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Tag Archives: family

thedelhibride Asks…How to Eat Healthy post Wedding

24 Apr

After reading this article on 7 Ordinary Ways to Be Healthier, I remembered something I had forgotten within a few months of my wedding – my mother had stopped keeping things like Nutella and Chocopie and Cheeselings around the house because I would gobble them up at God-speed since I was a teenager and of course, that’s extremely unhealthy! As the first point in the article states, just don’t keep junk food around the house and you’ll automatically find yourself reaching for that banana instead of a chocolate bar. However, since I’ve gotten married – there’s been an abundance of these foods around the house. And of course, my first instinct was to say “take it all away! don’t keep this in the house otherwise I will become seriously obese and have clogged arteries!” (my mother always threatened me with clogged arteries every time I asked her for another round of oranges and fresh cream) But that is a senseless kind of demand. Just because I completely and utterly lack self-control when it comes to my favourite “bad foods” doesn’t mean the whole house needs to suffer – it should be around the house for whenever someone wants to munch on something yummy, and also for any guests that arrive unannounced.

thedelhibride Asks…Eating Healthy

But the problem I’m facing is – how do I learn some self-control? I’m honestly terrible with it – nobody was in the house the last 2 days (they’d gone on a short trip) and I managed to clean up an entire bottle of Nutella, and all the fruits and yoghurt and cucumber/tomatoes/eggs were left untouched. Continue reading

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Holi + Camera = Photoshoot!

26 Mar

If you’re recently engaged, you probably have one thing on your mind all the time (except for your fiancé, of course) – STD. You must be dreaming, breathing STD! Googling it, trying to find out everything you can about it.

No, not THAT! I mean, the most important thing you need to figure once your wedding date is fixed – the Save The Date Card! STD!

I’m here to give you a little inspiration for your STD card. You can make it tomorrow. And send it off via email the day after. Yes, it’s that easy.

Things you’ll need

  1. A high quality camera (preferably an SLR, but even your iPhone will do)
  2. Your fiancé (obviously!)
  3. A few bright shades of powdered colours. Oh wait, it’s Holi this week. See, I told you it was easy!
  4. Water (optional, and definitely not preferable, as it may get into your camera)
  5. A pretty location – preferably a park, but even a brick wall will do
  6. An enthusiastic sibling/cousin/friend who knows how to click pictures using a camera (how hard can it be to find one?!)
  7. Willingness to be cheesy and filmy for a full hour (or more!)

How to create your Save The Date card

Step 1: Call your fiancé over to the location of your choice on Holi

Step 2: Ask your sibling/cousin/friend to be ready to click on Burst mode (on an SLR) or as many images in succession as possible on the iPhone (which is as good as Burst mode) or on whichever camera they have

Step 3: Play Holi with your fiancé. Do some cheesy things. Have fun!

Holi 2012

Step 4: Upload the 100 (or 1000) images your sibling/cousin/friend clicked during the day onto a folder in your laptop, then add the Folder to Picasa

Step 5: Select the best (or top 4-5) pictures and click on “Make a Collage” on Picasa

Step 6: Add a frame, add text (your names, wedding date) – feel free to edit the collage in any way you like! Do consult with your sibling/parents if the final version is looking good.

Step 7: Save the collage, attach it to an email, and send a mass mailer to all your closest family and friends.

Step 8: Sit back and relax. Oh wait, you’re already answering a hundred phone calls about how much they love your Save The Date card!

My Save The Date Card

This is what I did for my Save The Date Card last year. My (then) fiancé and I, along with my family, had gone over to my cousin’s house on Holi. We were just hanging around in their balcony when my sister looked at the background (a beautiful park) and exclaimed, “Hey, didn’t you want to do a photoshoot for your Save The Date card? How about we just do it here?” So we went to the park, where my sister and cousins ended up clicking over 500 pictures of me and my fiancé playing dry holi with each other. They kept egging us on to do cheesy filmy things. My sister made my Save The Date card on Picasa – she’s pretty darn awesome with these things. And this is what ours looked like:

Save The Date

Don’t think so much about it. Just DO IT this week!

A very Happy Holi to you too! 🙂

Edit: This park is located inside HUDCO Place right next to Ansal Plaza. Great spot to click pictures undisturbed, as it’s relatively empty on Holi!

thedelhibells: Sangeet

14 Mar

With the Sagan ceremony and ring exchange done, it was time to dance. And so began my favourite event of all – the Sangeet!

