In the village they call her the dark girl
but to me she is the flower Krishnakali.
On a cloudy day in a field;
I saw the dark girl's gazelle-eyes.
She had no covering on her head,
her loose hair had fallen on her back.
Dark? However dark she may be
I have seen her dark gazelle-eyes.
— (Dark Damsel)
Thirteen years is a long time they say. That's how long it has been since I professed my love to the rest of the world, leaving the parents' safe abode to begin a brand new life with a meek and modest young man.
The entire journey has been a roller-coaster ride; an escapade, an adventure even!
The good side is if anyone asked me to take the ride once again, with the same man – I'd probably say. “Bring it on mates – I know of no one better!”
Romantic enough? There you go; I proved to the naysayers that 'committing' is not that dreadful!
Let's move on to the next issue, somewhere in the phrasing, you have probably perceived that I moved to my personal sweet nest, leaving behind years of memories at the parents’.
But was the transition easy? And what did I plan on taking for the first few days? Serpentine questions… And yet, I'd try to make the process as straightforward and trouble-free as it can be.
Take it from experience!
Once married in Bangladesh, newlyweds are put to float on murky waters. No exceptions! You'd have plenty of 'dawats' to attend, where everyone would be mollycoddling the two of you as if there is no tomorrow.
Wedding would no longer seem to be a once in a lifetime affair. Every day, you'd have to pretty-up wearing something gorgeous, only to fake smile, gulp down delicacies, and gain weight as a consequence.
Keeping these facts in mind, you need to prepare the wedding trousseau or the wedding suitcase as they usually call it here.
Not a bad topic to start with, so let's...saris!
There's a lot that the extended family would be gifting; aside from the bequests, you should also carry your own collection. Here, I always like to include a few 'deshi' saris, like the traditional Jamdani with heritage motifs, soft muslin, and printed Rajshahi silks, mimicking contemporary trendsetting patterns.
A lace sari is also a must, in teal, fuchsia or wine, gorgeous shades — perfect for new brides or brides-to-be. These attractive colours look awesome on any complexion.
Gota-patti saris are also all the rage at the moment, and there's no alternative to Kanjeevaram and Banarasi silks. One of each is a must-have for the new bride.
Next comes the accessories —petticoats, blouses, and shawls! You must have all the blouses tailored way before the actual date of the wedding. Include a few extra blouses that you can mix and match with your trousseau, in case you get bored repeating a look.
A personal suggestion is to stock up on sequined black, golden, and silver. These can be easily paired with any saris.
Next comes the petticoat, you should have some common neutral shades in your suitcase. These very petticoats will go a long way with you on the journey of life. Sadly, the blouses will need alterations as they become tighter!
So, one word of advice, keep enough space when tailoring so that you can wear them for a long time to go. Shawls and capes are necessary in the wintertime, so it's practical to own basic colours like black, red, and golden, which can be easily paired with many saris.
Second come the kameezs and the kurtis. In case you want to treat family and friends at your new place, it becomes cumbersome to move about in a sari. In that case, a casual kurti matched with a palazzo or cigarette pants could be a wise choice.
On other gorgeous occasions, like dinner parties and soirees, you can opt to wear an anarkali as that always looks grand!
The styles trending at the moment are brocade with bell sleeves, embroidered work on vintage blue or rustic orange, printed hibiscus pink, jute greens, lime-green or plain blood-red chiffons.
LEHENGA OR GOWNS
With the new family come more alliances, cousins, friends, colleagues and their weddings. On these occasions you can optto wear the sari, but if you want a different look, a light lehenga could be the perfect solution, adding glamour and variety to the trousseau. Few suggestions are prints on white, zardozi on grey, and olive green brocade or katan. And if you want to be somewhat adventurous, maybe a yellow tulle skirt paired with an embroidered powder-blue blouse and a sheer dupatta.
While these were the gorgeous dresses that are a must–have for the parties, you should also include few block printed shalwar kameezs for the not-so-eventful days. Nightwear and inners can be matched with all your dresses. This is just to make the bride feel beautiful inside-out.
Do not worry about jewellery and makeup, as you would be getting many from close family and friends. Things to include should be like the bindi, the kamarbandh, few silver trinkets, and last but not the least, bunches of glass bangles in myriad shades.
Remember that the wedding trousseau is just to get you through the first few days. The rest of the time you can definitely go shopping and buy whatever you need.
So plan your heart out, but do not worry too much.
Photo: Prito Reza, Wedding Diary Bangladesh
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Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Wardrobe: Tangail Saree Kutir
Blouse: Jahin Khan
Make-up: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Location: Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka