The Oasis

In the midst of a journey through the merciless desert, a traveller's wish is to come across an oasis that gives him a few moments of rest, a recluse from the tiredness, a chance to sit back and relax, rejoice, reflect and prepare himself for the journey up ahead.

While struggling with the jobs and the ongoing pandemic this year, a fuzzy morning bought along with something special for me. My sister finally found her better half and tied a knot with the person she decided to spend her life with. Another milestone in our life journey, another reason to cherish.

For the better part of last year, we were awaiting the news of my sister finding someone she wants to settle with. Even during our time together in India last year, I kept on teasing her, about the things we're going to do on her wedding day, the songs we would dance to and of course the dresses we'd flaunt. She tried her best shutting us all down saying she had not found anyone yet, but that ship had sailed this time.

Mother broke the news to me, telling me about this guy Harneet is apparently dating and I was clueless about it so I took the matter in my own hands and decided to investigate the matter by calling her up. Pictures were exchanged for my critic and I was enlightened with the details about Mr Pushpreet Singh. She told me about how she thinks he is the one for her. She went on and on about all the good things she had to to say about him.

I listened to it all in good humour and appreciated the charm of the groom-to-be, that my sister was daydreaming about him within a matter of couple months, even wants to spend the rest of her life with. Blushing with the poking, all she could say was she just knows.

I was happy knowing that cupid finally had his arrow struck at the right spot and my sister was finally confident enough to step in the river of love, eager to be sunk. While she was walking her walk, I was in for a whole new ball game. I started thinking about what dress and jewellery we will buy for her. Numerous tabs on my web browser witnessed the tremendous amounts of research that went into selecting the designs, themes for the banquet and the invitation cards for my girl's wedding.

Though I am not very traditional, the excitement I had harnessed while we were growing up, dreaming about her wedding day, I decided to buy her a dress from the best designer in India.

The energy was all over the place. I had covered everything from selecting the venue and planning my own outfits. Though the thing I was most turned up about, was the dance performance I had lined up for all her ceremonies.

I have been a part of weddings over the years and always wished that my sister's wedding would be the grandest event our family had ever hosted as she is the firstborn in the family. In our culture, the bride's brothers walk her down the Isle but I and Taran wanted to do that for her as we are her brothers.

Time flew by with all the good things happening. She got engaged in July. Though, with the pandemic and travel restrictions in place, the idea of a grand fiesta was turning sideways.

Her engagement was a small event with minimal gathering. Only the immediate families present in Canada accompanied the auspicious.

With the engagement done, the dilemma was whether we wait for the travel restrictions to be over? Should the whole family could gather in Canada for the event or should go with the flow and get through with the marriage without us being there for her. I remember fighting with mother over the phone about it as my parents agreed on getting her married in Canada with father's maternal family performing the rituals.

I was very pissed and was pretty dissatisfied with the decision for a while, so bad I kept whining about it to her for numerous days. Though when I look back now, it all seems to have fallen in place.

In our culture, once the girl is engaged, she is expected to marry within a year so when we thought about it after the engagement even if we would have waited for a year, the uncertainty around Covid did not seem to be fading away. There was no certainty about the whole lockdown lifting and things going back to normal any time in the near future, so it was decided that Harneet will get married to Pushpreet this year.

Even though the lockdown had deprecated her choices and options for bridal outfit and jewellery, my sister was looking picture perfect on her wedding day, glorious as the day and beautiful as I had imagined.

With the planets and the stars aligned, I had my sister bride walk down the isle on 16 August 2020. The event was live-streamed, through which my family back in India and I in Australia participated in the series of events happening in Canada.

My parents arranged for a small get together for the close family on my sister's wedding day back in India. Everyone was happy though I still have my fair share of resentments.

I still haven't met my brother in law or her new family though I have spoken to all of them. They all made me feel like home and I was elated for the new ties.

The story is just getting started for my sister and I wish her with the best of times ahead with her own.