“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!”

Our wedding photographer decided to put up a picture of us on Facebook today. It’s one that we haven’t seen before so it was exciting to see and brought back that entire week of celebration, love and togetherness.

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This particular picture reminded me of how my hair looked that day, and an incident with Heiko that had me giggling:

Before I narrate the incident, you must understand how much I have associated (my favorite fairy-tale) Rapunzel’s long hair with the Malayali bride’s hair style. It’s probably the only reason that I had for being adamant about what kind of wedding I wanted (apart from the fact that it’s only a fifteen minute ceremony). I have watched my sisters-in-law adorned with hundreds of white Jasmine flowers on their respective wedding days. It was something I always wanted when I got married, even if it was to a man from any other culture.

Now, the story:

I was in a hurry to undress, because the fake hair and the beautiful flowers that were adorned so painstakingly earlier that morning were starting to fall apart. It was pulling one strand from somewhere and another from somewhere else. Have you ever felt that? It’s annoying, right? So, bottom line, I was too impatient (if you know me, you will know that that’s normal) to wait for my mother to finish courtesies before she could help me.

I went inside, I started removing the million hair clips, when Heiko came inside. I said I would love some help, and he readily agreed. I sat down expecting to make it easier for him to start pulling out the pins and flowers, when I suddenly felt my whole head being pulled. I screamed and asked what he was doing, and he innocently explained how he thought it was one head gear that was detachable. When I fired back and said it was not, he tried again to pull it out at once. It took me about two minutes to calm down and explain that it took my aunt about an hour to do my hair because each strand of flowers had about fifteen pins to stay in place, and there were about ten strands wrapped around the plait.

When I think about this now, I adore how innocent my husband is sometimes, annoying the crap out of me but not wanting to even in the slightest.
This story also makes me a little sad. Traditionally, the sister of the bridegroom helps undress the bride. My sister-in-law, Marion, passed away long before Heiko and I even met. It makes me wish I had the chance to know her, and for her to know me. It makes me wonder if she had approved of me and if it would have felt like I have a sister. Sigh!
At times like these, reality hits very hard- of how short life is, and how the things that matter are only the intangible; of how important it is to treasure moments and memories.

I didn’t know Marion. The things I know are only from my husband and mother-in-law. But I know what she stood for- she made my husband’s family happy and her loss was devastating. I hope wherever she is today, she is happy, and that hope is the only solace we can take, I suppose, because we are the ones that have been left behind. Who knows, she might have laughed at her brother when he tried to pull out his new wife’s whole head!

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