Sangeet

The flow of events had been pre-decided. Our sisters were comperes for the night. They’d start off with their solo dance numbers, followed by dance performances by family and friends. The last dance was a group dance – on Chammak Challo – that had been taught to anyone and everyone who was willing to get onto the stage (including those who were last-minute additions because they were flying into Delhi either on the day, or the day before, the Sangeet). Post that, we’d invite everyone onto the dance floor where the DJ would keep the music going as long as people were willing to stay on their feet.

So I’m sitting with my groom on this sofa smack in front of centre stage – best seats in the house, basically. The groom’s sister comes onto the stage, and music starts playing in the background. NOT the song that she’s supposed to dance on. And then, she starts to sing! She has a beautiful voice, and I begin to feel really happy at this sweet surprise…but it gets better. I realize she’s singing one of our favourite songs – A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Boom. I’m bedazzled. And speechless. I just sit there, mesmerized by her voice, and I can’t believe I get to hear this song at this moment, on this day. It’s just…so much more than perfect.

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A wedding guest enjoying the performance

Once the song is over, my sister gets onto the stage. I’m waiting to hear the sounds of “Radha on the dance floor, Radha likes to party…” but what do I get instead? Another surprise! My sister is on stage, mic in hand, speaking to an audience of atleast 300 people, and she starts to read pages from my diary. A sense of dread fills me up. What is she doing??? She’s reading the part where I had written about my first encounters with the groom. I was, let’s say, very childish back then and since I’ve always been a writer, the writing is dramatic. And dramatic to a 16-year-old is the equivalent of super-duper-cheesy to anyone over the age of 20! I’m hoping that she’s edited out a few over-dramatic lines from those pages. But when she comments on how bad my handwriting is (she’s struggling to decipher the words), I realize she’s photocopied the whole damn thing! Oh. My. God! I just wanted the Earth beneath me to split open and for me to fall into a bottomless pit. Unfortunately, this is not just a nightmare. It’s true, it’s happening, and soon – it’s happened. I don’t think I’ve ever been this embarrassed my whole life. Of course, I want to murder my sister. But then I wisely realize, who will host the Sangeet? So I control my urges, and let it go, if only for a little while.

The most embarrassing moment of my life - caught on camera

The most embarrassing moment of my life – caught on camera

Finally, things begin to unfold as they were originally planned. Dance after dance, all our practices and hard work pays off. Of course, everyone forgets a step or two, but that doesn’t come in the way of a successful show. The parents dance is a big hit – considering we made 8 adults over the age of 50 dance for a full 120 seconds with perfect coordination. Come to think of it – they were the only people who didn’t forget a single step in their performance!

Sooo many dance performances!

Sooo many dance performances!

And another song that needs a special mention is my friends’ performance on Gangnam Style. Back in September 2012, it wasn’t the rage it is today at every Indian wedding. But on this day, my friends nail it in song choice and their super cool moves!

Gangnam Style

Gangnam Style

The groom and I danced on plenty of songs ourselves! Just the two of us on Ek Main Aur Ek Tu and Aashiyan, and on Desi Girl, Tum Hi Ho Bandhu and Disco Deewane with the cousins.

The last song – Chammak Challo – is about to begin. Already? How did we get here so quickly? This is THE most uncoordinated dance number of all. But it’s also the most fun. It saw friends and family from both the bride and groom’s side come onto the stage, and to my mother (who was in the audience for this song) it signified the union of the two families.

