Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
My marriage was over....honeymoon over...all ceremonies over and now a new life was waiting for me to open it's Pandora's box.
My husband had got transferred to this new city just a couple of months before our marriage and had taken a flat on rent. We both were to live quite far away from our home towns and were required to settlle everything from scratch. My husband was living a perfect bachelor's life till then. He had been away from his hometown for almost now 10 years for education and job and had almost forgotten what living in a family is, how a house is to be kept, what things are needed etc. He had Just a bed and a television set and very few utensils (just one plate, glass, spoon and bowl) and it was both funny and worrisome to see that, and when I entered the house my first reaction was "Kitna khaali hai ye, yaha to kuch bhi nahi hai". Well I was also to join a job in a few days and wanted the home up and running asap. Just till a few days back I was living in a fully furnished home with everything settled. I had never seen something so empty and unsettled. Well a newly wed wife...with all excitement... and love for the husband was ready to take up anything at that time. I was immature and naive myself but now being the woman of the house as is expexted it was my responsibility to settle it.
Well I knew there was a huge task now at hand. So I had in just a few hours started making a list of furniture and white goods to be bought. Well a lot of discussion was done and suddenly we realised that we were hungry...
Food was ordered as there was not even a gas to cook or any other equipments and this was the way my husband had been surviving, but was not going to be like that anymore as I liked home cooked food. Just then I realised that not only the furniture and appliances, there was tonnes to be bought for the kitchen and things like bedsheets, quilts and so much more.....even the thought of it was giving me pain as I was not that experienced and also it was going to take a lot of time and effort. Shaadi ki khumaari utar rahi thi.
Well my husband seemed to be much relaxed. Men are like that only. Once married, they think that the wife has some magic wand through which she will instantly turn this flat into a perfect beautiful home. They don't know and even don't want to know the nitty gritty of all this. How many small and big things are required...the finesse and experience it takes....the time and effort.
In fact when I was busy worrying, he was busy making a wish list of dishes he will get to eat once everything is settled. Least did he know that even a simple meal requires so many equipments and ingredients.
Well, Just as I was worrying, a bell rang and what I saw on opening the door was a big surprise. There were 2 people from a courier company who had 3 huge cartons to be delivered to us. Initially I thought they had come to a wrong address but when I saw my name on it and checked the whereabouts, it was surely mine. They were from my parental address with my father's name on it.
Me and my husband dragged the cartons inside and they were very well packed. When we managed to open them, I got the surprise of my life. 2 of them were full with all the stuff needed for a kitchen. Right from the gas burner....utensils..... Pressure cooker.....steel boxes........appliances like a toaster.....sandwich maker......plastic stuff...and what not. And the other carton had all sorts of bedsheets, quilts, towels and napkin sets and cushion covers....even nicely packed cutlery and crockery...
Some items were brand new and I was able to recognize some as old. I remembered my mother purchasing them years back and keeping them nice and safe. I even remembered that some of them were items gifted to us on several occasions by relatives and friends and she had saved the good ones for me.
I was really speechless and overwhelmed. I called her instantly and said, " mummy, thank you aapne itna sab bheja hai. Sach mein bahut zaroorat thi. Samajh nahi aa raha tha kaha se start Karun. Bahut help ho jaaegi and sorry, itne saal kitna mazaak udaaya maine inka.
To this she said, " haan beta, mujhe lagta thaa tumhaare kaam aaega. Sorry mat bolo, ye baatein pehle samajh nahi aati. Maaye bura nahi maanti is sab ka. Mujhe chinta thi ki Kaise karogi sab akele. Pata nahi pasand aaya ya nahi but tumhari kuch help ho jaegi." Mummy papa ka parting gift hai. Use karna to hume yaad karna. Her throat as well as mine got choked with emotions as we both were still trying to overcome our sentiments on this separation after marriage". I couldn't even thank her enough.
My husband also thanked her profusely and once calmed, I thought, how bad I was as a daughter. Arguing with mummy for small things. Making her upset and troubling her and all this while she was thinking and doing so much for me. Probably many of us realize so many things we took for granted after marriage. I knew why she had not told me about this courier earlier as I would have even then created a fuss. But, now in a situation and needing it I could value everything. I remembered how I had made fun of those huge trunks she used to maintain and clean every year in which she was storing all this stuff for me and my younger sister,to be gifted on our marriage. What a feeling to have for your kids. Nothing is comparable even. For years she had been buying beautiful crockery, cutlery, utensils, furnishings and even had saved the good gifts received from people for our marriage time. She had herself not used it.
When I was busy during my marriage worrying about my lehenga, dresses, jwellery, functions etc she was worrying apart from other things about this also. She was arranging this stuff to get it couriered to such a long distance. I could now make sense of all that she had been doing for years and was ashamed of how we had been making fun of it and sometimes arguing on the relevance of storing all this. Only a mother could have the foresightedness and concern and worry that "may be her daughter has to live alone after marriage and settle everything from scratch", may be she will get people from in laws side who would not help or bother much on this account".
I was not blaming anyone as everyone has his or her way of thinking and doing things but yes, in my case my MIL had not even bothered to ask me as to how was I going to settle my new grihasti, forget helping or doing some prior preparations. I had seen many ladies who take the pain of helping settle their son and DILs home in many possible ways even if they don't have to live together and make few prior arrangements to make it easy for the new bride. I don't know whether it was the love marriage effect but mine had till then shown an I don't care attitude as well as I and things related to me were concerned. Was it not her son's home also? Least she could have guided my husband to arrange for something's beforehand. She also was a mother and experienced home maker. Well I was lucky to have at least someone thinking so much for me.
Also, there comes our Indian tradition where a girls parents are the ones who have to give all this stuff in marriage. In many places it is part of the dowry. Only some lucky ones get MILs and families considerate enough and caring enough to do some prior arrangements from their side too.
I know it is a bit old fashioned these days to keep storing stuff for years for girls to be given in marriage but even today my kitchen has most of the stuff from my mom and even though I have in all these years purchased many fancy things but the ones from her are priceless. Just last year when I saw a maid aunty working at our place for so many years discussing with my mother as to what all she had collected to give her daughter in marriage and was seeking help and suggestions from her, I understood the feeling.
Idon't know how many will agree or relate to it but I hold those mother's in high regard whether of a son or daughter who with so much love affection and care save things for their children and help in settling their new home. I know parents who courier their children's favourite delicacies and things from their hometown to even foreign locations. It is like a blessing from them.