Thursday, October 12, 2006

Do we live for present or mourn the past

Every girl has a dream of how she wants to get married and Indian weddings provide ample of opportunity. Indians believe in making the bride a princess before she goes off to a new home. When a girl gets married here in India, it’s not only she who lives her dreams but the whole family lives those dreams with her. Parents sometimes re-live their marriages with her. Sisters live their dreams of their marriages through her. This is the only time when she and her family don’t mind spending lavishly on things which won’t be required later in life. This is the time when all expenditures that are made, are reasonable. There are best of clothes which would never be worn again. The best and the most heavy gold jewelry which would be broken into more delicate ones later in life. In the end the justification is – Marriage only happens once in a life-time...and everyone lives through that one chance.

Well, this is one wedding which made me think about life and marriage itself. This was the wedding of my dearest friend Rajni and Bhupinder. The marriage was in Patyala. The marriage preparations started long back. Rajni’s younger sister handled all her shopping. Nisha shopped for her clothes, her jewelry, her shoes, her purses and everything in this world. Everything was going great until one day someone who didn’t care for the life hit her on her scooter and ran off. Had he looked to see what he left had left behind, he would have realized that he didn’t leave behind a wounded person but shattered dreams of a young bride and a devastated family.

Rajni’s parents took the decision to go ahead with the marriage, because that was Nisha’s last dream. Nisha’s dream to see her elder sister get married and become the Princess that every girl dreams of. The marriage happened but Nisha’s presence was felt everywhere. Her beautiful snap in the room told us that she is no more with us, but as soon as we left the boundaries of that room, it seemed that she was there with us all along. The beautiful mehndi on Rajni’s hand told us who was the bride but the emptiness in her eyes told us that she was looking for Nisha. The tears in the eyes of her family said that she was no more with us, the beautiful bride on the day of marriage said that Nisha was there with us all along looking at her sister and smiling and thinking on how beautiful her sister looked. Rajni’s parents smiled to see there daughter getting married, but their eyes said that they missed Nisha. When we all hugged Rajni with our heart full of happiness, but we carried Nisha in our hearts. Come to think of it, I had met Nisha only once in my life and yet her absence left such a mark on my life that today I curse the person who left behind so many tearful eyes and emptiness that no one would ever be able to fill. That person has lived to see happiness in his own life but he took away the most cherished dream of Rajni.

Rajni’s marriage made me think about the irony in choices that life gives us. Either her parents could have chosen to mourn their daughters’ death or they could live their daughter’s happiness through her marriage. Looking at Rajni’s parents I couldn’t help but ask myself – Do we live for present that is there in front of our eyes or do we continue to live in the past which is no longer with us? Rajni and her parents took a decision to move on in their life but at the same time included Nisha’s memories in their life. This gave me my answer.