I get off the stage, and my school friends come up to me to chat. I haven’t had a chance to speak with them since the ceremonies began, and they want to say hello! Suddenly, I feel a hand tugging at my arm. It’s my cousin brother and he’s asking me to go back to the sofa where I was sitting. I think to myself, “oh, maybe that’s where people will be expecting the bride and the groom to be, so I should probably get back to it.” I wave a hasty goodbye to my friends, and follow my brother. He keeps asking me about the groom’s whereabouts, but I’m clueless. I’m looking around for him, when I spot him with his college friends on the other corner of the stage. I turn back to tell my cousin his location, when all of a sudden music comes on. It’s my current Bollywood favourite – Aunty Ji! And to my utter and complete surprise – my brother starts dancing to it, right in the middle of the open field! And he’s really, really getting into it full on! Since I love the song so much, I try to join in with some bride-appropriate subtle dancing. The next second, 2 of my sisters join in, and then 2 more sisters, and then suddenly there’s a full gang of people dancing a choreographed dance on Aunty Ji! It was a damn FLASH MOB! In the middle of my Sangeet! But, but, but…I was SO in shock, I just didn’t get it. I stood there with a “What the hell is happening?” look on my face, intermittently joining them in the dance. I thought I finally got it when they pointed to me and screamed “Aunty Ji!” but when I look at the sangeet video now, you can hear me asking my sister “What’s happening???” even after the chorus of the song is over! Haha! So even though I managed to make a fool out of myself once again, it was THE BEST SURPRISE EVER. Also, the SWEETEST. It just goes to show, although most of you would beg to differ, that I have the best family and friends in the whole wide world 🙂

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The flash mob in full swing

Realization dawning that it is, indeed, a flash mob!

Realization dawning that it is, indeed, a flash mob!

What surprised me the most later on was that they managed to keep all these surprises a secret. Usually, I am super duper awesome at figuring out surprises. I just…know. But this time, I was completely clueless. Good job, sisters!

While Aunty Ji is still playing in the background, my sister drags me to the dance floor and we’re followed by all of our family and friends. There are so many people on the dance floor the whole night, that the dance floor size seems too small! Later on, my mother informed me that she’d told the DJ to give us the biggest dance floor he possible could, and he did. My mother insisted he make it even bigger, even if it meant outsourcing from elsewhere, but he kept insisting “you won’t need a bigger dance floor!” Unfortunately, we DID need a bigger one! But as a result, people were dancing all over the farmhouse. You’d see a couple of ladies sitting on chairs quietly eating their food, and suddenly their husbands would fall to their knees on the grass and start a dance! Eventually, there were mini-dance floors all over the farmhouse, and the DJ dance floor remained full right up until the end.

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For blog - Sangeet20

What was yours truly doing all this while? Well, dancing, of course! I danced the night away. I was on such a high. I didn’t leave the dance floor the whole time. People kept calling the groom and I off the floor, to meet guests. But we’d just drag them back onto the dance floor, irrespective of whether they wanted to or not! Finally, the DJ announced the words I didn’t want to hear “This is the last number of the night.” I danced my heart out on that last number, but I was still not done. I wanted more! I had all this pent up energy, I could have danced for another 2 hours! My sister could see it on my face, so guess what she did – she asked one of her friends to start singing. And then all her friends, and my friends, and the groom’s friends joined in. We danced on atleast 6-7 more songs like this. No music, just voices of youth – didn’t matter if you were in tune! We danced to our own tunes that night, literally. And it made for a really, really memorable end to a fantastic night under the stars.

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Thank you Dad, because I know NONE of this would have been possible without you.

PS. There are a million more people to thank, who should be thanked in equal amounts if not more than this, but this place on this post of the blog belongs to Dad. Many more thank you’s, coming up 🙂

Photographs by Tarun Chawla Photography

You can read the whole thedelhibells series here:

  1. Prologue
  2. Mata Ki Chowki
  3. Pre-Wedding Week
  4. Pre-Wedding Shoot
  5. Haldi
  6. Mehendi
  7. Sagan
  8. Sangeet
  9. Wedding
  10. Reception Preview
  11. Reception

A Bride’s Diary – “Ours was a love marriage”

7 Sep

 Before I introduce today’s guest blogger, I wanted to introduce a new series of guest posts. Called “A Bride’s Diary”, these will literally read like uncensored pages straight out of a bride’s diary. Miss M kick started the series with her straight-from-the-heart post on pre-wedding thoughts. My cousin sister, Ankita, our guest blogger for today – follows suit.

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Ankita got married last February in a beautiful wedding ceremony held in Delhi. In her first guest post on our blog, she recollects the almost Bollywood like journey to her wedding day, complete with a romantic hero and a mother who saves the day!

Ankita & Abhishek – just a few months into wedded bliss

Ours was a love marriage. I met Abhishek at work and it was love at first chat! We got along so well that it was so hard to not fall in love. And he is such a romantic (read cheesy) and believe it or not – I was totally smitten! Our parents loved our choices too. They got ready to get us married immediately and so ours was a “jhatt se pyaar, patt se engagement and immediately shaadi”.

