Experiencing Emotions – Best Friend

Experiencing Emotions – Best Friend

I stir in my sleep as I hear the chirping of birds near me. Wait, birds? I live in the metropolitan city of Bangalore. I am so used to waking up to the sound of vehicles and screaming children in school vans that, for a minute, I felt displaced. I then remembered that it was my best friend, Anjali’s wedding and I was at The Tamarind Tree for it. I open my eyes to see the early rays of the sun enter through the mesh of the jalousie windows. I felt like royalty as I was lying in a four poster bed with lace curtains bordering it. It was her wedding and I was the one feeling pampered in this beautiful room.

I forced myself out of the regalty because I had to go help in the wedding prep. The main event was a little late in the morning and I was dreading the March heat. Nevertheless, with reluctance I put on the silk saree and headed to an area named Athithishala where the first ritual was to be held.

It really felt like a scene from a movie. Early morning fog clearing up, the mothers prepping for the rituals while the Purohit chanted mantras under his breath. They sat under a traditional four pillared mantapa that was surrounded by a large courtyard. The pillars of the courtyard were adorned with palm leaves and the vibrant colours of yellow and white marigold.


As I walked down the steps and towards the mantapa, the stone floor had a soothing effect on my feet. The cool breeze from the numerous trees pushed away all my worries of the summer heat. The smell of incense clouded my senses as I was trying to pay attention to the list that aunty was directing at me to bring from the bridal room.

I headed towards the bridal suite or Arundati (as they call it) to fetch the items needed for the rituals and also see how Anjali was holding up. Since I had spent every waking moment of last week with her to perfect each of her bridal looks, I knew the details of her ensemble right to the colour of her eye shadow. But no amount of prior knowledge had prepared me for what I saw when I walked into her suite.


It was like I had stumbled into a royal painting. Her traditional attire combined with the nostalgic feel of The Tamarind Tree made her no less of a Queen. Holding back the tears and making sure not to mess her makeup, I gave her a quick hug and rushed back to aunty with the things she wanted.

The events began with the nadaswaram troupe playing ceremonial music as the beautiful bride walked into the mantapa. The Gauri Pooja was to be held before the main wedding. As I watched years of traditional rituals passed on from generations being recreated in front of my eyes, I realised that the world can get as “modern” as possible, moving away from orthodox beliefs and rituals, but there was something very reassuring and soothing about being a part of these traditions. I was so glad that Anjali and her fiancé, Karan had insisted on following every ritual at the wedding. The joy of the older members of the family was so visibly seen and it formed a pleasant bond between the generations.

One of the main reasons why Anjali fell in love with The Tamarind Tree, much like other brides I’m sure, was because of the pond or Kalyani which formed a gorgeous backdrop for the main wedding ceremony. We had spent countless nights discussing how to decorate this main stage and had many calls with the team of TT only to come to a realisation that in that property and that particular area, the most simple decor looked the best. So, Anjali and Karan had finally set their mind to a combination of yellow and orange marigolds. After the initial ritual in Athithishala, the bride made her way onto the main mantapa at the Pond Pavilion where the man of her dreams awaited. She was escorted in a Palki lifted by her very muscular cousins. Though she was quite a sight for the eyes, I couldn’t take my eyes off Karan’s face as it glowed with pure happiness.


She was my cradle-to-grave kinda friend of 26 years, my soul sister, and it was the biggest day of her life. I had seen her through her worst and now I was with her at her best. I had lived through the thousand “change of plans” for the wedding and had patiently helped her figure out how to have this wedding that both of us had dreamt of for her. If I had to do it all over again, I would without a blink of an eye. ‘Cause the wedding was everything and more than what we had envisioned. The property where she got married was not just a regular wedding hall. Right from the first time we came to see the place and then many more meetings to decide the small details, it was an exhilarating experience.

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