First up, I know it's been a while. I won't make any excuses, I just didn't feel like writing, commenting, or replying to comments. My bad. Now, the last time I wrote here, I was desperately searching for a wedding gift, and I thank you all for the excellent suggestions you made. I met my dear friend's then-fiancé for a cuppa, to see what kind of a guy he was. I don't often find myself liking people the first time I meet them, even though I like to give them a couple of chances to see if I may have missed out on something, but I really liked this guy. He was polite, he loved his job, and promised to teach me all about stocks, was a mere two inches shorter than me, and he had an openness and honesty to him that I value above all. The only faults I could find with the man were his apathetic attitude towards food, and his preference for tea over coffee. As the wedding was in a matter of days, I really needed to come up with a gift. On a visit to a ludicrous yet tastefully designed mall in Noida, of which an entire floor was dedicated to homemakers, I was contemplating a myriad of vases, when my eye fell upon what I had to get them. I found something conventional, very, very Renovatio, and to be appreciated by both the bride and my own sentiments regarding the groom's preferences. I got the happy couple a coffee maker, with a pair of glass-and-stainless-steel coffee mugs.
The fateful day arrived, and I recall bolting out of bed at nine minutes to ten, picturing the entire baraat dancing its way into the gurudwara at that very moment, as the wedding invitation claimed they would be. Luckily someone had remembered to get my green kurta and gold-beige churidar ironed, so a four-minute shower and three-minute change later, I was on the road. Of course once I crossed the two kilometer mark, I realized I had left my shawl behind, and knowing that the ensemble would be incomplete without the dark brown shawl, I returned to grab it.
Let it be recorded that running up a flight of stairs in peshawari juttis, and driving in them for that matter, is a tedious and difficult process.
Aurelia and I took to the road again with the sound of Apocalyptica blaring from Adelina's speakers, and in record pace, arrived at the gurudwara Rakabgunj, a gurudwara I had previously never heard of. Pulling into a parking spot a mere three hours late for the wedding, I was just in time for the pheras, IST-be-blessed. I ran into the banquet-hall thingie to stares from a horde of people, asked for someone related to the bride, and came face to face with a skinny fellow who knew all about me and was certain I knew the most intimate details of his life. What? you don't know Tarunjeet-pal? Right right, she must have told you about me as Vicky. I didn't want to hurt poor Vicky's feelings, so I shook his hand as warmly as I could, claimed I knew him, handed him the coffee maker, grabbed a glass of something vile off a waiter's tray for my parched throat, and purloining a handkerchief off a large Sardar in a white suit, ducked into the place where the pheras were taking off.
There's a certain charm to not knowing anyone at a wedding, excepting the bride and her parents, especially if you've got a rather distinct look to you, and you aren't aware of the customs, excluding the cover-head-with-hanky one. You're at leisure to watch the proceedings, you get to notice things that you would normally miss, and considering the bride's mother handed you a little digicam, you get to capture the moment as well, and no one looks at you funny when you mutter to yourself about the shot you're taking. The grin on my face when some random aunt put their heads together in some cheesy symbolic gesture earned me my first scowl from a family member. I got my second and third simultaneously from two older gentlemen who I'm fairly certain disapproved of my earring and the lack of a pagadi on my head, respectively. Of course here the assumption from the older gentleman was that I was another Sardar amidst this large congregation of Sardars. There was also the very cute cousin of somebody's who flashed me a charming little sparkley-eyed smile, who insisted on straightening out all the, well, for lack of a better word, stuff, dangling off the bride. She most likely assumed I was grinning at her, while her anal stuff-straightening never ceased to amuse me. For the record, when she came up to me later and introduced herself as Nancy in her singsong voice, I was picturing a Pomeranian in my head, talking up at me.
As the event wore on, I met with my friend's sister, who I forbid from leaving my side, even for a second. I eventually managed to steal a decent camera from one of the photographers, and took a few completely manual shots, until all the photographers ganged up on me and demanded it back. I then had a very intimate moment with the groom, where I re-buckled the uppermost buckle of his Shervani. Unfortunately, he still wouldn't let me mess around with the kirpan, the ritual sword he had to carry during the pheras. I also managed to insult a few other friends of the bride's, who I told not to tell me their names, as I was bound to forget. The chubby one gave me a very hurt My name has never felt as unimportant in my life before she stormed off in search of jalebis. Oddly enough, she was back at my side the next day during the reception, and somehow she knew my name, even though I didn't tell her.
The reception was an amusing event. I arrived there, dateless, after searching for about forty minutes in the slight fog, in a suit that is now a little too tight around my chest. The very suit prevented me from learning how to bhangra when the bride's sister attempted to teach me, but it enabled me to get the bride's dad up on the dance floor, despite his protestations of weak knees. The cake-cutting took place with a symbolic collapse of the cake, as evidenced by the rather well-timed picture I had taken, and I managed to steal a decent twenty minutes alone with the happy couple on their little red-and-gold (I know who'll just love that motif) dais. Of course to get hose twenty minutes, the photographer had to drop his excellent quality lens, and break it. Much na na na na na na, heh heh heh heh heh heh heh from me later, I made the most of the opportunity to sit with the happy couple, and in a rare display that absolutely made my day, the new couple ganged up on me and managed to get a hold of my license, to check my birthday. Of course the bride also stole my brownie.