Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Font Size

I Married a Total Stranger


My parents were ecstatic, and truthfully, I was pleased to be the reason for their joy. One week later, his mother called my mother, and by the end of the phone call, we were engaged. Shouts and hugs were exchanged throughout the neighborhood — you'd have thought I'd won an Olympic gold medal.

A wedding date was set for six months later, the venue picked, and a guest list of a thousand finalized. As the preparations began and wedding invitations were hand-delivered, I visited with friends and said my good-byes. Of course, I was anxious about being shipped halfway across the world to the U.S. I was giving up my cultural identity and lifestyle: Indian monsoons; colorful saris; conversations in my mother tongue; the inquisitive neighbors, cousins, and aunts; and most of all, the food.

But on the other hand, it was nice to finally be engaged. And the very fact that I was getting hitched to an Indian living in America made me royalty.

Traditionally in India, the bride's father pays for the weeklong ceremony. He also provides a "dowry" — cash that accompanies the bride from her old home to her new one and serves as her financial security — sort of an ancient prenup. In today's urban India, it's couched in a package of fabulous parties, elegant saris, and, of course, heirloom jewels that mothers have cleverly been amassing since their daughters were born. My future in-laws, however, insisted on sharing the financial burden, setting the stage for an equitable and very modern marriage.

For months, my 16 aunts slaved away, putting together a trousseau of the wildest, boldest silks. My mother became the conductor of this grand orchestra, giving orders and coordinating schedules. The days when the preparations felt overwhelming were actually the ones when I was least afraid of my future. In America, I wouldn't be governed by in-laws, nosy neighbors, or relatives checking on whether I was following tradition. I imagined freedom. Relief. Independence.

The wedding was preceded by six days of partying, each one centering on a small religious ceremony, plus a social gathering featuring fireworks, feasting, music, and Bollywood-style dancing. Each day required a different outfit, jewelry, hairdo, and makeup. Rather than the bachelorette parties I'd later learn about in the States — where someone might end up with a "Chuck Forever" tattoo — at home in Mumbai, my girlfriends and I partook in a henna hand-painting ritual to beautify me for my future husband.

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
Life Cycle of a Penis
HIV Myth Facts
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Couple in bed
6 Tips For Teens
Close-up of young man
screening tests for men
HPV Vaccine Future