Anagha, was the eldest child of her parents. Her mom dreamt of her daughter’s wedding since the day she was born. Every time she visited the jewellery shop, she would buy something for her daughter. When Anagha would disapprove of the ornament, her mom would just say, you are not wearing it now, it’s for your wedding. Anytime, Anagha said, “Mom, it’s a lovely saree”, her mom would never wear it. It would go in the suitcase labeled – Anagha’s Sarees. All the old clothes would be given off to the steel vessel vendor, and a kitchen utensil would be bought. But the kitchen would never see any of these new vessels, instead they would find a place in a carton labeled – Anagha’s Kitchen set. Though her mom dreamt of her daughter’s wedding, she never forced it on her. She let her daughter dream about her future. She let her daughter fly, explore the world, understand what’s good or bad for her.
Years passed by, and the time finally came when Anagha chose her life partner. The two of them were engaged and were to get married in 6 months time. While Anagha was excited and anxious about her new life, her mom was a similar state. Her dream was coming true. Her only daughter, her best friend would be married. The preparations had started 25 years back, now was the time to implement all the grand plans. There were only discussion at home was about the wedding. There were times when Anagha would get frustrated, as there was no other topic discussed at home. She understood, her mom wanted to make the wedding day a special day for Anagha. She dint want to leave out even a minute detail. Anagha even fought with her mom, that, she was stressing over this wedding, and health was taking a back seat. But there was nobody who could stop her mom’s excitement.
On the wedding day, Anagha’s mom looked at her, took her face in her palms, kissed her forehead, and quickly left the room, for her to get ready for the wedding. It was time, for the Kanyadaana. Both mother and daughter had decided, they wouldn’t cry. The priest asked Anagha to sit on her dad’s lap. For a few moments, she went back to her childhood, where she would run and sit on her dad’s lap, everytime mom came running behind her to punish her for the mischief. She would sleep in the bus, and dad would carry her on her shoulder and make her lie on the bed. She wouldn’t find place in the bus, dad would make her sit on her lap. A couple of days before the wedding, when her hands were full of henna, her dad made her drink the glass of water, and mom gave her the Kai Thuthu (feeding with her hands). She felt her life was running like a movie in front her. She realized, her parents life revolved around her. That day, would be the last she would sit on her dad’s lap, as his darling daughter.
As she sat, the priest, asked the groom to bring his hand forward with his palm open, then he asked her dad to hold her palm and keep it on the groom’s hand. Her mom was supposed to pour the water on the coconut, which these 3 hands held. The priest was residing the mantra. The gist of the whole thing was, the dad was giving away his daughter to the groom forever. She was no longer his daughter alone, but the groom’s partner for life. When Anagha heard this, her eyes filled up with tears, she dint want to shed any, as she had promised her mom. She just looked up to her mom, saw her in the same state, they both just smiled at each other. Then all of a sudden, she felt her dad’s hand was slipping away, and the only hand holding was her husband’s. Her dad had given her away.
She turned back, saw tears in her dad’s eyes for the first time in her life. But she sensed that he wasn’t really sad, he just held her cheeks in his palm and then kissed her on her forehead. All of a sudden, she saw her brother shaking hands with her and her husband. He was sad, but he was happy too, he too had tears in his eyes. She saw all her uncles, aunts, cousins come and wish her. She had controlled her tears, but could sense the mixed feelings everybody had.
The priest called the couple for more rituals to be followed. The emotional moment had passed. Everybody got back to work, taking care of guests, inviting people for lunch, giving gifts to the guests. The rituals continued and after the lunch, Anagha was to be sent to her husband’s house. Her parents now placed her hands in the hands of her in-laws and husband, stating, she would be their daughter now. Anagha was again fighting her tears. “How could they?” she thought. “How can they tell them, I am their daughter? I will never be anybody’s daughter except my parents” she was angry. But in a moment she realized, what it meant. The priest was telling Anagha, “From now, you have 2 sets of parents. One of your own, one of your husbands, treat them equally”.
After all the rituals, she was sent to her room to relax and change, and get ready for the reception in the evening. She went to the room, looked at the mirror, she could no longer hold her tears. She broke down. She cried to heart’s content. Her aunt came in the room. She was shocked to see her cry. After consoling a little bit, Anagha got a hold on herself. She hugged her aunt, her mom’s sister, just like her mom. “Take care of mom” she said. Her aunt could relate to the feelings, for she too had gone through the emotions, years back. She smiled and said “Don’t worry, all of us will”. Just then Anagha’s mom entered the room, she ran into her mom’s arms, and both hugged each other as if, the world was going to end.
Finally, when it was time for Anagha to go with her husband, her parents told her husband “She is our princess, but we are sure, you will treat her like a Queen”