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I smiled when the lensman left

After we exchanged garlands, the performance was replayed umpteen times to my chagrin for the sake of peerless photographs.

It was my day. I was the queen bee, whereas all my family members, relatives, etc., were the workers waiting on me. It was my marriage and the baraat was due in the evening. The boy was an NRI with the best of credentials. I went to the beauty parlour to get ready. After a couple of hours, when I was ready, suddenly two people barged in. Their faces were hidden behind cameras and they had a lot of paraphernalia in their backpack. ‘Smile please,' was their directive and they started clicking for posterity. It became irritating to me after a few minutes as I was extremely tired sitting for my hairdo and make-up.

On my returning home, they made sure that I did not get any respite at all. The mahurat for marital vows was late in the night, therefore, it was going to be a long night ahead. I had to succumb to the direction of the lensman as he clicked my various poses — some were far beyond my imagination. I am a down-to-earth girl, and holding flowers to my bosom and giving coy looks to no one in particular is not my cup of tea. Anyway, all my relatives assured me that those photographers were creating ‘memories'. I was caught in the net of sentimentality and the suffering continued until the dhol announced the arrival of the bridegroom and the baraat.

“Is your heart missing a beat,” my cousin nudged me teasingly. I sighed — there were no sensations left after the photography sessions.

I was called outside for the jaimaal ceremony. The song started playing and I entered the hall softly to the music. It was so romantic. But I was jolted by the reality of the dear lensman. He insisted that these moments were priceless and had to be captured in detail for generations to come. The jaimaal geet ended but I could not garland my groom. He waited endlessly but it was futile as I was unable to get out of the clutches of the lensman.

Marriage is an occasion when the bride is all-important but without any say — just like the President in India or the Queen in England. I felt like shooing the cameraman and his aide out but was helpless. They had been hired for a hefty sum.

My agony continued. After we exchanged garlands, the performance was replayed umpteen times to my chagrin for the sake of peerless photos. At the dinner table I was unable to partake of anything because the complete anatomy of my mouth was available on the big screens at the venue. Even the movement of a morsel down my throat created history.

It became impossibly unbearable. The bridegroom was not used to such exclusive attention. We both were smiling hesitatingly at each other, apprehensive of the X-ray like cameras which might expose the bone structure of our jaws. All limits were crossed when my husband wanted to visit the washroom and the lensman followed him there too. My husband glared menacingly and the lensman scuttled away. But not for too long. He was there all through the night to make us repeat every rasm many times. Even the Almighty's proxy, our panditji had to give in to his demands.

At the time of vidai, he took each and every photo of me in which I howled spontaneously as I was really hungry.

I smiled really for the first time when I saw the back of the lensman. I wondered if there would be a law to ban these lensmen — sorry, I forgot about the posterity factor. And, it was a litmus test for compatibility between the couple . . . if we could pull out of this situation together we could face any crisis in life!

(The writer's email is namitaverma2007@gmail.com)

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2020 2:25:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/I-smiled-when-the-lensman-left/article15459768.ece

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