• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

October 26, 2007

I Married a Total Stranger

Share
Special Offer

The wedding was preceded by six days of partying, each one centering on a small religious ceremony, plus a social gathering featuring fireworks, feasting, music, and Bollywood-style dancing. Each day required a different outfit, jewelry, hairdo, and makeup. Rather than the bachelorette parties I'd later learn about in the States — where someone might end up with a "Chuck Forever" tattoo — at home in Mumbai, my girlfriends and I partook in a henna hand-painting ritual to beautify me for my future husband.

After the henna ceremony, two of my cousins took me aside and gave me the CliffsNotes on the birds and bees. Combine an Indian upbringing with a Catholic-school education, and my knowledge of sex was limited to "It is a sin." Despite blushing profusely and begging them to stop, I completed the crash course, and we all laughed.

On the wedding day, my groom, dressed in a brocade coat, arrived in a flower-decked Mercedes — a modern-day maharaja. Together, we circled the holy fire seven times (a tradition called Saat Pheras); then, under a canopy of frangipanis and orchids, we were wedded for seven lifetimes. The Pheras are the most important part of the wedding ceremony. In Hinduism, the fire is considered the sustainer of life, and it is only after the Saat Pheras are completed that a couple is declared man and wife. Each Phera is taken to invoke the blessings of specific gods and goddesses, who then grant the seven blessings: financial stability, health, faith, trust and love, progeny, togetherness, and loyalty and unity forever.

On my wedding night, a sense of calm finally washed over me, as I made my leap from bride to wife (armed with the Kama Sutra, which my cousins had downloaded onto my PDA as a gift).


Share
Connect with Marie Claire:
Advertisement
horoscopes
daily giveaway
One winner will receive year's supply of makeup products from Dior and a year's supply of hair products from Tresemmé as selected by the Sponsor. A total prize package of 485!

One winner will receive year's supply of makeup products from Dior and a year's supply of hair products from Tresemmé as selected by the Sponsor. A total prize package of 485!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Relationship Advice
The Best (and Worst) Cities to Find a Marriage-Material Guy

Think there are no good men where you live? You may be right.

The 6 Reasons Even the Best Relationships End

Here's hoping that Bey and Jay Z pull through, though.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook
Welcome!

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Continue
Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.

Continue