Friday, 12 September 2008

Vasu's eventfffffffffffffffful wedding

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Indian Weddings are made memorable due to unintended incidents. What about a marriage which is full of incidents? I attended one such marriage of my friend’s (Venkatesh) brother Vasu in 1997. There was not a single moment of dullness in the entire marriage. The marriage was in Salem and a private bus was arranged. The bus had to leave at 6am but left at 8am. Venkatesh father who is notorious for his punctuality was chiding all for the delay but all his missiles were replied with giggles. A couple of hours in to our journey we stopped for breakfast. The menu was supposed to be idli, kesari bath and vada. The problem was one of the containers containing idli was left behind in Bangalore and there was a rationing of Idlis. Added to this we had to compulsorily gulp a lot of sambar. This was the sign of things to come.

We resumed our journey and as things would have it, the driver lost his way and strayed on the route towards Vellore instead of Salem. Thankfully, 20 kms down the route somebody realized the folly and we turned back. Venkatesh’s father who had vouched for a KSRTC bus smiled at Vasu and told “You won’t listen to me this is the problem with these private buses”. All of us were busy with our revelry and his words were lost in the din. Finally we reached Salem with a delay of four hours. Locating the choultry was not a problem because somebody from the bride’s side had come to the highway to guide us from there.

We settled down and had our lunch. The rituals had begun and Venkatesh got busy with his duties. I and my friend Anil decided to check out Salem roads and babes. The roads were bumpy and babes most of them were chubby. We decided to have a Coke. As most of them know, there is a penchant in Tamil Nadu for translating every English word into Tamil. So was the shop where we went to have a Coke, except that “Milk Shake” was written in English. Anil asked me “Is there no word in Tamil for milk shake?” I tried to whisper into his ears “aatna pal (shaken milk)” but as bad luck would have it came out in a very audible tone. The shopkeeper gave us a stern look but could not control his laughter and burst out laughing with us.

It was late in the evening when we decided to go for a second show. We went for the historic hysteric film “Kadal Kotai (Fort of Love)”. This film is so because two people fall madly in love with each other just over the phone and they continue to be lovers without seeing each others face. We came out of the theatre praising Indian Railways Coffee and the guy who spilled it on the Hero’s shirt because otherwise the film would never have ended. We reached the choultry only to find the gates securely locked. No amount of banging, shouting could wake up any one and we had to spend the night in the bus itself. Next morning we got our dose of advice from his father for being playful and childish.

The entire marriage ceremony was a typical South Indian Brahmin wedding. It has its own flair and joy. The driver of the bus told us that there was some minor maintenance work and he would get it done in an hour and be ready with the bus. After lunch, we packed up and came out only to find that the bus was nowhere to be seen. Immediately somebody from the bride’s side took a vehicle and went to the major garages of Salem. Three hours later the bus turned up. It seemed the driver had lost his way and was stuck a couple of streets behind. Not being well versed in the local language, he was not able to find his way out. Unfortunately, nobody cared to search for him a couple of backstreets. Having got delayed, it was decided that we would have our dinner and proceed. An urgent preparation was made and we proceeded towards Bangalore. The return journey had its own skirmishes with some family scores being settled through a lashing match. We were scheduled to return to Bangalore by 11pm but reached at 5 am the next day.

This was not the end of events of Vasu’s Wedding. A reception was scheduled in Bangalore for the next day. 400 guests were anticipated but a minor surplus of 100 turned up. Consequently, the entire food got exhausted and not a morsel of rice was left behind for us. The entire reception party had to go to a nearby hotel and have dinner. With that the curtains came on Vasu’s eventffffffffffful wedding. Vasu is now having two kids and well settled in life. Vasu’s wedding was the most eventful one I have attended in my life and going by the looks of it will remain so.

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