WHAT HAS CHANGED

By: Giti Tyagi

WHAT HAS CHANGED?
 

The carpet with an antique look, preserved for generations- the symbol of bygone prosperity- saved perhaps for the special auspiciously pleasant days, as this day! The docile, decently shy bride adorned the neatly spread, yet outshone carpet. Her half-open eyes probably counting the strings of the threads woven intricately into designed flowers. ‘As beautiful as the moon!’ and a smile floated her rosy lips, taking the liberty as her face lay hidden under a foot-long ghoonghat- a perfect defence system for the bride, tactfully used to hide the funny gestures.

A display lay in waiting- seeking the approval from all and sundry present- which, in any case, is an impossibility. The displayed bride! That’s a necessity, but the fun begins as we go a step further. The ornaments- always less and cheaper than expected- and why does one exactly raise such expectations is a mystery unsolved! She bought what she liked, shouldn’t that be a reason enough to wear something? But she certainly missed a point here- to pre-approve the purchase. ‘When was the last time a group of persons amicably agreed?’ She smiled at her wandering thoughts, veiled perfectly under the purdah.

Unfolding, praising each saree….forgot to mention the dress material is an important factor in judging a bride’s worth- silks from all corners of the country- the choicest ones from far and wide collected over the years- for the bride. Love filled teary drops moistening the atmosphere , 'After all its my only son’s wedding.' No doubt the collection was remarkable! The father and daughter’s choice, on the other hand, could not match their perhaps- her own clothes were brushed aside, not even worthy of display. 'Had my mother chosen every piece of cloth and jewellery…' She sighed, hiding her tears in the thankfully long ghoonghat.

Finally left to themselves, the guests all gone, the brightness of the soothing gentle moonlight brightening the dimly lit room, where no longer sat the bride on the antique looking carpet. She was startled at the pride displayed in despising change and preserving the centuries old traditions; the stern voice of Chaudhari Sahab declaring, “Son, apart from your marriage, what else has changed in this house? What has been, shall be.”