Like every Bollywood love story, ours too had a pretty heroine (me), a handsome romantic hero (Abhishek), junior artists (my sister, Raunak – my sister’s then boyfriend now fiancé, Abhishek’s brother), a typical mom – ok, we had two of those! But our villain was the “kahaani main twist”. The villain in our case was our work. We could hardly get any time off pre-wedding to do any planning. And we had loads of planning that needed to be done – honeymoon (we were sponsoring our own honeymoon), house hunting, furniture hunting (needed atleast a bed and a TV when we would move into our new house), etc. All this apart from the usual trousseau hunting, jewellery hunting, and the other intricacies involved.

During these troubled times my Mom took the mantle of doing all the running around. She would spend almost all weekdays in Chandni Chowk, Lajpat Nagar and Karol Bagh finding stuff for me. Mom would shortlist stuff and I would accompany her to make the final decisions. And for all the ladies who are giving me the “Oh that’s so boring” look – ladies I was working on Saturdays too. I had about 4 months to do it all and it’s not humanly possible! But Ma did it all. And I just love her for it. And since I was all in for a jhintak wedding, everything worked out great.

As the days to my wedding came closer, I turned into a Bride-Zilla. And my mum was really tolerant. Another person who was really tolerant of me and my bouts of hyper-ness was my sister. She was so patient during those times with me that I could scream out loudly at her and she would still come and give me a hug. I think I was nervous and tensed about my life ahead – and hence hyper. Now that my wedding’s done, I can hopefully do the same for my sister. She will be getting married next – probably in the 2-3 years. One thing that my sister made me do was watch these Band Baaja Bride episodes on NDTV Goodtimes. This was a real blast and sometimes a real inspiration.

And I am really happy with the way everything turned out. I had the most awesome wedding (I guess every bride feels that way), and I loved every aspect of it. My wedding was definitely my dream wedding and I have spent the last 18 months going through my wedding album almost every day.

And life after marriage is great. A lot of people had told me that marriages are about compromises and adjustments. I somehow have not had to face any compromise or make any adjustment. Life with Abhishek is wonderful, it’s almost like we have known each other forever. Our life is just like the lyrics of the song Hot and Cold go:

“Cause you’re hot then you’re cold

You’re yes then you’re no

You’re in then you’re out

You’re up then you’re down

You’re wrong when it’s right

It’s black and it’s white

We fight, we break up

We kiss, we make up!”

Ankita blogs at The Bangalore Snob about home decor – she always has the prettiest things around the house, and she knows how to source them cheap!

Guest Post – Pre-Wedding Thoughts by Miss M

2 Aug

The first of a new series of posts that read like the uncensored pages of “A Bride’s Diary”

This guest post is written by Miss M (let’s just call her that). I know her through a common friend, and I keep hearing bits and pieces about her wedding prep through that friend. Imagine my surprise when I read the post she sent in – although we are in touch through a friend, we’re going through the exact same things! I can totally relate to almost every single line of her post. Oddly, it feels like she has taken the words from my mouth and put them down on paper. I don’t want to spoil the fun for you, so go ahead and read it yourself. This post is about her sharing her feelings about getting married.

Image by © Kyle Monk/Blend Images/Corbis

When the “bride-to-be” (that would be me!) requested me to write this post I did not take it too seriously. I said, “Sure” – just as a gesture of courtesy. Then I read her blog and it was a fun and interesting read. It made me think about my life, my feelings and my journey as a bride-to-be. Less than hundred days left for the wedding and I have so many thoughts flooding my head.
Clothes, jewelry and other bridal things…! There is this fact about me which only a few people close to me know i.e. I do not like shopping! Yup, its true. Specially clothes. I do like strolling through malls, window shopping – but only once in a while, and and only when I need something.
But let me tell you, wedding shopping is a whole different ball game! Mother forcing you to buy tonnes of clothes – gawdy ones that are a riot of colors – to be worn as a newly wed. You enter a shop and you put your finger on any saree and it will be yours! I must admit that I do have a lot of fancy Indian clothes now – enough to last me a lifetime. Atleast that’s how I feel!
If I had it my way, I wouldn’t have a fancy wedding. It would just be a few close friends and family in a temple. And maybe a party after that! But as I have been told by many who have already trudged this path, particularly a very close friend who has told me, “Marriage is for you, wedding is for your family”. And now I know how that makes perfect sense. So, here I am, for the love of my folks, indulging in everything from the wedding trousseau to invitation card desings!
To be quite honest, thinking about the wedding day really freaks me out – I feel like Julia Roberts in The Runaway Bride ! I honestly do, except her issues were a little different from mine. For me, the issue is that on D-day I will be the center of attention. There will be hundreds of people staring at me – that’s an extremely uncomfortable thought! But then I think about how the love of my life will be standing next to me, withstanding all of that with me. I feel relief. And I find solace in that belief.
To love and to be loved by the same person for a long time is a blessing not everyone has. And I truly thank God for giving me that. And THIS is what it culminates into! This whole phase doesn’t feel real. Surreal. It’s like watching a movie featuring me where I am aware of what is happening, I feel the feelings..but the fact that it’s all ME hasn’t sunk in yet.

