Many moons ago, I tried to convince my husband (in a conversation on Whatsapp) that we needed to live with his family, when I returned to India. Finances were tight, we needed more clients and we weren’t getting them, and as much discomfort as it caused me to follow certain traditions and formalities, it was less lonely than living in Delhi. I was looking forward to more than one set of hands, helping me with Baby N, to say the least. Nonetheless, he wasn’t thrilled about it – even if I felt it was the best option for us.
Naturally, everyone asks our daughter’s name. Some ask, “Does she have an American name or an Indian name?” Some, who are more privy to the ways of Indian family tradition, ask, “Did you choose her name, or did his family choose her name?”
The practice of ghoonghat is the practice of a bride covering her head in the presence of elders, most especially elder men in her husband’s family. This means covering her head in front of her husband’s father, his elder brothers, his elder male cousins, and uncles.
When I first came to India, I said naive things to DN, such as:
“Yes, the weekend is here!” or, “It’s Saturday, why are you asking me to wake up at 7 AM?” or, “It’s Sunday. It’s the weekend. Why are you working? Let’s go out!”
Recently, we took a trip home, to Jhansi.