Photographs are a wonderful way to capture moments in an instant. This picture is an important part of a special memory, which is of my sister’s wedding. My sister’s wedding was an amalgam of excited, felicitous, and somber feelings. Whenever I look at this picture, the whole occasion relives in my mind.
An important part of the wedding was the selection of dresses and beauty salon. I remember when my cousins and my sisters, and I used to go to different malls daily, scouting for the perfect outfits. We purchased elegant dresses of different colors with exquisite jewelries, such as, ear rings, necklace, and bangles. The color of bride’s sharara (special outfit of brides) was orange, golden, and maroon. Every one was very excited, because we all wanted to look beautiful for that event. Our joyful excitement was like a forest fire which could be seen from a mile away.
In my culture, wedding ceremony consists of two days function. The first day called “mehndi” is the day for youngsters to celebrate. I can still remember the girls and boys singing songs and dancing. There was a fun-filled singing and dancing competition between relatives of the bride and the groom. Girls were painting beautiful designs on the bride’s hands and their own hands with mehndi (a paste of leaves, which makes temporarily tattoos). The second day was the actual wedding day. My sister and her husband were looked stunning in their wedding attire. While our four hundred guests dined on a delicious meal in the festively decorated banquet room, the family was holding a photo session.
At the end of the ceremony, there is a time for the bride, to go to her new home by leaving her own family. Her departure created a gloomy mood for many of us. It was stressful to try desperately not to feel deeper feelings of grief which result in weird actions like obsession, anger, or crying. My sister was also feeling somber, as it is natural to be sad when one is at the end of a formative period in life. Sorrow is a part of existence, and often mixed with joy.
My dearest sister,
I’ve been staring at my screen trying to come up with the perfect words to tell you, the best advice I can give that you are suppose to give someone on their wedding day. I’ve written these sentences countless times, trying to get it “right,” but I’ve come to the conclusion that the best things to say are words that come from the heart, which is where what I’m going to say to you comes from - all of these words are filled with love.
Seeing you happy on this day fills me with so much joy. You are starting a new chapter in your life and I am so honored that I am able to see you on this day and share this moment with you. While you may be older, I have still been able to see you grow into the woman that you are. I have seen you during the good and the bad, some of those times involving both of us going through it together, side by side, hand in hand. I have witnessed your greatest achievements and those rare moments when you needed a helping hand. I’ve seen you be you and it has lead us here to this day. I wish only the best for you and your future, my sister, and I know that it will be a bright one.
As the days whined down and your wedding got closer, it made me reflect on you and me. One thing I have always prided myself on was that not only have I been blessed to be able to call you my sister, you're also one of my best friends. You’ve been the one constant in my life, someone I could go to for advice or a laugh or anything else I may need. As we’ve gotten older, our relationship has only gotten stronger. Of course, we’ve had our few (very, very few) disagreements, but that is typical with all sisters, and it has never changed the way we feel about each other. I can say without a doubt that you are my role model and my hero. If I come to be a fraction of the woman you are, I'll be ecstatic. You have influenced my life in so many ways - too many to count. As you go about your wedding, know that I will be there for you always and that this new part of your life doesn’t change anything.
Enjoy your wedding day sister, because as long as you've waited for it to come, it will go by quick, quicker than you could imagine. Enjoy the love that you have for your husband and the love that everyone will be showering you both with. Enjoy every aspect of your night from the food to the dances to the jokes that will be made. Enjoy the laughs that will be shared and the tears that will undoubtedly be shed. Enjoy this night and enjoy your future.
I will love you always.