The Wedding

I’ve worn floral button downs

With a skater skirt and,

Sneakers

Instead of monochrome

Because the aunt with the

Acquired accent from London

Was coming for dinner and,

Would love to see me

In the gifts she’d picked up

At the season end sale,

And couriered

Two years ago.

It’s the third wedding

In the last two years

And I’ve already

Lost track of anniversaries.

I nod, smile and acknowledge

Any statement about

How long it’s been and,

How much I’ve grown up

Without trying to analyze

The reality in them

Because there are faces

And relations

I’ve only just discovered

In the conversation

Two minutes ago.

This is the third wedding

But the story is the same.

I used to look

For the parents earlier

But I’ve realized

That family functions

Are where parents

Are no longer family

And maintaing distance

Is a good idea.

Whether it’s the function

Or the place;

I’m not yet sure.

I hunt down

The beloved cousin

And find immense joy

As I discover her stuck

In the situation

I just excused myself from.

There’s an exchange

Of understanding and pleading

So I walk over to her mother

And enjoy the situation

A while longer

Until she glares and threatens

To introduce me.

It’s the third wedding

In the last two years

But chaos

Is still invited

Even though we’d decided

To not call them after

The previous wedding,

And the wedding before that.

I’m handed over

The department of gifts

And decoration

Like always

But there’s that Uncle

Who’s interfering

Like always.

I nod, smile and agree

Because conflict is

Best avoided.

I walk around aimlessly

Making sure to

Avoid anyone

I don’t recognize

But who seem to

Recognize me.

I grab on to a glass of buttermilk

And make my way

To the cousins’ den.

She’s sitting there

In between everyone

Laughing her head out

With mehendi till her elbows

And there’s a surreal

Feeling of happiness.

We start off with love story

Interrupting her

After every two words

To tease her,

And then start back tracking

To the previous wedding

And the wedding before that

All the way to our childhood.

Over time

We’ve remembered birthdays later

And met fewer

But today,

In this fourteen by twelve feet room

Full of matured faces –

Old and new,

Amongst chaos

And couriered gifts,

And interfering opinions

And unknown relations,

I found home and,

The childhood

I never knew I treasured.

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