Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Wedding vs. The Marriage

I have noticed, and it has often perturbed me, that people use the words Marriage and Wedding inter-changeably. I guess it is because, when translated from Hindi, the word “Shaadi” is used commonly to imply both meanings. To put it simply, Marriage is the union of two individual where interpersonal relationships between the individuals is acknowledged legally and socially, while Wedding is merely the ceremony where two people are united in the institution of marriage. The word, “Shaadi” has implications in both senses, and it is used to describe the ceremony as well as the institution of matrimonial alliance.

I am not exactly a linguistic prude to be pointing out such differences randomly. I raise the point because the implications of those two words are going to impact my life so drastically in the next few months. Being the typical Indian girl, I have been brain-washed by society, family, friends, Bollywood, music and other cultural factors to know that Marriage is a big deal, and more importantly, the Big Fat Indian Wedding Day is the most important day of my life. No pressure. In the madness of arranging an Indian Wedding, where everything from the clothes, venue, jewelry, gifts, transportation, accommodation, invitation, has to be taken care of with meticulous precision, it becomes quite a task to organize everything in the best way possible.The Wedding is a giant, blocking anything else from sight and has to be given utmost attention and time. What I realized a while back though, was that I was so involved and concerned about the Wedding that I did not have the time to give enough thought to the Marriage. I suppose that is natural, as the objects which are nearer seem bigger. It’s all about perspective after-all. But still, it struck me suddenly one day, that hello, there is something beyond the Wedding too. There is a new life, new changes, a new person to live with, a new  and I have absolutely no idea how to handle any of it.

Marriage is about understanding, and that primarily comes from knowledge of each other, from time spent together. From the telephone conversations with my fiancé, all that I can get to know about him, I have gotten to know already. But how much can you really get to know? I mean, there are things you only learn when you live with someone, and the only people who have really known those things about me, are my parents. Like, how I set my alarm clock 30 minutes before I actually have to get out of bed, and snooze it for all that time. Annoying yes, but that’s just what I do. Or, a small thing like how I eat everything with a fork, as opposed to a spoon, like people in most Indian households do. Or other small things like what side of the bed I sleep on, how long it takes me to get ready, the kind of food I like, what are the small things that give me joy… I realize that he will only get to learn about these little nitty-gritty details once I live with him, and the same goes for me. I am yet to discover these small things, which makes him who he is.

Marriage, to me, is about the little details, the beauty of the institution is in the happenings which would go unnoticed by an outsider. So, while I am looking forward to the wedding, what excites me more is the prospect of finding love in the details. It may sound strange coming from a bride-to-be, but more than the new clothes and the jewelry and the shopping, what excites me more is the fact I will be getting to know and live with someone, who will understand me better than anyone else. While I am looking forward to the celebrations, the singing and dancing, I am more thrilled about spending hours talking to someone, who wants to get to know me as much as I want to know him. I am thrilled about the fact that I will have my closest family and friends to make my Big Day special, and I am even more elated that I will have a lifetime of companionship and share a life with someone.

Guess it's true what they say, God is indeed in the Details.

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