Image 1: Ashwini Chaudhary via unsplash.com, Image 2: Tom Grünbauer via unsplash.com, Image 3: Gagan Kaur via pexels.com, Image 4: Shane Ockersz via Rithihi, Image 5: Ashwini Chaudhary via unsplash.com
Ranee never thought she’d host her only daughter’s wedding with no formal ritual, no impressive hotel, and no guests. But, here she is, on the eve of a humble home wedding adhering to the latest health guidelines issued by the PHI, cutting long-stemmed pink flowers from her much prided rose garden to make a simple bridal bouquet. She made sure that the evening cool had settled upon the city before she cut the flowers; this is so they wouldn’t wilt before the auspicious time to sign in front of the marriage registrar—the most significant photo of the nuptial procedures that she wanted to Whatsapp her oldest and closest sister in Australia. Ranee admired her roses as she placed them in a tall vase. She felt her heart well up at the thought of her treasured roses making her precious girl’s bridal bouquet. Ranee had spent a good part of the day perfecting the spice mix for her son-in-law’s favourite yellow rice—it’ll be the first meal of the newlyweds tomorrow; She smiled at the thought of his sweetly exaggerated compliments on her cooking.
Ranee took out the lovely silk saree that her daughter had gifted for the occasion; not showy, nor extravagant, yet an absolutely beautiful celebration of her favourite colour blue. She hung it under the fan to be aired out overnight.
Ranee still couldn’t believe that her daughter is getting married tomorrow, in this very house where she scribbled on the walls as a child. Like in a dream, Ranee remembered the stories that her grandmother told about her own wedding in the ancestral house they grew up in. What a surreal turn of times and events.
From the living room—against the sound of television news announcing the latest case numbers, and her husband calling the Rodrigos to make sure they got the police pass for tomorrow—came her old Mumma’s giggle. Ranee’s teenage son had cornered his grandmother to pose as a mock bride while he scoped out the most photographic spots in the house. Ranee realised that, despite the gloom outside, her inner world has never been brighter, and her home fuller. “It’ll be perfect,” she told the balmy May night.