A relation extraordinaire

She was all of 19 when she got engaged and entered our lives. And 20, when she got married. And our lives were set to change forever.

Timid, demure, unsure, shy, undecisive you may think…nah…not at all…on the contrary fiesty, outspoken, decisive, confident, highly opinionated, politically incorrect and not the one to mince words, ekdum bindass. And not to forget, very very clear about what she wants from life.

I will be honest, we had our doubts. I mean how can a girl, all of 19, be so sure who she wants to get married to? How can you trust a teenager’s sense of right and wrong? What if this was just her infatuation? Heck, does she even know what marriage is? Turns out, she didn’t. All she knew was if she marries, she will get to be with the person she loves all the time. Period. She didn’t have the faintest of the idea of what RESPONSIBILTY marriage is.

Meet my sister-in-law. My brother’s wife. Aarti. Its been over 3.5 years now that they are married. And a loooooooot has changed.

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that she didn’t know to boil water. She didn’t know anything about the kitchen. She was the ultimate epitome of laziness. She loved sleeping till late and rarely pushed herself physically or otherwise to get things done. What did she love then? Feasting on burgers, her mom and my brother. Why and how she fell in love with my brother is a matter of another post.

Little did I know back then that this was a beginning of a wonderful new relation in my life, the one I am going to share with her. There were many teething problems, I wouldn’t deny that. My parents, they had a few expectations from their daughter-in-law. And Aarti hasn’t ever shied away from that either. But what would a 19 year old know about expectations and fulfilling them. She would fulfil them only if she would realise what was expected of her in first place, right? I often remember being the bridge between my mom and her, communicating messages to and fro and clearing misunderstandings on the way.

But where there is a will, there is always a way. And she had the will.To learn, to absorb, to understand, to empathise and to adjust. Today, if you meet her, you wouldn’t be able to say she is that same girl who was seeing the world through her rose-tinted glasses. Oh boy, she can cook and cook very well now! After her initial settling-in period, she decided to take matters into her hands. To change things, to have a goal, to have a aim, to have a fruitful, challenging life. She took up a very difficult corporate sales job. She was determined to polish her language, and groom her personality. She juggled between a very demanding job that called for a 3-hour of daily travel, her further post-graduation studies and managing our home. She stretched, pushed her boundaries and kept absorbing and learning things like a dry sponge. Her journey of self development has been phenomenal. After pursuing a job, and gathering enough confidence and exposure, she called it quits. Only to now start pursuing her dream. She wanted to be a make-up artist. Not just any artist, but someone who would really make it big. And I am so proud to say that she has begun that journey recently and she is already doing very well.

In the previous few years, we have come very close and mean a world to each other. We have shared, cried, laughed, worked, cooked, exercised, and done some insane things together. She is the soul sister I never had. Though she is a couple of years younger to me, she is much more head strong than I am. There is this devil-may-care attitude of hers that I love as much as I envy. And at 24, she has a vision. She has proved herself, her worth to everyone around us…but most importantly to her own self. Now she is a confident, vivacious, bubbly, talkative, adorable and drop dead gorgeous young woman. Her unintentional and oddly-timed jokes are the funniest. She speaks her mind and is brutally honest. Her honesty is often taken for her arrogance, but I know that arrogant is something she isn’t. She is still politically incorrect and she is still someone who will call a spade a spade. And I wish that never changes about her.

Everyone in our family has accepted her with open arms and has played a vital role in helping her shape her personality and have an identity. She has learnt certain things the hard way, but what had to be leart is now learnt. Behind every successful woman is a strong, supporting man, that my brother is to her; and also a supportive, flexible family that eggs her on and is willing to adjust and realign their thoughts to her new thoughts.

Aarti, that you mean a world to me, is something you already know. You are my agony aunt, just like I am yours. I can’t tell you how much I am going to miss you in NZ, your non-stop talks, our walks, our cooking time together, your irritating habit of speaking loudly and jumping to conclusions, your day-dreaming face with mouth wide open, the fun times we spent, the jokes we shared, those unspoken conversations we had through our eyes, the time we went to office together, the time we spent shopping, the time we spent gossiping. There is no one who can fill that void. And there can’t be a replacement of you. You remember how we spent 3 hours travelling to get a silly hair-cut? Vishal was maaaaaaad to say the least.  And how we begged the hair stylist to cut our hair, even if we were whole two hours late, thanks to Mumbai’s infamous traffic? That was one epic evening, Aarti. The memory still brings a big smile.

There are so many things that I am indebted to you for. I loved how you dressed me for my wedding. Oh, you are such a talented make-up artist. I can’t thank you enough for making me look so beautiful. And you always look so pretty your self, make up or no make-up. 🙂

Aarti (right) and I

Aarti (right) and I at the wedding

At the engagement

At the engagement

Thank you Vishal for bringing her into our lives and making our lives so much more beautiful.

