Choora is a set of bangles that are usually red and white, sometimes the red bangles are replaced with another color, but they are usually only two colors. Traditionally made of ivory, with inlay work, though now made with plastic they are worn by a bride on her wedding day, especially during Hindu wedding.- courtesy of Wikipedia.
From the knowledge I have, the choora signifies the status of being married. If you ever see a woman wearing one, she has recently been married. Its to ensure the bride will have some time to enjoy being married before having to take the responsibilities over as a daughter in law and other roles in the house.
The choora is put on delicately by your maternal uncles (mamajis) for you. It’s a night of mixed emotions, very bittersweet. Everyone in attendance is excited the wedding is tomorrow, sad she is leaving the family home to join another.
My choora night was the same, full of mixed emotions, just different emotions than the usual. Some knew the ugly truth, the others were enjoying the festivities and oblivious to what was actually happening . Amidst the music and laughter, my choora was prepared by being cleansed in milk, ready for me to wear. Comments were made how lucky I am to find such a wonderful groom and family. My parents were continually congratulated, they accepted with beaming smiles. How did they fake it so seamlessly?
I was asked to sit down with my mamajis and mamijis to start the ceremony. My face was smiling, inside was nervous and sad. With reluctance and hesitation I took my place in the middle of them. I looked at my choora, it was beautiful. As my mamajis slipped on one bangle at a time they laughed, teased, and made jokes. All I could think was, this is so wrong and my parents know it and we’re still doing it? It felt like both hands were being handcuffed one bangle at a time! How could my parents know the truth and still make me marry the asshole? How can they raise me and then just give me away to a piece of shit? Bangles kept accumulating on my arms, I got sadder and sadder. There was nothing I could do short of running away, so I smiled and they continued handcuffing me. Midway the ceremony I started to cry. Family consoled me. I heard comments like:
Oh look she is nervous
She is so young and emotional
She is scared to leave her parents
I was nervous to when I was getting married
How sweet! Her love for us is in her tears
She will get over it, she’s just a child
I wanted to burst out crying and yell at everyone for being a part of my suicidal wedding. I wanted to tell the truth to anyone who would listen. I wanted to say, “He doesn’t want me! This marriage is all wrong! His parents are making him marry the wrong girl! Someone please help me stop this nonsense! I’m just a child, please don’t throw my life away in the name of honour!” Instead I said nothing. I sat there crying, knowing in my heart that tomorrow will be a big mistake. It was breaking my heart knowing my parents were pretending nothing was wrong. They wouldn’t make eye contact with me, I guess is was easier for them not to face the truth and ignore the pleas of help in my eyes. Others who also knew this marriage was wrong, why weren’t they stopping this?!?!
The night the choora was slipped on, one by one, is when my life sentence began. The sentence was so severe, no one could’ve imagined, especially not me. That was the night before the beginning of the end. It was the beginning of many Oscar winning moments I would perform for everybody’s happiness but mine.
What did I do for myself? I did nothing. I sat there and went along with the charade. I let my loved ones ruin my life knowingly. I let them emotionally blackmail me into a marriage I had figured out was all wrong for me. Just days before the wedding. I did what a good daughter did to save her father’s name in society. I would marry a man of his choice knowing the man wanted to marry someone else.
I took the bullet for the family because I was the perfect shot.