When my wedding dress became a family project

I have a ton of cousins and friends who all decide to get married in December. Which is why most of my trips home post-wedding have been in December because who can miss xyz person’s wedding. It’s quite unfortunate though, because as amazing as wedding season in Karachi is, it leaves little time for me to do anything else, especially when there is a wedding in the family.

We are so caught up in the tailor/darzis, the dresses, and salon trips that by the time we come home, all we want to do is sleep so we can tackle another day. I just went home in December so I cannot say I have not met my family in a while, but I went back in December for my brothers wedding. I saw everyone who was necessary to be seen when coming back but I had conversations with no one. Just a hi hello and then off to help someone panicking over a missing gift/mithai/something!

So, today I was going through my phone and found a few pictures of my own wedding three years ago (damn, three years pass by so quickly) that made me realise the hilarity and sadness that is weddings. A little background; My Nani has a home based karigar network where she designs/makes wedding joras and other formal wear. Since I could choose colours, I have been giving my own suggestion for the clothes I wanted for weddings. And my Nani has always complied by helping me make the best selections and designing it to perfection. So it came as no surprise to my family that I wanted to design my own wedding dresses. She was also enlisted as doing the spectacular clothes for the entire family.

Having an in-house mastermind with a needle does help. We picked out colours (Mom: I know you like Panda’s but you can’t dress like one), and kapra (How do you expect to walk in that, exclaimed my mother!), and designs (Everyone: Why can’t you just be nice and pick one instead of making Nani draw it out 3000 times). There were a few tantrums, but I got my way because my Nani is cool and she said if I wanted to have peacock colours I can and my wedding invite featured a peacock too (my mother gave up convincing me since I had transitioned from animals to birds and somehow that is acceptable).

PS. Just got an actual peacock on the dress I made for my brothers wedding because, why not?

But you know, no matter how much you try to tick everything off your checklist, there is always this final scramble because magically despite your best efforts in starting to prepare a year in advance, everything just gets done last minute. And so it did with me. A breezy evening my Nani decided we needed to get things done faster with all that was pending and so she called in the big guns.

My Nani unwrapped my dress, called my parents and my Mamu/Mami plus cousins and we all started sticking stones on my dress to get it done ASAP. Now here’s the memory, my Mamu, Dad, Mami, Mummy all sticking kundan stones on a grand wedding lehnga on the carpet. My Dad trying to figure out tiny fabric glue sticks. My Mamu working with tweezers to place stones. And Nani navigating to see that things were getting along well, ensuring that perfection prevailed. I don’t think my Dad has ever faced stress like this before. I basically got to chill and monitor this entire situation. Which is perhaps the most amazing memory till date from my own wedding.

So yes. I get annoyed when weddings take up a huge chunk of my time. But I know, that amid that craziness are the real moments that I could never find anywhere else. I miss my family, all of them. I miss my Nani. But regardless of her celebrating her 40+ years in this field, at the age of 70+ she won’t back down. Every time there comes a wedding on the horizon that I must be home for, I expect a call from her, asking if I had my colour and design in mind. Because we have to make a new jora for a wedding together.

This story has been shared by Sarrah Daudali 

Sarrah’s Nani has a Facebook page by the name Husseina’s Clothing. On her Facebook page you can get a glimpse of her wedding clothes and few that she has done for others members of the family. Additionally, she has even uploaded pictures of the variety of work she has done. You can get in touch with her at husseinaclothing@gmail.com for appointments.

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