Tanu is finally married! On the 12th of February, the first of my close friends from College got married. We had a lovely time at her sangeet and at her wedding. I'll put down some of the stuff worth remembering.
Going to her sangeet was quite an ordeal. Put together the fact that I was only vaguely familiar with the route, and that the traffic conditions and road conditions in East Delhi and Ghaziabad are not too great, and that my car suddenly started misbehaving that morning, and what do you get?
On the morning of 11th February, something went wrong with the central locking system of my car, and it refused to unlock peacefully on all the three occasions - in the morning, when I was leaving for work, in the evening, when I was leaving work, and in the night when we were leaving Tanu's place. And then there were these strange roads all along the way. One was rather narrow to begin with, and had a makeshift fruit and vegetable market put up, which sent the traffic into a state of total chaos. At this point, I told Ruchi, who was navigating at that point of time, to stay silent for a few minutes until I got out of the insane traffic. She could, however, not control the urge to make random remarks about buying vegetables, or at least lemons and green chillies. It was only thanks to the map that Varun had drawn for me (with a lot of care, consideration, and accompanied by instructions) that I managed to find my way through the mess.
At the sangeet, we had a lot of fun listening to all sorts of interesting songs sung by Tanu's aunts and uncles (Okay, there was only one uncle. But he was a really witty and interesting uncle). I told my friends that since I had to drive everyone home, I should get the mehendi applied first, because everyone else could go home with wet hands. I was the first one to get it applied, but apparently the last one to see it dry off. In the wait, I was waving my hands about in the air and managed to get a lot of the mehendi on the walls. The wait gave us some time to chat and catch up with each other, which was good. It delayed our getting home, which was bad. We lost our way thrice on the way back. Of these, only the first instance occurred while we were still in unfamiliar territory. When I realised where we were, I knew that we were nowhere near the route that we'd intended to take, but we were heading towards a much better, very familiar route. The second time, we lost our way around the University Campus where three of us had roamed about for six years and one of us, for three years. We landed up in a desolate, dark patch. Four young women, with mehendi on their hands, with only one can of pepper spray to defend themselves with, on a deserted road at about 2315 hours. We should thank out stars that we made it out of there. The third time I lost my way was the icing on the cake. I was dropping Aarti home, which is something I have done more than once before this (and hence I am familiar with the neighbourhood), and I was supposed to find my way to the ring road after dropping her. There was this underpass that I knew I wasn't supposed to take, and I took it anyhow. Nobody knows why.
It seemed like I'd been driving all day. I arrived home at about midnight, so exhausted that I couldn't get to sleep (Yup, when I get much too exhausted, I can't fall asleep.). I got only about four hours of sleep that night. But I ceased to feel sleep deprived once I was back from work the following evening, and getting dressed for the wedding. After much waiting for everybody to get home from work and get dressed, there we were, all dressed up and loaded into a cab, which began to experience some amount of trouble in the beginning of the journey, but thankfully that lasted only a few minutes.
Now Tanu's groom, Gaurav, doesn't like band-baaja, so there wasn't any of that in the baaraat. Which means that the baaraat arrived at a rather unexpectedly early hour, and consequently everything was ready for the pheras by midnight. After a little slow dancing to Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye by the bride and groom, and dinner, everyone settled down for the pheras. We had a little while when Gaurav was supposed to be there in the mandap, but not Tanu. We got to chat and take some pictures with her in that time.
It was interesting, listening to the panditji recite the wedding vows. I don't think it was supposed to be as funny as he made it sound. I've actually attended that part of a wedding only once before this, and I don't think anybody was laughing over there!
When I see Tanu and Gaurav together, when I talk to them, I always get the feeling that these two were actually made for each other, just waiting to meet. I find myself able to trust that Gaurav will take really good care of Tanu and keep her happy. It is because of these two that I have begun to believe in the concept of arranged marriage. All the best, you two. May marital bliss never step out of your lives.