You’re in the midst of a war…

Milgrain design wedding band

Milgrain design wedding band

I finally get a few moments to write another quick blog to update you all on the progress of the Wedding.

You’re in the midst of a war: a battle between the limits of a crowd seeking the surrender of your dreams, and the power of your true vision to create and contribute. It is a fight between those who will tell you what you cannot do, and that part of you that knows / and has always known / that we are more than our environment; and that a dream, backed by an unrelenting will to attain it, is truly a reality with an imminent arrival.”   Anthony Robbins quotes

Ok, so I’m not much for the self helper types but this quote by Anthony Robbins perfectly fits with my present situation.

So does…

“All hands on deck!  Battle stations!  Mr. Chekov, all power to front deflector fields!”

Eh…I’m a techie nerd.

So, here’s the skinny.

Sunday, Bear and I finally got a chance to go and get our wedding rings.  We found the perfect set at Robbins Brothers.  I can’t post a picture of them here as they are still at the store being sized and engraved.  We chose yellow gold comfort fit bands.  Mine is plain and his has the milgrain design on the top and bottom of the ring (I liked the milgrain design but it didn’t look nice on my hand while it looked perfect on his).  The rings are wide enough to allow us to insert diamonds later, which we will do on our first year anniversary.  It made me so happy to complete that stage of our wedding journey!

After that, we went to Mandir (which is a Hindu Temple in Irvine) and offered our wedding invitation to Lord Ganesha (he is the Hindu God with the Elephant head, read more about him at the link).  Ganesha is the God who is known best as the Remover of all Obstacles and in the Hindu religion he is the one prayed to before starting any important ceremony.  We also spoke with the Pundit there about the issue of our marriage occurring during what is generally to be considered an inauspicious time frame.  Hindu’s do not generally marry during the months of July, August and September.  The Pundit checked and found that between the hours of 9am and 12pm on August 9th (the day of our wedding, and the exact time no less) it was an auspicious time and that if the Jai Mala (the exchange of garlands) was performed before 10:30am it was even better.

Because we are marrying with Arya Samaj and their belief was that every day was a good day because God created every day…they were more than happy to work with whatever we needed.  So, Sunday evening we went for temple with Arya Samaj and after services we spoke with the elders and the Pundit of Arya Samaj and planned the wedding with them.  They were able to help us decide where best to set up everything and which ceremony should be performed and who in the family could help perform it.  I’ll write on the actual ceremony and the services we will be doing in another blog.

And then Sunday night, on our way home, Bear got an email on his Blackberry….from his father….addressed to us both.  Finally I was being recognized by the family!!

Upon reaching home, I found that he had also cc’ed me at my personal email address.  So I set down to read it.  And read it.  And read it.  It was quite long.  It also said all the same things that they’ve been saying all along.  He listed all the reasons why I should not go through with marrying their son.  Except this time he was more specific.  And it was because of his specifics that I realized that they truly do not know anything about who I am as a person or what I know of their culture.  Even though in the early days Bear told them all of the things they questioned.  I know he did because I was there for nearly every conversation and we would discuss it before hand and afterwards.  What to say and not say that sort of thing.  And yet still I find that they were not listening.  Which, to be quite honest, is perfectly normal.  If you are listening to something that you don’t want to hear, you do not absorb it.  That is human nature.

So I took a full day to consider how I wanted to respond to them.  This was my opportunity to let them know who their future daughter in law was.  The problem was how to do it.  Do I write an email the way I normally would write to anyone older to me in the US?  Or do I tone it down?  Or do I write the way I would write to my Grandparents generation?  What to do?  I’m generally a very open and decided person when I write.  I speak the truth, I sometimes deflect it a bit, soften it if you will, by giving examples but the truth is still there and still powerful.  Could I do that with them?  Could I write something that essentially would be pointing to them the truth while still being respectful?

I found that I could and did.

I wrote what amounted to a five page email.  I answered all their questions.  I explained pieces of who I am as a person.  What I know of the Indian Culture.  What I know I will have to face in the future.  What I intend to do about problems or issues that may arise due to our differences and life living in India.  I told the truth.  Never once did I point a finger at them, or accuse them, or tell them “Hey, this wouldn’t be such a huge issue if you had listened a little more carefully previously or been a little more open”.

But I wanted to write that sentence.  Ohhhhhh how I wanted to write some version of that sentence.  Because that is also the truth.  But I feel that in some small way, I did point that out by expressing myself the way that I did.  Here is an excerpt from that letter….

When his father questioned me on my decision to marry Bear, I answered that it was a joint decision not mine alone.  When he further questioned me on people accepting me, I answered with this….

” My father once told me that I must be responsible for every action or non action I take in life.  It was because of his guidance and that of the elders in my family and our community that I learned that my decisions will affect more than just myself.  I was also taught that one can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.  The great difficulty is knowing when and where to draw the line.”

Thank you Abraham Lincoln.  😉

They also requested me, again, to end this relationship.  That they were concerned for my future as well as Bear’s.  That they were willing to speak to my parents on my behalf to explain to them the issues I would face so that everyone would understand why we were no longer marrying.

And I responded with this…

“I wish I could tell you that I will make all your fears and pains go away by not marrying “Bear”, but I cannot do that.  I made a promise to your son and a promise to God to be with him always.  I never break my promises and because of this I never give them lightly.  I hope that you can understand and respect that.”

