The Musings of an Underdressed Soul

Lessons from a week of Celebration

Having had spent the previous two weeks in preparation for the upcoming one, you can understand how relieved I was to finally get around to leaving for the festivities that were to occur. You’d be surprised to find that the simple matter of picking what to wear for a wedding is not really simple at all, no sir! There are colours you can wear and colours you can’t and a particular kind of clothing to wear for each occasion and so on, and so forth. Of course, I did not know this till much later and till it was far too late. But we’ll get around to that.

Lesson #1: 7 days of travel means that you have assured yourself 14 days of shopping. Accessories, Clothes, Everything.

The third week of December found me in the lusciously green coastal country by the banks of the River Godavari and under clear skies, with no signs of winter promising to show. I have often claimed that this region is one of my favorites in the world. The rural atmosphere and wholesome food can do wonders for you.

Lesson #2: There is absolutely no point working out the week before you meet your grandmother.

We were in my mother’s native village for a housewarming ceremony and it was quite pleasant except for the many acquaintances and relatives of my grandparents who seemed to know me when I couldn’t begin to place them, but this every teenager complains of.

Lesson #3: The shoulder steps of your saree or half saree should always be 4 or 5. This is an essential.

The day after that, I was whisked away by my paternal grandparents to accompany them to my cousin brothers wedding. The wedding wasn’t till six days after that but we were to stay and witness all the pre-ceremonies. The journey was quite enjoyable- my grandparents had quite a bit to say about all the villages we passed by, accompanied by a list of people we (they) knew who were born or raised in the then mentioned village.

Lesson #4: Atukulu or poha more commonly is made by frying, soaking and then beating the rice grain till it is flattened.

From here it went all downhill.

Lesson #5: The difference between good makeup and bad makeup is that the former isn’t hard to use while the latter will look patchy no matter what you do.

This was truly something that I had to learn the hard way. I have always been the least concerned about my appearance among my friends and cousins- an attitude that has been maintained steadily since the beginning of high school. Of course soon all the other girls grew out of the phase. All except me. Which means I had to rely on my little cousin sis to make sure I didn’t look like a hobo.

On the up side, I did manage to paint my toenails correctly for  the first time.

Lesson #6: Always dress fashionably for a Sangeet. Always.

And I wasn’t even sure there were trends when it came to ethnic wear. Long flowy dresses, skirts and the like are always your best bet.

Lesson #7: Never wear dark (blue) to an evening wedding. Never. Especially if all your cousin sisters are in pink.

I take the blame for this one. I fell in love with this golden silk cloth printed with blue flowers. An almost fatal error.

Lesson #8: Smile at everyone. If you smile at them they won’t ask if you’ve recognized them.

I just realized this. Plus it avoids the above mentioned awkwardness with all these distant relatives.

Lesson #9: Always carry your earphones with you. Everywhere. You will sorely miss them. Especially if your uncles have EDM playlists on repeat while they drive.

The drive back was me in jeans and no earrings with a long playlist of indie and rock songs to comfort myself. Traveling home never felt so good.

-Aisha Dantuluri


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