“I let it fall, my heart,

and as it fell, you rose to claim it” – Adele

Are you brideys also feeling the same things?

My thoughts – I would have also prefered a small wedding, followed by that party! But yes, eventually we all have to realise that the wedding is also about our parents and families being able to have all their wishes fulfilled. There’s really no point in fighting it, but to give in sooner than later! You will spare yourself and everyone around you a lot of fights. I also hate knowing that everyone will be looking at the bride! How uncomfortable! It’s terribly hard for some of us to embrace the attention. And yes, most fun about wedding shopping – ask, and it shall be yours! Loving feeling so spoilt! Miss M, I hope we get many more posts from you 🙂

Middle of June Wedding Updates – candid photo, meet & greet options, and honeymoon fighting!

17 Jun

What a waste of a weekend. I’ve been really sick since Friday night – “acute gastroentritis”, the doctor called it. All my plans of going shopping for lehenga options have been thrown into the bin. As they say, “man proposes, God disposes”. Wedding workout has also been nil last 10 days.

Well, since I have a family that’s working on wedding planning like a well-oiled machine, there are still some updates to give –

Charge slightly more than bare minimum, but you understand that candid photography means no flash? I want to hire you!

My mother has taken charge of photography from me, because I was feeling overloaded with office work + wedding stress. She does the ground work and all the planning, I give my inputs as and when required. She spoke to 2 photographers – one was charging slightly more than the other, but he also understood what candid photography meant. We’re still meeting both, but I’m already biased towards the one who got what candid means. I also definitely want a photobooth, whether it’s on the Sangeet or Wedding, I’m not sure (ok, who am I kidding – I am sure. I want it on wedding day!) Now, I don’t know if these studio waala photographers know what a photobooth is, and how to set it up. *Anyone know how to do a DIY photobooth at the wedding?* I can probably explain it to them, and then they can set it up. And no, I most definitely don’t want a background set up for family potraits. So much effort will go into the decor at the wedding, I want to use the existing backdrop for all family potraits.

B&G do the meet and greet on wedding day with guests queuing up to get on stage?

Typically, at an Indian wedding, there is a stage. B&G (bride & groom) sit on stage. Greet the guests with a formal namaste. Fake a nod when saying “of course I remember you, uncle-who-I-last-met-for-5-minutes-when-I-was-7!” Then give your 500th smile of the day for yet another picture you will definitely not be printing in your wedding album. Another round of namaste and thank you for coming. Buh-bye. Neeeext!

Ufff…! What’s the point? However, we have tried thinking of a few alternative scenarios, but nothing seems to be working out. One hilarious scenario even involed a walk-a-lator, where guests get to say no more than congrats and bye because 5 seconds later the walk-a-lator ends and they’re off the stage!

So maybe we will do the typical meet and greet on stage. But I won’t give up so easily.* Any different ideas you have come across during someone else’s wedding, or your own?*

Babe, don’t criticize honeymoon itinerary so much. I’ve put in a lot of effort. You’re getting too involved. I’m not asking for your opinion anymore.

Ok, ok. Maybe I was getting too involved and talking in a highly emotional state (read: screaming). But, I trust tripadvisor.com! So much so, that I ask ALL my questions there! And I believe everything I read there! And…! Well, I could say so much more, but what’s the point? I was wrong in the way I tried to get my point across, but the fiancé was also wrong in not being receptive enough. *My question to you is – did you, or do you, also fight with him when it comes to honeymoon planning?*

I’d really appreciate some help from fellow bride-to-be’s. Are you going through the same pain points?