I further went on to ask them one favor, to please give me a chance.  To get to know me, the person that I am and see if having me as a daughter would be as bad as what they believed.  I asked them to trust that their son’s decision to give me as a daughter to them was a good one.  I asked them to open their hearts to me and let me show them how much I could love, care for and protect them.

And once I had read my letter to Bear and he also felt that I had said nothing disrespectful or hurtful to his family (because I wanted his opinion on that), I sent that email off.

And so now I wait.  To see if they respond again or if they contact Bear.  I don’t know what the future holds.  I know that the percentages say that they will eventually come around…after the marriage.  It’s a shame…I wish they could be a part of this day.  I know that Bear wants it with all of his heart and this is hurting him, his family’s distrust of his values, morals and intellect.

But I’m doing everything I can to protect him too.  I keep reminding him that it’s not truly that they distrust him, it’s that they distrust the situation.

Hopefully someday very soon, they no longer will be sad and hurt to have me as their daughter.  Hopefully someday very soon, I can call myself lucky to have such a large family by including his into it.

Until that day comes, I wait.

Now I’m off to address wedding invitations.  YAY for me!

7 thoughts on “You’re in the midst of a war…

  1. I’ve been looking around and actually am impressed by the good content here. I work the nightshift at my job and it really gets boring. I have been coming right here for the previous couple nights and reading. I just wanted to let you know that I have been enjoying what I have seen and I look forward to reading more.

    • Thank you so much Selena, for stopping by, reading and leaving a comment. I hope to be able to start posting again soon! 🙂

  2. Hmmm… please don’t take this the wrong way, but why in the world are you concerned whether Hindu astrology considers this an auspicious time to marry or not? I’m with the Arya Samajis on this one.

    On the future inlaws – it’s certainly positive news that they’re writing to you, at least, even if it is to persuade you to not marry their son. The fact that they’re attempting to use reason is, too, a good sign, I think; they’re at least using their heads, rather than just reacting emotionally. You can’t work with blind panic & hate – you can work with poor reasoning and assumptions.

    I hope your email & explanations help them to understand exactly why you & Bear are so well suited for each other. 🙂

    • Hi GG!

      I don’t take it the wrong way at all, you asking about my concern from the astrology stand point. The main issue is this…because his parents pointed out to me in their email that this was an inauspicious time.

      I want to pick up the family traditions or to help change ones that I believe are counter productive. Choosing your battles is one of the wisest thing anyone can do. Plus, I like to fight fire with fire. So them telling me this…I really did not have any answer and it was obviously a sore point with them (among many). Many of the things that they do not like, I cannot change or am unwilling to. But for small things I can work with. I knew that there must be some sort of Puja that can be performed to negate some negative aspect of a situation (as per beliefs). In this case, I thought that before responding to them, I should learn what I could to alleviate this concern of theirs.

      So, to follow with family tradition, we went to the Mandir to give our invitation to Ganesh and while we were there we asked the Pundit. I thought he could give us the name of the puja that could be performed and this way I could let Bear’s family know that I was willing to do this. It is not sacrifice to me and it will make them feel better. This was when the Pundit told us that our time was auspicious (even before seeing the invite) and I knew that I had an even better answer to help alleviate at least one concern of his family.

      You see, I know that I cannot change them. I cannot change their thoughts or beliefs. I can only decide what I can do help them feel better and remain true to myself, my values and my own comfort zone. I felt comfortable in this so I did it.

      But my own belief is that every day is a good day because God created them all. Like I said, I’m more a studier of Arya Samaj beliefs and a reader of the Veda’s rather than the later Upanishads.

      You’re right though, it was very good that they were using reason and logic to discuss their concerns with me and I was happy to see it. I think you’ll see in the new blog, that things are looking up.

      One thing that I did learn, from Bhabhi, was that even though Aai and Baba did not respond to my email, they did read it and were impressed with what I had to say, how I expressed it and my core values. Although, I think his mother is concerned about the shape of the Roti Bear will be eating in the future as I did mention in my email that I still roll them out triangle shape rather than round. 😉

  3. I m so so proud of you, you have proved it that being in Indian or of any race doesn’t necessarily give you all the values, its primarily the person you are and the upbringing that matters the most !!

    I m sure you have replied with all your heart and honesty to your in laws, but don’t fret too much over it, about what they would think and feel, you concentrate on enjoying the best day of your life and making it memorable, i know that the day would even be more special if the parents would be there to share your happiness but its their decision and choice. let time pass by, things would be okie and they would eventually accept you as their daughter in law 🙂

  4. Hi Aurora,
    This is saleel.
    Just as i promised i would soon post a comment, so here it is being kept, cuz a promise is a promise.I am not commenting on this entry just to keep my promise, but rather i had an unusually overwhelming feeling that i should = similarly i also had a feeling that the way you have documented the email,it can be felt that it is written from heart, and trust me on this when one follows the heart, eventually things flow smooth, all resistance is dissolved..albeit in time but it surely does.This is my instincts telling me that…usually my instincts are accurate…let us wait and see if it they are this time around…
    May Lord Ganesha be with you dissolve all the resistance/obstacles in your paths on this journey…
    Take care.

    • Ah Saleel,

      Thank you so much for this comment! It was truly a most needed one and made me feel good…comforted. I’m going to keep on speaking from my heart and I know that someday it will reach them and we will be a family….I only need patience and all things work as they should! 🙂

      Blessings for you yaar….

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