Friday, June 25, 2010

My better half

In the battle of life acquire the nature of steel
In the Love's bed-chamber become soft like silk

Truer words were never spoken. I am taking Iqbal’s sage advice to heart. Most of the previous posts have been hard hitting exposes. To tell you the truth it gets a bit exhaustive to constantly rant and rave about the injustices in the world. Besides I have more pressing concerns, like surviving on my own for the first time in my life. This is a major change for me. My parents provided a very sheltered environment and even in my mid twenties my dad would always emphasize getting a masters degree over working. “You have your whole life for working.”

After his tragic death I had to come to grips with my new reality. I was now on my own. What’s more I had a family to take care of. I knew I would make it. I had and do have confidence in my education and I am constantly gaining more experience but it still feels unnerving. I never did get a job in corporate America as I had imagined (but I haven’t given up still at it), thankfully my family took me in and I am doing fine within the family business.

Through these trying times my greatest comfort was my wife. Over the great distances her words would reach me and touch my heart. She has helped me get over deep emotional pains, which will make me forever in her debt. Next month we will celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. It was one year ago in the company of friends and family we declared our love and commitment to each other. I haven’t shared pictures from that event with my readers. I found them too precious to cast upon the cruel cold world. But over the past year we have grown closer and have created some very private and beautiful memories. It is now that I feel ready to introduce you to my better half.

This is us at our nikkah reception. Earlier in the day I had signed our marriage contract at the local mosque. We had all gathered for asr. After prayers the imam made an announcement that the masjid would play host to a nikkah ceremony and that whoever from the congregation would like to stay and witness the sacred event may do so. My friends and family were in attendance as imam saab went over the contract explaining each part to me and asking if I accept this marriage. I had to repeat twice that I did indeed accept this marriage. MW’s (my wife) brothers were witnesses along with my dad and uncle and so with a final stroke of the pen the marriage was official. Of course in her excitement MW had signed the contract the night before!

While I am at it I want to share another picture of another event. Long time readers may recall my two day engagement ceremony (days 1&2). What they might not recall is how the love of my life looked on that day. I can testify that she looked extremely stunning:

It makes me absolutely giddy thinking of her, something I indulge in everyday. But let me tell you there is nothing like the real thing. Right now an entire ocean and two continents separate us. We want to make our life in the United States. For that to happen she needs to immigrate here. I am making this happen by becoming her sponsor. Our petition has already been filed with the state department progress is slow but steady. So far there haven’t been any setbacks something I am thankful for everyday. It is only a matter of time before my government gives her the green light.

Until that happens we eagerly prepare for our wedding reception. Each family is making preparations. Jewelry is being bought, fancy dresses are being selected, and venues are being pondered. It is sure to be a star studded three day event. The first day is the mehndi that’s when the bride to be has a pow wow with her friends. Songs are sung and henna is liberally applied. The groom has something like that called ubton but that is for more liberal households. The second day is the barath. The bride’s family plays host. When the guests are seated I am to arrive with my entourage. I’ll mingle with the guests and then be taken over to sit next to the bride. Photos will be taken and dinner will be served. The guests will congratulate us and then slowly file out. At this time the bride must say goodbye to her family as she is now leaving her father’s home. It’s a very emotional time and it is very hard to find a dry eye. It’s all part of the journey we call life.

The third and final day is the valima. This is hosted by the groom’s family. I will sorely miss the presence of my dad at this event. I am sure he would put together a mile long guest list inviting all his friends from his student leader days. We are on good terms with some of them so we will be sure to invite them. Of course I have my own friends as well so I’ll be inviting whoever I can. The special thing about this day is that this is the first time the bride and groom are presented as a couple. We are the host and hostess for the evening and we cater to our guest the best we can. By the grace of God it will be a splendid time and I will be sure to have pictures from the festivities for you, my dear readers.

Till then I bid you farewell.

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