To W(B)ed a Bong

The Bedding Diaries of a clueless, soon-to-be Bride

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Where is your thali?

The day after the wedding. My room. Gifts and saris strewn all over the place. AR, Bill, Appa and I are chatting when Amma comes in.

Amma: So you guys are going to BG's place.

Appa: Yes, yes. AR wants to see the garden and so we are all leaving now. We will be back for lunch. And then we have to drop Bill's family at the station.

Amma: Okay. So are you all ready? (Staring at me.)

Bill: Yes. We are just about to leave actually.

Amma: Really? (Still staring at me.)

AR: Yes aunty. Uncle, chal. Lets go.

Amma: Where is your thali? (Thali in Tam or Mallu - Mangal sutra)

Moi: How do I know? I gave it to you na. Yesterday evening with all the other jewelry.

Amma: Let me take it out then. You wear it and go.

Moi: Not happening.

Amma: No one will believe you are married.

Moi: Thali or not, even I don't believe I am married. So what?

Amma: Why don't you understand kutti? People will stare at you and talk behind your back.

Moi: So?

Amma: Maybe you don't care about such things. But I do.

Moi: Exactly. That's why you wear your thali na?

Amma: Oh God? What am I going to do with this girl? Bill, why don't you tell her?

Bill: Me? I am not getting involved in this.

Amma: You are like this because of your Dad. He doesn't say anything when you do stuff like this.

Appa: Now its all my fault as usual. (Turns to me.) Why don't you wear that darned thing for a day?

Moi: I did wear it for a day. Yesterday. We had a deal remember? That I would wear it for a day and never have to touch it ever again. You better keep your side of the bargain now.

Appa: She is right. She did wear everything you wanted her to wear yesterday. You give her a break now.

Amma: Can you shut up for sometime? You have spoilt her enough.

Appa: Ofcourse.

AR: Aunty, you can always tell people that Bongs don't have thali.

Amma: But they have that bangle na?

AR: Well, your daughter's in-laws haven't given her the bangle, so it doesn't count.

Amma: They will give it to her in Kolkata. I would like to see her refuse that.

Bill: She didn't really refuse the thali. She wore it for a day. I am sure she will do the same with this bangle thing.

Amma: So you are all on her side now? (Tears in eyes)

All three men fall for the tears and switch sides.

Bill: Hey, maybe you can wear it for today.

AR: C'mon dude, just for the day.

As usual, Appa whispers with the brightest idea of the lot.

Appa: Take it and wear it now. Take it off when you step outside the house. How does it matter?

Moi: No, no melodrama will make me do this. Now she will say thali. Then she will have hazaar other jewelry. I shouldn't have agreed to get married at all. Its all my fault.

Amma: Aiyayo! You do what you want. Don't say things like that. (Eyes flooding like the Brahmaputra now.)

Moi: You think I can't cry? Here, check this out. (Trying hard and manage to generate one teardrop.)

Amma: Its all my fate. What to do? Stop acting now and do what you want. (Eyes stop flooding.)

Moi: Okay people. Lets go.

And thus all unsuspecting visitors and people we go to visit stare long and hard at my neck and decide never to let their kids talk to me again. Really can't complain about that!

In other news, Bill has left for Bombay and I am getting my home back. Yesternight was the best night of my vacation so far - It was just moi and appa and amma and we finally had my mom's dosa and sambar for dinner. If there's heaven on earth, this surely must be it.

22 Comments:

Blogger neha vish said...

I so so so relate to this.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

I totally understand! Your parents sound just like mine, uncannily so. Anyway, congrats on having survived the ordeal!

8:23 AM  
Blogger Mridula said...

Been there, done that and no I do not wear it, and six years later people do not even blink.

10:21 AM  
Blogger ClannZĂș said...

I'm a guy but I can understand...I've seen my sisters go through all this melodrama as well. :)

12:19 PM  
Blogger Sunil said...

So here's a good thali story........

My mom thought a "light" (you know what that means....it's a relative term) thali would do for the wife, which she could wear on occations (she's seen my sister not wear hers too often, so is at peace with that). But guess what....my mom-in-law had other ideas.

She thought that my mom would feel offended if she suggested a thin and light thali, so insisted that my mother make a heavy one.

Result.....a gold monstrosity that resembles chain-mail. :-)

The wife's made me keep it in a safe place. I've locked it up......somewhere......

