Sunday, December 08, 2013


Of weddings and reunions

The car-ride wasn’t a typical one. The trio was the same that had shared many a jaunt up and down NH-58 in a parallel universe. Here though, Sajal, Sumedh and I were almost on calls throughout. A house had to be constructed, a website design needed refining, a CEO wanted answers- everyday problems that our everyday work selves deal with. Except that this day was not your everyday- we were in the middle of the country, having extricated ourselves from our work lives with varying degrees of difficulty, on our way to celebrate and mourn, in unequal measure, Tyagi’s foray into holy matrimony. I guess there are some bonds of friendship which demand bhangra in baaraats. Bhopal had asked and the world had answered.

We might well have been teleported to the magical Farmhouse as we crossed the door into our room at RK Residency. Suddenly, the calls had ceased and the unperturbed undergraduates metamorphed from the cloaks of entrepreneurship and employment. There was Rapu, as Rapu-esque as ever, sporting a hairdo that sat very well on his 65 million year old head. The glasses- they were heartwarmingly the same. Was it their sepia tint that made me suddenly recall that day more than 5 years ago when 2 excuses for materials engineers had discussed polarisation at length with a hapless optician while purchasing the very pair? A night of revelry remained with Ballu before he too follows Tyagi to the solemnised dark side in February. And can any jahaan chaar yaar mil jaayein moment be complete without everyone’s favourite Suar. The man was there to declare Baaraat aage… nahi jaayegi before traversing the many miles and excess baggage charges to start anew in Florida. Jai had turned up too- S-81 RJB was well and truly represented.

The hairlines had receded, the waistlines expanded. The glasses were actually made of glass this time and not the plastic disposable ones that we were usually accustomed too. The bottle might not have said RS but in everything else that mattered, we were back where we belonged. Rapu was the only one who’d got shaving gel along, Sajal had packed 3 ties and yours truly still needed back support. There was a Discussion too- the Indian tax system and cost of living in India vs aborad being the hallowed topics for those stolen moments. We’d almost reached ‘its all about perception’ when the call to stop the tomfoolery and get ready for the baaraat came.

The baaraat saw a reunion with SriP. We could dance carefree on the roads now- the Bhopali underworld was there to protect us. The eight of us performed our solemn duty to the tunes of Hookah Bar, Disco Deewaane and much to my delight, Julie Julie. Three hours and a bunch of Mere yaar ki shaaid hai’s later, we reached the venue. Dinner had been earned. The golgappes and jalebis demanded attention.

Over the course of the night, regaling tales were recounted, fond memories revisited and madcap exuberance restored. SriP overcame her deprived childhood by finally wintessing a full North-Indian wedding, the farmhouse got a new First Lady and two hearts were ritualised as one. A bunch of people took a bunch of pictures- hopefully I’ll get to see them. As eight people lined up on the stage to wish the long-legged groom and the radiant bride, the dreamer in me wondered if somewhere in the recesses of a faraway wing in R-land, the bits of our souls that we’ve all left behind were enjoying their own slivery séance. Four years of fast friendship had spawned a promise and the four years since of remaining in touch- of google hangouts and NYC layovers, of Delhi winters and McLeodganj trips, of student exchanges and California trainings, had kept the promise from fading. I beamed for the umpteenth time at the visible and invisible cameras, thanked God yet again for Those Four Years and hoped for the camaraderie to forever continue. The moment was ephemeral as always- four hours later, I forlonly sat at my adopted home these days, beginning the wait of the 12 hours and 4 flights that would take me from Lefty to Saagar again.

February and Jodhpur it’ll be now.

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