valued the assets and liabilities of thousands of persons during my professional life. And this mofussil accountant learnt a lesson or two about the life’s balance sheet on this occasion.

    What are your assets? Not that duplex flat in the posh residential area of Kilpauk, not those shares in Infosys and Wipro, not the gold you have stashed away in your bank lockers, not the money you hold in bank deposits, not even those degrees you got from the Ivy League institutions.

    The real asset which will smugly sit on your life’s balance sheet with undiminished value for ever is your close relationships and friendships. In my case it was my two brothers, both of them chartered accountants like me.

    They came well in advance to assist me in the preparations. But when father fell ill they took upon themselves the task of co-ordinating the hospital arrangements and taking care of my father letting me do the wedding work.

    One of them took care of all the hospital expenses. ‘We’ll see the accounts later. Right now conserve your resources for the wedding.”

    On 11<sup>th</sup> and 12<sup>th</sup> they were fully in action managing transportation, receiving people, co-ordinating the various agencies, transporting our father, welcoming the people and do virtually everything that needed to be done. They never waited for my instructions. They decided on their own and acted on their decisions.

    They made substantial gifts, gifts that made me cry, and yet they saw to it nobody else knew about those gifts.

    One of my brothers sat for four hours to pack the sweets and savouries in a particular way which the boy’s relatives demanded. That was in spite of the fact that he had been down with fever recently and still had pain his limbs if he sat in the same place for long.

    There is no way I can even begin to repay their kindness. My intense prayer to my Lord is to give me enough strength to able to do at least a part of what they did for me, in their daughters’ weddings.

    Learning No.6 The Tearful Moments

    Our family priest and I had just sat down for the breakfast on 12<sup>th</sup>. The priest asked for a cup of hot water. The bearer told him rudely ‘No, we don’t serve hot water.’ The bearer knew that I was the girl’s father funding this whole programme.

    Our priest wanted to raise his voice. I just calmed him down. After all I was just the girl’s father. And after all my Lord wanted me to bear the insult. I just looked up and swallowed my pride along with a piece of idly.

    A man dressed in a safari suit came running to our place.

    “How can you say no to these people?”

    “But, Sir, we don’t have hot water here.”

    “Idiot, to make hot water, you need water, fire and a vessel. We have all of them. Sorry, sir.”

    In another minute he was there with a jug full of steaming water. I looked up again, this time with tears and gratitude.

    Indhu was teasing me that I might break down when Anand ties the mangal sutra on my girl’s neck. I did not.

    My sister predicted that when I performed the kannika dhanam ceremony as ordained in our Vedas I might break down, as I know the meaning of most of the mantras. No, I did not.

    Somebody said that sridhar will cry his heart out when he leaves his daughter at her in-laws’ place and comes back home. I did not. Indhu was crying throughout the return journey. But I never cried.

    There was of course a moment I wanted to cry badly but could not because of the people who were around me. After the wedding feast as we were unwinding the show I was casually chatting up with my girl. I wanted to know the further programme.

    My llttle princess told me that she was quite happy with the way the wedding was performed. And then added matter of factly. “Dad, we might come to your place later in the evening for a cup of milk.”

    What words, my dearest! My mind went blank. I was stunned. The home where she was born, brought up with love, the home which was her base all these 24 years suddenly became “your place.” My child is too good to utter the words wantonly. But they were there.

    As a writer, as an ardent believer in the Eastern philsophy I admired the Bharat Nari blossoming in my little girl. But damn it, I am just an ordinary father who could only cry. Even that I could not do in the presence of so many people.

    I had to summon all my mental and emotional strengths to pretend to remain unemotional. But I am sure to cry whenever I think of those words.

    Not that her love for me is any less; but my love for her is much more than I had ever realised.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
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  3. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Sridhar

    Congralutions to your daughter and congrats to you also for performing the marriage so well. Though I did not attend the marriage reading your post I felt as if I attended the marriage

    Sending your way warm congratulations

    It means a lot to congratulate you and
    share in all the happiness of your achievements too
    thats why you are being wished the best of life's goo things
    and all the saitsfaction that a happy future brings

    Happiness always

    My blessings to the married couple.

    love
    viji
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  4. deraj

    deraj Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar ji

    Superbly written about from the time Preethi revealed her love to you & you made it success. Thanks for sharing photos of all ILs.

    Nice to see the ILs too in the function. Congrats to Preethi & Anand. May God Bless the couple.
     
  5. Priya_Mommy

    Priya_Mommy Gold IL'ite

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    Sridhar Sir,
    First of all, hearty congratulations.
    Very glad to see your daughter's wedding snaps. The couple is really looking very happy! Hope they will lead very good life together.
    Though daughter wedding is the most happiest moment, but painful moment also, I heared this from my father after my wedding.

    Great to see chithi mami,pad in the event.
    Thanks for sharing snaps with us!!
     
  6. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Sridhar

    I am not able to view the snaps

    viji
     
  7. Yashikushi

    Yashikushi Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    So our prayers were heard.Isn't it?Thank God.
    Thanks Sridhar Sir for the sharing of your learnings and earnings of joyful moments.Life is learning and leaning over the realities."Marriage is a gamble"these words shooked me to think far..
    Enjoyed your wedding party [​IMG]

    And for the couples:[​IMG]
    Wishing You God's Blessing
    on Your Wedding Day...
    ...and may He always be
    the heart of your marriage,
    the light of your home,
    and the ever-present partner
    in your life together.

    May this day you share
    be filled with love and laughter
    May all the days ahead
    be happy ever after!

    Best Wishes and blessings on Your Wedding Day

     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  8. deraj

    deraj Platinum IL'ite

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    Sridhar ji

    I am not able to see the above pictures. Is that attached??
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    dear viji,
    you need to have Adobe software in your system. If you don't have it you can down load it from the web.
    love,
    sridhar
     
  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Sorry deepa. That file had not been uploaded earlier. Now it is there. Please check and let me know if you can see the pictures.
    sridhar
     

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