1:03 PM  
Blogger Supremus said...

Frankly...

I didnt know it was such a big deal LOL!!!

Interesting write up!!

Cheers.

Suyog

1:39 PM  
Blogger FBT said...

Congratulations. Hope you're not going to stop blogging now that you are finally w(b)ed.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Abi said...

Your post made me wonder how my mom-in-law allowed my wife to go without a 'thaali' for so many (11+) years. I have to ask her to act like a proper mother (at least now!) and give her daughter hell.

And, I will sit back and watch the fun.

Oh, how I miss my mom ...

8:56 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

the same scene of melodrama was enacted in my house except that instead of amma it was my MIL who was asking me to wear the thalli!
n worst part was when i went back to office after my honeymoon n some of my collegues(guys) started asking me 'bout it -yuckkkk! god save their wifes i thot!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Deaths Head Roy said...

good for you!! have seen my sis go through this....but thank god my mom was on her side....she also does not wear it all the time.....

1:52 AM  
Blogger Minal said...

Veena,
Absolutely relate to it. Have hung on to it for a year now. Once the year anniv is gone, intend to not wear it often except certain family occassions.
Mom's totally cool, wonder how my mom-in-law will take it! Yet to drop the bombshell. I don't thnk she will be okay with the idea.:-)

4:23 AM  
Blogger The Comic Project said...

Hell..nothing of that sort happened..no melodrama :-( IP (wife) said..I wont wear it..i said cool. My mom was like..."huh?...ok" and smiled indicating no big deal. But I ask her to carry it in her purse, just in case. She's never used it and I've never checked if she carries it :-)

4:25 AM  
Blogger The Comic Project said...

While I don't really care about the thali thing, I think..why the aversion? What is it with women nowadays? (I was once offered a simple rationale - It doesn't look good with my accessories - logical)
Is it like...burning your bra?

4:28 AM  
Blogger alpha said...

I don't wear it too..just because it doesn't go with my clothes, it is bulky and gets into my underarms and pokes me when I lie down...but I will never understand women who go 'Yuck' at the mention of something that symbolises the wedding. If you notice, every freaking married woman in the western countries will not part with their ring...

Is shunning our customs called progress/modern outlook?

I will wear it in India to keep them elders happy. It means a lot to them and doesn't take a lot for us to wear it.

Sorry for the bashan. Just got back from India and all.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Veena said...

Good to know so many of you relate to this. I strongly believe that the only way to deal with this and anything else remotely related to a marriage is to treat the entire thing as one big joke!

Comicproject - Why the aversion? Well, why not? I am just not a jewelry person for one. Also think wearing something to symbolise a marriage is pretty stupid.

Alpha - Please don't apologize - someone should have a differing opinion. Some of us are in denial all the time and we don't want to believe we are married. How abt that?!

Seriously though, don't think its got anything to do with a progressive outlook. Neither do I live my life based on what Western women do or not do with their rings or consider Western women as epitomes of progressiveness. Its more a question of individual choices, wouldn't you say?

As for making elders happy, all of us have our own limits to what we will do to make people happy. I, for one got married for that reason - don't think I will go beyond that. Plus anyway I think we tend to underestimate these 'elders'. My mom was so worried about what my 80-year old grandmom would say abt me not wearing a thali but the lady in question actually laughed when told abt the argument and claimed that its all in the mind :)

10:08 PM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

LOL !! well I would have loved to spend some alone time with my parents like that.. now it all seems to be with everyone.. and my hubby gets all the love... hahah not that I mind.. but I definitely like some time only with them..

1:03 AM  
Blogger Guptavati said...

oh Nice post.Totally relate to the post-wedding chaos.Me abandoned it the same day too. Am pretty militant when it comes to one-sided symmbolims such as thali and metti.

9:31 PM  
Blogger inquietesque said...

This is great.. I relate to this completely. Except in a slightly different way. My mom used to be the rebel of the family. I have personally seen her removing her "thali" and wearing a generic chain on occasion. But when it came to my sister and me, she felt the need to insist that we toe the line fearing that the in-laws may think we are too forward!!

Anyway, I totally agree with you. I have decided that I will do my thing. I left all my jewelry at home in my mom's locker (had to bring the mangalsutra with me) the last time I was home. Just ignore the looks, they will dissappear soon and you can continue to currupt your younger cousins to your heart's content ;-).

- P. S
http://inquietesque.blogspot.com

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