Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First Night- The Maniyara

Before any of the 100s of people that are here just because of the first two words in the title get hyper-super-duper excited, let me clear your anticipation. This is a post about what happened BEFORE the maniyara... not during or after.

Yes, I grant you permission to leave.

At around 9 pm, the new couple had reached home from the groom's residence. My sister, the bride, ran off to take a shower and the groom was swept off in the crowd towards his maniyara; the room given to the new couple. My cousin brothers surrounded him and demanded to be given Rs. 8000 in order to be let into his room. He took all the tricks in his pocket and tried to shoo them away. But the boys had made up their mind. I popped up in between and demanded that the girls get a share of whatever being given to the boys. After a lot of talking and a lot blabbering, the groom and the guys shook hands on a deal of Rs. 5000 where the boys get Rs.3000 and the girls, Rs.2000. Fair, that's what I thought, since they were the ones that did most of the dealing.
He was then taken down for a rich dinner, after which he was taken back to his room. The next demand made by the boys were that the money be given to them in ready cash that night. A couple of them were off to different states in a  few hours and they wanted their part then and there. F, the groom, swore that he had not carried enough cash with him and that he would pay them the first thing in the morning. An hour more of talking and the demand remained the same. It was finally decided that he would borrow from one of my father's brothers. For all I have, I just don't know how it happened, but somehow he convinced the guys and did not pay them one coin.

Then it was the girls' turn. I, along with 4 of my cousin sisters, took the bride to a separate room (a room that will one day be mine xD). There we dressed her up in 3 layers of salwar tops and 3 pants and a hell lot of pins pinning this end to that end. We tied the 'naada' (ropes?!) over and over again and plaited them along with all the other ones. We were testing S's patience, but she seemed to have a lot of it. we put on an inch thick of make up, tied her hair up in a ponytail, pinned a bunch of jasmine flowers, covered her head with her shawl, and then walked her to her room.

We stood outside her room and started singing mappila songs. The groom was inside, simply waiting with a smile. We demanded that we wouldn't let her in unless he either sang or recited a Surah. Since he did none, we swore we wouldn't let her in unless he did so.

After five minute or so of singing and teasing, he came and tried to grab her hand and pull her in. Now that's where things kind of got out of hand. This ragging kind of stuff is done by those young adults.. or youngsters between the ages of 13 to 30... or any one mature enough to understand what is going on. Four of my uncles started getting agitated. They started behaving as if we would make the bride sleep down on the floor and not with the groom. They started getting angry and asked us to let her go. We restated our demand but they didn't bother listening. F let go of S's hand and all the uncles, mighty a they are, started pushing her towards her room. Us girls tried pulling her back. This went on and finally she was in since we couldn't hold on to the mighty men. We were so angry because this was not how it was supposed to go. The adults were not supposed to interfere.

According to the plan, he was to pull her in, we pull her back, he pulls her in again and this time we let go and make a lot of noise till they close the door. That's the usual way. But this time, it was as if an angry mob had attacked and my sis got hurt. After she walked in, she started sobbing. In between the so called fun, her wrist got twisted and it hurt her bad. F started consoling her and the tension grew. "It's because of her", one of the uncles said, pointing at me. My eyes welled up, not for being accused, but because I believed it was my fault too. I went near her and asked her if she was alright. I felt a huge lump in my throat and asked her again. My dad got pretty tense at this moment and screamed at me in front of everyone.
Dad, screaming at me.
PS: This is not my dad. You know that right?
 "YOU SHOULD GET OUT OF THIS ROOM FIRST THING!!"

 I started crying and screamed back at him saying that she is my sister and that I shall stay until and unless I knew she was fine. I shouldn't have screamed but I was far from being concerned about anything else. S told us all she was fine and the crowd slowly started moving out of the room. Still crying, I took out the Dairy Milk Silk chocolate that I had been hiding and opened it to give F and S a bite.
 "Shubharambham", I said. For a good beginning.

I leaned over to my new brother-in-law and told him to take care of her.

"Definitely.", He said... and that's when I finally felt at ease.

The door was about to be closed when my sister put her head out, laughing.

"Pattiche", she said. I fooled you.