The Firstborn’s Wedding.

If you call me emotional you wouldn’t be wrong, as was evinced with the emotional reaction, floods et all…a mix of so many emotions, that I couldn’t keep the floods at bay.

I remember the day he was born. I was just twenty seven or thereabouts, too young to be a father, but a father I became.

The Day He Was Born

He’s now all of thirty one years. For a very long time he maintained he didn’t really want the whole marriage and family thing. Methinks, I may have contributed, in no small measure, to that mindset and preference.

Then a few years ago, something happened, at first a friendship with her brother, then his sister. The rest is what you’re reading about right now. A friendship that blossomed into something more, much more and here we are today!

More often than not, I go with the flow, tend not to analyze my every thought and emotion, however on some rare occasions and under some compelling circumstances, I do.

So, this time I did. Post floods and en route back from the wedding, I immersed myself in thought. What brought on the said flood of tears.

Was it happiness alone, were they tears of joy, or were they just an outburst signifying more, much more? Without a doubt, it was the much more! It was happiness without a doubt, it was joy not a doubt about that! What was the “more”? 

I suspect it was the marking of a milestone, the firstborn getting hitched, a rite of passage to a life of responsibility. Did it also have to do something with my own state of mind? It was.

Whereas the impending marriage was off the cards, then on the cards again, before the “on” was more the finality, it suddenly hit me.

I’m now a father by law and in time, I’m going to be a grandfather! Grandfather! Imagine that! The setting, the gathering of relatives, friends, well wishers and the enormity of it all hit me square.

And there we have it!

My son in messages on the core family group called “Cosa Nostra” meaning “This Circle of Ours” said, “I’m so excited”.

He sounded so happy. He’d overcome his demons, the gremlins and made a decision and was happy with how the decision sat with him.

When he and the missus (about to be) called to give me the news, I was overjoyed, nay, I was elated and yet it took the enormity of the actual vows to bowl me over.

Apart of naturally being happy for him and the missus (about to be), this has a lot to do with me. Was it loneliness? Was it distance from family? Was it my own personal circumstances? Was it concern? Was it care? What exactly was it? I guess it was everything?

I’m not a person who likes to attend weddings and am known for being nefarious for not attending, of even those closest to me and if I do, I’m there, but, also out of there in a flash! Especially if its a big wedding. The meet and greet kinda don’t gel with me too much. I seem like an extrovert, but in reality I’m a complete introvert. What’s the word they have for people like me? Ah yes! Introverted – extrovert. Spot on!!! So it was no surprise when my son repeatedly called to ascertain for sure that I would be there! How could I not attend? This is my son!

What I also realized is that this kid (yes, they are always kids to us) was special to me and all of us in the immediate family. I don’t play favorites with my kids and love them all dearly and equally, albeit in different ways. So why special? Special, because he’s old enough to have seen me go through all possible phases of my rollercoaster life, both professional and personal, from the abysmal lows and the heady highs. He’s seen me take the hard knocks, some that affected family so deeply and for a young boy, that surely must have impacted him.

I so clearly remember, like it was yesterday, when he came to me and said he didn’t want the usual, run of the mill business or job and that he wanted to be a photography professional. I supported him wholeheartedly, despite the expected pushback from all possible quarters and I’m so pleased that my support and confidence in that decision have made him the brilliant photographer that he is. Whereas I can’t take credit for his achievements, neither do I seek to, I do and can take credit for being the one that get him initially interested.

My kids are more like my buddies and the eldest is no exception. “Bhai“ is what I’m called and it means brother. No dad, papa, baba, pop (except occasionally when the girl calls me “pops”) but that’s pretty rare), just Bhai and I love it. It’s really special! “Bhai” is what my kid sister called me when she was little and does until this day and eventually “Bhai” kinda caught on and stuck pretty good. It was adopted by family, the kid’s friends, co-workers alike.

Now that I’ve mentioned my sister…she’s all of fourteen years younger and in effect is my first “Baby”.

She made the trek from the US for the wedding. See? Here is the thing! There is also a fourteen year gap between my “baby” sister and my eldest. So he’s her first kid and they have that special bond.She just had to come! 

So seeing my sister there at the wedding, after a gap of four years or more, was certainly a contributing factor. Brought back memories of her getting married. I guess the feeling dawned on me, that sooner or later everybody leaves and leads their own lives. As they are entitled to and must do, but does that infallible fact make it any easier for a father or a parent for that matter?

I cried causing my sister to cry and to our wonder and amazement, so did a couple of my son’s friends. So I guess I was the trigger. And I’m told the mother of the bride did precisely that in the morning before the ceremony.

Truth be told, I cry when I see touching movies or touching scenes in movies, but this was really strong.

Now my daughter is as cool a cucumber as there can be. Calm and collected is a really mild way to put it. She’s not prone to show emotion but feels it. So talking about her, I wish I could have spent more time with her at the wedding, but didn’t get enough of that as it was hectic as such things usually are. But, what I did get was precious.

The youngest and I shared a room so that was cool. He’s another cool dude. What an amazing dry sense of humor!

Memories of childhood, of dinners, birthdays, road trips, adventures and the like had no small role to play as the ingredients that caused by to have the pearls roll down.

I believe that another thing that hit me was that my dear departed father was missing and I distinctly recall that he was in tears as well, when I got married.

I’ve spent quality time with him, being his chauffeur, office assistant, confidant in some matters and even though I never did take up the family business, he was so very supportive and encouraged me to forge my own path and allowing me the latitude to make my own mistakes and learn from them.

All in all being with family and friends, chilling a couple of days before the wedding was so very pleasant and uplifting. We spent a day at Malini’s grandmother’s place and what an amazing time we all had.

Of course the way we were taken care of and made to feel welcome by the Chakraborty family was an experience that was just so endearing. So many people came up to me and Bhavna and said what a fine son we have and that made me swell with pride and joy. I guess as parents, we didn’t do too badly. But I must admit, Bhavna did most of the heavy lifting, due to my preoccupation with so many other things.

The venue for the wedding reception was as prestigious as was possible and that just added to the pomp and ceremony, despite the wedding ceremony itself being a very simple affair, attended by only the closest relatives and the best friends.

I fondly remembered all the great times we had as family, the road trips, the fun, frolic, adventures and laughter. Of the time, Krishanu came and spent his eighteenth birthday with me in London. Of the road trip we did in the UK, from London to Scotland and so many places in between. Those days are now just memories and as much as I’d like to relive them, they will remain fond memories. Of the bicycle rides we went on.

So as I did mention to a few, one down – two to go.

As a father I can wish, hope and pray that they find amazing life partners and end up as happy as their elder brother. As words of advise, I will say this to them and all young kids, when you find someone and you most certainly will, do anything and everything possible to develop, nurture and grow as partners and as individuals. Life is short and we must give happiness our very best shot, for life can be trying and uncertain at times and it is precisely at such times that we need to rally and stick together. It always takes two and we owe it to ourselves not to be lacking when push comes to shove.

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