Title: Toe Rings!
An Indian Bride or a married Indian woman has to put on a lot of new things and it is considered inauspicious for her husband if she removes her mangalasutra or toe-rings or bindi. I will not bore you any more with the Indian traditions, instead let us get along with today's tidbit!! :-)
On my wedding day, V put the toe-rings on my toes... Three on my right toes and three on my left... A new bride is supposed to put on all the three pairs of toe-rings for 2 1/2 months after marriage and then she can remove 2 pairs but she has to wear one pair of toe-rings for the rest of her life!!!
The toe-rings were huge, made of silver and quite heavy. They were more like finger-rings with pointed cone in the middle... From the moment I had them on, I found it very difficult to walk... I had to drag my feet while holding my toe-rings tightly... They were a little loose and were bound to slip off easily... Or they would turn around with the pointed cone going under my toe and pricking my toe when I put forth my footsteps...
With all this and me in my bridal attire, we had to walk down the mandapam, walk out into the sunshine for Surya-namaskaram. V was walking ahead oblivious to all my trouble... I was trying hard to match to his speed of walking but could not... Normally, I could have called out to him or rather shouted out his name asking him to walk along with me... But it was my wedding day and a bride is supposed to be demure, shy and vulnerable... All I could do was hiss his name and hope that he has heard me...
V's Jijaaji (brother-in-law) must have observed all this. He came to my rescue. He went near V, asked him to wait and told him to walk like a bridegroom, hand-in-hand with the bride (that's me!) This is what I imagined Jijaaji tell V: "What are you running away from? You are not going to catch a bus or train? Walk slowly!"
Much later, in Bekal, I lost one of the toe-rings at the beach and I was very upset and was wondering what my mother-in-law would think about me... So, I dragged V to a jewellery shop and made him buy me a smaller/thinner toe-ring for the third toe from the big toe... I was dreading the time that I would face my mother-in-law to tell her of the lost toe-ring... And guess what? She scolded me... not for losing the toe-ring... but for buying that extra pair of toe-rings!!! She said as long as I have one pair of toe-rings intact, it is enough!!!
I have now changed into a thinner and lighter pair of toe-rings that don't hurt me anymore...! And V is relieved as he need not listen to any more complaints about the toe-rings hampering my walking pace!!! We can continue to on long walks in peace!