P.S: Those who are looking for make-up artists, consider hiring her. She won’t let you down. This is all I ask. Here’s a link to her work. And she has just started.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4573964301978.2159225.1077927678&type=3

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What have I been upto?

So since you last heard from me a lot has happened. Did you miss me?

To say life changed will be an understatement.  After all, when your last name changes, it IS a big deal, isn’t it? Its not for no reason that people say marriage is a BIG milestone.

So apart from the obvious changes like change of residence and change of priorities, there are several small changes that hit you hard. Things that never were a big deal back then, now those very small, insignificant things become more conspicuous by their absence.

Like for example; there is a new pillow to deal with, which not necessarily matches your liking. There is a crushing realization of how much you miss your old pillow, bed and duvet. And that warm engulfing comfort of your worned-out duvet.

Then soon after you adjust with a new variety of toothpaste and  try to come to terms with it, you realize that your morning cup of coffee doesn’t taste quite the same. You instantly miss your old routine and that favourite coffee mug of yours, that lazy browsing of papers over coffee, that feeling of being at home completely because no one is judging you, your mother can shout as much as she wants, asking you to hurry but you will still take your own sweet time. You don’t have to be on your best behaviour with your mom, do you? Am not saying things are drastically different even now, but still there is that sense of responsibility that has crept in. Like I need to be on my best behaviour and shouldn’t give anyone a chance to complain. Everything is new, I am still to get a hang of things here. And though my mom-in-law is a darling, I still have my guards on.

Then my exercise routine has totally gone for a toss. Before I used to decide when I want to exercise, and the rest of the things would wait till I finish. Now rest of the things finish first, and exercise has taken an epic back seat. To make up for the loss, I have abandoned the lift completely. So even if I go down just twice, climbing up 15 floors is at least some exercise.

Then again, the comfort of those old tattered pyjamas and worn-out shorts  is not even close to the comfort of the new silks and satins I sleep in.

Do I sound like I am complaining? I am not, actually. I am just listing small changes that accompany the big change that marriage is.

The food changes

The TV viewing pattern changes

The kind of phone calls changes, and the kind of conversations changes. Like its strange when your parents call you and talk to you like you are some relative, whom they haven’t heard of in long. Heck, I was living with them till 2 weeks ago. So much changed. I am still getting used to the fact that my parents have to call me to check how I am doing.

But, if you are married to a wonderful person like I am, these changes are totally insignificant. These changes would happen even if someone changed his/her city, wont they? At least, that is how I reason with myself. That way I don’t feel overly emotional and my rational brain takes over. But Nikhil, my husband, is a cool guy, with his head firmly on his shoulder and feet firmly on ground.  He has been very understanding and adjusting, to make this transition as easy as possible for me. He is always trying to keep things light, is seen kidding around, cracking jokes and doing everything he can to make things a little easier for me.  So basically, he is a nice guy.  In fact, during my bidaai, he was almost moved to tears. By his own admission *he felt like a thief stealing someone’s daughter away and causing parents inconsolable grief*….haha..when he told me this, I just didn’t know how to react. But it was kind of cute 😛

And about the wedding, ya we did  manage to have a good, memorable and totally enjoyable wedding without any major glitches. There was food, dance, songs, laughter, tears and a lotttsss of fun…just like a classic big fat Indian wedding.

Some of my  precious moments:

That's Nikhil... say hi to him :P

That’s Nikhil… say hi to him 😛

JIT_0366

My Brother and I

Wedding Vows

Wedding Vows

Epic - moment with my grandmom

Epic – moment with my grandmom

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Poem and I?

So I will tell you what exactly I have been up to for the last few days. Its endless shopping, so much so that its starting to become more tiring than exciting. Where is all the good stuff when you really want to buy? Sigh! Does it ever happen with you that when you really set out with the hope of buying something good, you never find anything worth its money? And when you strictly don’t want to buy anything, the various window displays seem so attractive that your feet are inadvertently drawn to the mall? It happens to me. All.The.Time.

Apart from shopping, I am starting to get a bit poetic also.  Here’s my first  third attempt at a  poem for the wedding invite card. And I will be very honest in stating that two of these lines here are a bit inspired 😛

So after all, she agreed to do his laundry
Just like he vowed to come home in time every night
And at the end of every fight
They will agree that she is always right
Oh boy! She found that he can clean and cook
And to say yes, not a moment she took
In sickness and health, she promised to be there
And in bargain he promised her, her Gucci and a few Solitaire
So the day has come now
When they will exchange their vow
That they have agreed to share a life
And instead of friends, call themselves man and wife