Before I could process what was happening to me I was being carried away on the stretcher in the casualty department of the hospital in absolute agony. When I fell I thought I would at most have a sprain or a bruise but the pain seemed otherwise and the X-ray definitely proved that. A fracture of the kneecap needing surgery was the verdict.
Not a good news for someone who’s wedding was scheduled in six weeks.
Soon, I was on a roller coaster of surgery, drugs, and physiotherapy with drugs so powerful that they made me dizzy during the day and sleepless at night. Amidst all this I was still being reminded lest I forgot that I was a bride to be with a wedding some weeks away. Now weddings are a big deal, especially in the Indian society.
I, on the other hand, by nature and principle wanted a minimalistic wedding. I wanted it to be a lovely day that family and friends could be part of but didn’t want or need a massive celebration. However, Indian weddings seem to be scarcely about how you want them to be but also about the rituals needed to be performed, the people you have to call and family pressure on all sorts of issues — from clothes to guest lists and tension around which ceremonies absolutely have to be performed.
With my leg in the state it was, holding onto my walker for my dear life as I took steps around the house with the physiotherapist,
I was thrusted into utter panic by my overacting mind thinking, “Are you sure you will actually be able to sit on a chair on your wedding day?” And “Am I going to be the worst dressed bride in the worst pain ever?”
I thought of postponing the wedding till later. The idea was even floated to the family but it seemed like I would be able to at least made to be sit on a chair by that day. The venue was booked, invitation cards printed, so I went along with it not wanting to cause more trouble and upheaval than there was going on already.
Come the engagement day (two days before the wedding) I could stand and sit, the walker was gone but I still needed support getting around. When I got up on the engagement stage with support and a bellyful of painkillers to dull down as much pain as they could, I felt probably as happy and victorious as someone who had climbed the Everest or someone who had developed an award wining app.
My engagement photos show me beaming with happiness and then breaking down and sobbing hysterically, in a sari and a ring on. My tears of joy showed me how far I had come and I was filled with hope about being able to “manage” the wedding day.
The wedding day dawned upon me and I was in agony. I had not slept the previous night due to tension, nerves, and a plain old pain in the leg and was totally on the edge. As I did my physiotherapy that morning, I felt like an ancient warrior donning a suit of armour as he gets ready to go off to a battle with his troops.
As I dressed up in my wedding sari with my hair done up, I wished it was over already so that I could curl up in bed in my pyjamas and sleep hassle free.
Fortified by Crocin in my full wedding gear, that is sari, jewellery, shoes (flats of course) we left for the venue. My ever patient parents were chaperoning probably the most cantankerous bride in history. Slowly I got on the stage and the ceremony commenced. I sat tight in my chair just praying each minute that passed to let it pass sooner. As the clock ticked, my smile grew wider and wider, knowing that I had done it. I had sat through the ceremony and done everything I needed to properly and that it would soon be over.
At the end of the ceremony I shouted an impromptu “Yay” with a fist bump and tears to mark just how far I had come and what that meant to me. My wedding day was probably the toughest day of my life.
It was painful, emotional and draining. Using the analogy of a video game, the wedding day felt like playing at the highest level with the most difficult setting. I also didn’t feel particularly beautiful and excited. However, I did feel jubilant to have managed the day and I also felt incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful family and friends who supported me at every step of the way.
In the end, I felt pleased to bring many of my family members and friends together on this special day as well as being showered with so much love. My wedding day was neither the happiest day of my life nor the most important. But it was a lovely day and the start to a new chapter. Through this process I had learnt about grit, sacrifice, and about love.
I also learnt that I was marrying the best man. Who would support me no matter the odds. By the end of it, I didn’t care about whether my hair was great or how I walked. The wedding served to be the pathway to be with the person I loved and there’s nothing better than starting a marriage on that note.