Since it was my aunt and uncle's silver anniversary, as usual, there was a big bash planned. Besides that, my cousins had also organised a bridal shower for my aunt. It is customary in our family to throw a bridal shower for the bride. This is just another excuse to have fun really. I have no idea how it originated but it is religiously followed and mostly hosted by my mom.
This time too we held one for my aunt though it was unanimously agreed we would have it at their place. It wasn't meant as a big affair. The agenda for the night was to do 'shringaar' and make her wear flower ornaments. And of course, sing, dance, and eat.
When we got there Squiggles was already asleep, so I quickly put her down in one of the spare bedrooms. Everyone excitedly followed us in.
"Ohhh, she looks just like her dad"
"Yeh to uski carbon copy hai"
"No, no she looks like her grandpa"
"Thank god rang to maa pe gaya hai" Thank God, she's taken after her mom on colouring.
"Eyes bilkul baap par hain" Eyes are just like her dad's.
"She's so tiny. She looks very big in the photos"
"My baby" That was my 3 year old niece who took no time in hijacking my daughter.
Finally I managed to evict them from the room and we got on with the evening. My uncle was the chef of the day and had used one of the rooms as the kitchen for the evening. He had dished out his HUGE hot plate / grill and like a khansama (chef) was busy grilling and frying different meats and veggies. Inevitably there was a food fight between my cousin who would only eat the fish and the rest of us who wanted a bite of her fish even though there were plenty of other things going around.
After we'd had our fill, we started with the ceremony. All the women surrounded my aunt and started the 'shringaar'. Then, we decorated her with all the beautiful ornaments made from roses and white flowers - kamarbandh, maathe ka tika, bracelets, earrings, necklace, anklets. She was all teary eyed and sniffling through the whole ceremony but then that's what traditions like these are for. We'd even sent her to the parlour to get her mehendi done, just like a bride would do.
Obviously no evening is over without song and dance. My cousin played all the latest dance numbers off the laptop and all of us danced, mostly a bit crazily but it was alot of fun. In the middle of all this chaos, Squiggles woke up. And she was immediately descended upon. The dancing momentarily stopped in her honour. But then someone had the wonderful idea of dancing with her. And then it began. Each one vying to hold her and dance with her. If she would start whimpering and clamouring for me, somebody else would push the others aside, confident that with them she would quieten down. The fact that she came out with some stunning smiles was quite cool actually. I was afraid that she would scream the house down. But she seemed to be enjoying herself. She was comfortable with the loud music and all the weird people looking at her, making funny faces and dancing like idiots.
I took her to feed her inside and everyone followed me inside including one of my male cousins. When we pointed out that he shouldn't be around, he just shrug his shoulders and said that really he didn't see any reason why he should have to leave just because he was born a male. Since we have all seen each other in chaddis since we were kids, I let it be. I was well covered with a shawl and he was watching the TV. It got a bit too much though when my uncle trooped in as well. He was asked to leave but then he looked at my cousin and wanted to know why he was allowed and not him!!! He was pushed out the door :).
At some point Squiggles fell alseep and we continued with all our silly antics and finally collapsed in the wee hours. The next day my niece hijacked my daughter. Squiggles was her baby and she kept dragging all the visitors and help to my room to see her baby. It was really lovely to see her with Squiggles. She would constantly stroke her cheeks, or kiss her, smile at her and want to hold her and play with her. Squiggles responded well to all this adoration and cooed and gurgled in response. It was lovely to watch the two together. They spent the day together, literally in each other's pockets.
The evening was all set for the big bash. I wore a borrowed saree since none of my blouses fit me anymore and I had a chance to wear some jewellery for the first time in a year. The last time was at my baby shower almost a year ago. Squiggles went to bed at 7.30 that evening in a chic dress but then didn't wake up till 4.3o the next morning. She slept through the entire party!! I was glad because this left me free to enjoy myself but everyone else was so disappointed because they all wanted to see her, play with her etc. My dad's sister tried her level best to wake her up but I think all the travelling had finally caught up with her and she was zonked out. Every half hour someone would troop in to her room to see if she had woken up or could be woken but it was not to be. As a last ditch effort another cousin of mine tried waking her at midnight but couldn't succeed either! I had to check her breathing because inspite of some really loud music and the constant kissing and petting that was going on, she kept sleeping. She got loads of presents despite not having met anyone. This only means I now need to troop around and visit all my family because none of them have really seen her! I'm not sure if I'm happy with this outcome...hmmm.
We're now back at DD's parents and Squiggles is warming up to them. They're really enjoying themselves with her. My MIL was a tad upset when Squiggles showed a marked preference for the maid but I think she's over it now :). For all those of you who read my list of petty fears, you'll be pleased to know that all my fears were unfounded and my MIL did run the washing machine for Squiggles clothes without my even mentioning anything!