FEATURE: THE HINDU BRIDAL BOOK/ARTICLES I & II





                                              THE HINDU BRIDAL BOOK
  


Notes to oneself

Some matters should be kept between the bride and herself!

The big day is finally here, or almost. Your big day. Even as everyone around you is running ragged, trying to do a zillion things before your main event dawns, you need to stay calm and still in the centre of the storm. You need to make a mind-list, or if it works better for you, to write down some points, and then, faithfully follow them into your wedding and beyond, into your marriage itself.

First of all, make your mind an oasis of calm. Everyone, and that includes you, is doing their very best to make this a magical time for you. But there is absolutely no need for you to work yourself up. What will get done, will get done. The rest won’t matter. So stay calm, create a Zen space in your head and go inhabit that space every time you feel you are tensing up.

Then, be determined to enjoy every moment of your wedding day. On D- Day, if something goes (just a bit) awry, turn a blind eye to it. What you don’t see won`t upset you. And do cut some slack for errata, bloopers, glitches. The point is, if you downplay it, it really will not be a big deal. Ergo, a win-win situation.

Set aside a little sentimental something which you will gift your new husband on your wedding night. We aren’t talking the keys to a Ferrari here; a set of monogrammed handkerchiefs, a tie or a pair of cufflinks will do just fine. Just use your imagination. Then, get that card or gift ready for your parents who have arranged this special day for you.

Choose a set of closerthanthis friends who will, as the Americans say, have your back in the run-up to, as well as during the wedding itself. Two girlfriends will do the trick. They need to be briefed on their elastic and wide-ranging duties, from staving off people you don’t want to meet to ensuring the diya on the pandal stays brightly lit, to nudging you along in case you go blank at a crucial moment, pointing the official videographer in all the right directions, keeping your valuables safe, bringing you a quick sandwich or hard-boiled egg before you collapse from hunger. See the need for them? Next, choose a couple of young and energetic relations who will be your unofficial fetch and carry people during the festivities. You never know when you will suddenly need something or someone, and you can hardly go haring after it yourself, now can you?

In the last fortnight before The Day, it is you-time. Focus on yourself. Visit your hair stylist, get a facial and a back spa treatment done, go for an abhyangam, a mani-pedi, experiment with make-up colours, defuzz your body. And talking of your body, eat well and eat healthy, you want clear glowing skin for D- Day. Drink loads of water every day but not on D-Day itself, for obvious reasons. Keep fit, exercise either at your regular gym or go for brisk walks every day in the park.

Put together a set of the most delicious lingerie and underclothes you can dream up, in the most fantastic shades you can find online and in the market. This is your gift to yourself, and of course, your husband.  Decide you will keep the bridal make-up light. Insist on it with your make-up person. Less really is more; it is your  inner glow that will dazzle people, not your frosted lipstick or glittery eyeshadow!

Try out each and every one item of your trousseau that while there is still time for alterations. The fit has got to be perfect…and comfortable! Go shoe shopping, get shoes in all the pertinent colours! After which, buy sets of matching luggage to take to your new home.

Don’t incorporate any drastic changes in your appearance, life, activities. Not now. The time will come, later. Resolve to never play the comparison game. What you have, where you live and what all you do may well change in the coming weeks and months. Embrace everything that is coming your way with an open mind and open arms.


Give away the clothes you haven’t worn for ages, the costume jewellery you know you will never wear, those many spare bottles of fragrance. Enter a new life with no extra baggage of any kind.




                                                            ********************




Bust that stress!

There is absolutely no need for you to get stressed about anything to do with your wedding. Just stay calm and remember: you are the bride!

Stress, at the best of times,  is bad for your skin, for your stomach, for your nerves. Imagine what a wreck it will make of you, a bride, if you will let it. The trick is to master a few easy stress busters and quickly put it to use every time you feel an attack of the nerves coming up.

To begin with, you need to sit yourself down and have a heart-to-heart with yourself. Make up your mind that everything will go off smoothly, beautifully. If it doesn’t well, you are not going to stress over that. What happens, happens. Get into acceptance mode. Accept everything that comes your way. More important, accept that only good will come of it. Realise that what you can control, you will control. What you can’t,  you will just let go. Cheerfully. Happily.

Relax and stay relaxed. Do whatever it takes to put you in that state: meditation, yoga, a set of Pilates, dipping into a favourite book, dancing to a favourite song. Tap into your inner child. The seven- year- old who was always in the moment, always looking on the bright side of life. The child who refused to believe anything bad could possibly happen to her. Loosen that jaw. Clenching your jaw, gritting your teeth, hunching your shoulders, all things we do in times of stress, is bad for you.  As we said: R.E.L.A.X.

You will be given a hundred different pieces of advice/instruction. Don’t lose sight of the fact that it is your day. Smile and nod your head dutifully but do just what you wish to do. If things get too much for you, it helps to think of your wedding (not your marriage) as a stage production where all eyes will be on you. You have to look perfect and you have to perform well. Just go do it. It will be soon over, as all stage productions get over.

Put together a survival kit in your mind. Try and recall sayings, pieces of pertinent advice, what you have learned from others` happy and unhappy experiences. Put it to the best use for yourself. Give up all thoughts of rigidity and all will be well. You know the saying about the bamboo that bends. Be that bamboo.

Excitement and anticipation are all very well but ground each and every one of your expectations in reality. You are who you are, he is who he is. What’s more, the two of you love each other just as you are. Give quarter, cut slack. Good-humoured adaptability always saves the day, every day.
Have a clear and present idea of just who you are. Tweak, adjust, improve on that essential self. Keep a tight rein on your temper. Remember, once said, the words cannot be taken back. Worse, they will be remembered for a long time.

Settle your temperament. Ground it in tranquil land. Resolve that nothing is going to agitate you. Practice mindfulness. Learn to avoid needless worry and negative emotions, and to always stay in the positive zone. Don’t worry yourself into a state of anxious anticipation. `Go with the flow` should be your mantra in this time of change.

Now that you have committed to that four- letter word, love, it`s time to focus on the three- letter one: fun. Your special day is a day that can and should be mined for fun. So, do it. Talk often to your fiancé. This is the best stress- buster, ever! Just hearing his voice and indulging in light banter will balance your emotions. Go for a short walk every time you feel stressed. Empty your mind of all thoughts and just walk, taking in everything you see, breathing in deep. Sleep a lot. It’s another top de-stressor.

Do the affirmations thingie. It works in the best of times and now, whenever you start to feel stressed, just count your blessings. Strive for a placid exterior and after a while, the placid interior will come into being. Once the two states are parallel, it will be euphoria you will feel.


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