The best remedy for a bad day is to remember a day that figures somewhere in the list of the most memorable ones that one has spent ever. Not that today is bad in comparison to some the worst I have had, but it still had elements that pushed me into the realms of nostalgia. In case you enjoy reading this anecdote of my life and feel like reading more please do me a favour and do not wish for more days like today to fill my life. :-)
Being in an all girls’ college, having guy friends was a sort of a privilege that only a few of us could boast of. I think my stars were lucky and Rahul, better known as ‘stinky’ to the bloggersphere, and I embarked on a lifelong friendship. He was an influence on me that I swear to god if I ever have a daughter, I would never want her to have. Friendly as I am I very conveniently became a part of Rahul’s college group as well. So after six months of meeting Rahul I was best friends with 14 other people and our group of 16 would create a ruckus across the roads of South Delhi.
On a November day the college adjacent to my college –Kamla Nehru College, Gargi, arguably the more happening of the two, had some festival (known as fest in college slang) going on. All of us decided to grace the fest and turned out in our fineries. So Rahul, me and the gang went to the fest danced for a while and then after being bored of the music and checking out all the girls and guys respectively decided to walk to South-Ex for chuski (ice-cones dipped in yummy syrups of various flavours). On our way we saw a marriage tent.
It was around 2 o’clock and we were a little bewildered to see a wedding tent and the Sikh boy in our group, Jaspreet called Jasso lovingly and even when being teased or humiliated, pointed out that it was a Sikh wedding. Being in college, adventure and free food topped our list of priorities and not always in that order. The guys as intelligent as they are, led by Rahul suggested that we all were suitably dressed and we should just mingle with the wedding party and hog on all the food and the wedding celebration. Not one to agree to such disgusting suggestions I opposed vehemently but as they say, strength lies in unity and the other 15 ganged up on me and insisted, “You better learn to be improper. It’s high time.” Now how could I argue against such a convincing argument?
Meekly, (well not really but I like to, through my blog, live vicariously like characters that I can never ever be in real life) I followed suit. At the risk of being abused by Rahul and gang I would like to tell the readers that they are a bunch that can make you do the silliest of things and then ensure that after 3-4 years you remember your foolishness as one of the best times you have ever had. So, a totally spellbound me, and my other friends entered the venue and then began an over the top performance. We were at our Punjabi best, “Namaste auntiji, tussi te bahut hi vadiya lag rahe ho” (Aunty you are looking very good), “uncleji, main ki dassan inna vadiya khana te inni vadiya decoration assi te vekhya hi nahi hai” (uncle, what should I say, I have never seen such brilliant food arrangement and decorations ever). We were so bad in our acting that I would have easily nominated us for the lifetime achievement Raspberries awards (opposite to the Oscars, given for bad performances). We had free food, great loud music, a preference specific to that age and wonderful friendly people who were prototypes of Indian hospitality.
After our stomachs full, hearts overflowing with the love and concern that the hosts showered, our conscious hit us. Rahul suggested that we all at least have the courtesy of gifting the married couple some amount of token money. College was a time when we never had more that rupees 100 in our wallets. So we all huddled and decided to collect the money. We all were sieving out ten rupee notes from the crevices of our bags, jeans pockets and from places I don’t even want to remember or mention.
At this opportune moment, a hurly burly, white-bearded Sardaji came to us. With one hand on Rahul’s shoulder, the other on my head, he said, “Beta ji! Tussi ki kar rahe ho?” (Children what are you doing?). I am pretty sure that I had gone pale. On the other hand, Rahul continued to be in the character, of an invited guest at the wedding, and replied “Namaste uncle ji. Assi te sirf jijajee de joote chuppan di setting kar rahe si. (we were just conspiring to hide the shoes of the groom.) Uncle said that he did not recognize us. And Rahul, ever the smart Alec, said with full confidence that the reason behind him not being able to identify us was probably because we were from the bride’s side. Life has always turned out refreshing surprises on us and it was in no different mood that day. Uncle smiled and said very calmly that he was the father of the bride. Ever the cry baby, I was ready to find out a way out of the crisis my shedding truck loads of tears.
Rahul tried once again to slither away and said, “I mean we are from the groom’s side.” Uncle just laughed, looked at my watery eyes, called for the waiter and asked him to get me a glass of water. He then said, “I am glad that you kids came to the wedding. Now that you have had your fill of the food come join us in celebrating the wedding of my daughter.” At this point, all the 16 of us had huge smiles and tears in our eyes. I am sure the guys would not mind taking me to the court for this defamation of their manliness. We had a ball dancing at the wedding. It was better than any discotheque or college jam session. Just before leaving, we had had the decency of putting together rupees 500 amongst all of us. However, when we gave the envelope (that we had asked for from one of the other guests) of money to uncle, he scolded us and in a typical Indian melodramatic format said that children do not give money to elders. Rather, he thrust envelopes containing rupees 100 each in all our hands.
It has been over 4 years since the incident and even today we all go together to visit uncle once a year on the day we crashed his daughter’s wedding. We all our working, some are now married and even have children. The whole clan goes to uncle’s house not because he fed us and gave us money but because he included a bunch of adventurous college goers into his family.