We dedicated a separate day for shopping ‘totto’ (gifts) which includes different kinds of clothes, cosmetics, toiletries, sweets and each item is decorated in a different tray. The groom’s family sends these gifts along with the haldi and the bride’s family sends them on the boubhat or the reception day. The preparations were all done, the house was well decorated and we were waiting for the big day.


Soon, we had guests at home, our relatives arrived for the wedding, neighbours visited for the daily celebrations. To our surprise, everyone appreciated the new yellow colour that our walls were painted. Some people said yellow is an auspicious colour and suits well for the wedding occasion. Others said the house looks all new with this bright and new yellow colour. We realized that because we were so used to the blue walls that the colour change looked different to us, but now we knew it looked good. Maa was happy as it was her decision to bring in the yellow walls, especially for the wedding and it turned out just perfect.


Our neighbours were more like a family and we did all the rituals and celebrations together. It was such a joyous time at home with everyone taking up responsibilities and making everything grand. Food plays an integral role in any Bengali celebration and we brainstormed the menu for all the occasions. Our guests loved everything that was served. The wedding day began early in the morning with the ceremonies starting with the sunrise. Soon we were all decked up and everything went as planned. My sister’s wedding is one of the most memorable moments for the entire family.


After the wedding, not just my sister, but all the relatives and guests started leaving too. The home looked so empty and dull. There was still so much work left to do but none of us had the energy or the mood to do it. Everyone was just quiet, not talking to anyone, not even doing anything. Then, one morning, maa, baba and I sat together to have tea and suddenly baba burst out crying. I was taken aback; I had never seen him cry before. Maa and I couldn’t hold back our tears as well. We all missed her, silently, every moment and we didn’t know what to do. Baba must be going through so much, he controlled his emotions for so long, and his tiny daughter suddenly flew to her new abode. It must be so difficult for parents. After a few weeks, we received the wedding video and it was an event in itself. It was a VCR and baba hired a big television and a VCR player to watch the video. All our neighbours gathered at our home and we together enjoyed watching it and we all ended up crying too. Everyone took turns looking at the beautiful wedding album and remembered the lovely moments.


The guests started leaving again, the home was empty, looked dull and we hosts went back to our silent spaces with moist eyes.





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Y – Yesteryear




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5 thoughts on “X – Xenial (relation between host and guest)”

  1. I remember when my eldest cousin got married was the first time I came across this concept of gifts in trays (jiju is a Bengali). All of us cousins had so much fun decorating the trays.
    The house feels very quiet and empty after the bride and all the relatives leave no?

  2. It really must be difficult for parents to send away daughters like that. I can totally feel your baba’s and everyone else’s grief at the departure of your sister. Glad that people like the wall paint color and you got used to it too

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