Like most Indian Brides living outside India, I too made the proverbial shopping trip (with mom and sister in toe) to India to purchase my wedding lengha. It was the most hectic, stressful and exhausting trip of my traveling life.
The presure to find the wedding lengha was intense.
But in the end, my lengha found me.
After a week of going shop to shop trying on hundreds of lenghas (yes, hundreds) and several tear filled breakdowns in the dressing rooms of designer boutiques in New Delhi, I saw one, possibly two lenghas I liked but none that I loved.
My shopping team (my Mom, Sister and Masi) decided to give Punjab a try. We started in Chandigarh. Those shops were a bust too.
My stemina for continuing the search was quickly fading when the team threw me in the car and headed to Pataila.
The drive from Chandigarh to Pataila was gorgeous. The fields were grean and lush with the coming season’s crops reaching fruition. A much more relaxing experience than the intense congestion and pollution of New Delhi.
As we entered Pataila, I had a strong sensation I had been here before (even though this was my first trip) and an even stronger sensation that I would find my lengha here.
Then I saw a sign. Litterally.
As we turned the corner entering the shopping market, I saw a photoshop named “Charnjit Photo”. That is when I knew my lengha was in Pataila.
Charnjit was my father’s name (who passed away five years ago) and as I saw the photoshop sign I could almost hear my dad saying his famous phrase “take it easy baby, easy!”
Unfortunatly, Pataila did not make it easy. I went to five shops in a single day and tried on at least 25 – 30 lenghas. But I had faith that I would find something there. I did see that sign afterall.
The last lengha of the day, at the last shop was indeed the one. My shopping team all stood up and cheered as I appeared in the lengha with a big smile on my face. “Take my money now! Where do I pay” my Mom said enthusiastically.
We paid. We left. The team cheering the whole way home.
Then, I changed my mind.
I got to my grandmother’s house and started crying. I was overwhelmed and completely unsure of the purchase we just made.
We called the boutique and canceled the lengha.
After taking a few days off from wedding shopping , it was back to New Delhi. Back to some of the same boutiques I visited before and a few new ones. Still no luck.
With two days left on my India shopping trip, I was resigned to returning home empty handed and picking up something in LA’s Little India. But Mom insisted that we go back to Pataila and take one more look.
So off we went to Pataila (again). I tried on God only knows how many more lenghas (again). I got tired, frustrated and sad (again). Then, I tried on the same lengha I liked, ordered, paid for and canceled (again).
Lucky for me, I fell in love with it (again).