Dr T and I were living together before we decided to married. Having lived overseas for several years I just assumed it would be a Western style wedding. I bought dozens of bridal magazines and set about planning my dress. Dr T did not comment on any of this. One day curled up in a chair I absentmindedly asked him what kind of dress did he think I should get. It was like he was waiting for that question. His response was immediate. A sari! It was not what I expected from my Anglo Canadian partner. I had worn a sari only once before. It was on a special birthday and my mother was in Perth to help me wear the hot pink and turquoise silk sari. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was completely smitten seeing me in one. He was even more smitten that the sari could be unravelled in one swift movement. I can be quite oblivious to the obvious sometimes!
Now I’m not sure if you know much about saris. There are many, many styles worn in different parts of India. In my part of world (central India), a sari is 6.5 yards long, worn with pleats in the front and a shawl like drape over the left shoulder. A woman wears a skirt underneath into which the sari is tucked into. She wears a blouse that reaches to about the last rib. The belly area is exposed (abs in one’s youth was a bonus!). In my mother’s day, underwear was optional! The whole package was Dr T’s dream come true.
So sari it was.
We lived in the UK for several months before getting married as Dr T was on sabbatical there. I stopped off in India, my only visit in decades as I wanted to buy a sari from my home town. In those days shopping for saris was an experience like no other. My mother and entourage were ushered into an air conditioned room, the salesman was seated on a carpeted floor, a man on the mezzanine level threw down bolts of saris, the silks in the brightest of colours, flying through the air. Indian brides (non-Christian brides) wear bright colours on their wedding day but Christian brides opt for cream with a coloured border. Seated in the middle of a sea of rainbows, I could not make up my mind! Everything I looked at was gorgeous and I bought half a dozen or so. For my wedding, I ended up liking the border of one sari but the heavy cream silk of another was outrageously luxurious and I had to have that, too. The salesman had known me when I was a child. He was thrilled I had come from Australia and wanted to make the sale on the condition I sent him a picture of me in the sari, so he could put it in the shop window. He offered to remove the border I liked and transfer it on the silk I loved. I couldn’t have been a happier bride. And … Dr T was an even happier groom.
On reflection it was ironic that I wore such an opulent outfit. The wedding could not have been more low key. We got married in the front yard under the gum tree on a Saturday. The minister was from the Salvation Army and completing his Masters and known to Dr T from university. We had 12 guests, including us, and enjoyed a BBQ after the brief ceremony. We did have Handel’s music being played softly in the background that signalled celebration to anyone within ear shot. We had an enormous wedding cake that Dr T and I demolished over the year. As we exchanged our vows our neighbours came home from grocery shopping and as they unloaded their car, they tried desperately to keep their little children quiet and not disturb us. We went back to work on Monday, without fan fare.
Our relationship lasted over 21 years. I have known him for over 40, and most of those years have been amicable post divorce. I am in a good place. I know he is too.
Until next time
a dawn bird
In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Opulent