Now if you have already concluded after reading the title that I have gone that far without informing you guys, hold on for a moment and read. This is about what happened two Saturdays ago. 😉
Saturday, 10th May.
Dumb-struck, I looked at my watch to check the time. It was 11:30AM and we were 45 minutes before time, the occasion being a marriage. It was my roommate who was about to get married.
Weeks before he had left for his hometown to get engrossed into the pre-Nikhah (Nikhah is an Islamic wedding, in case it sounds strange) preparations, he had sent all of his friends an e-invitation for the same. He was after all my classmate in college for four unforgettable long years as well as my roommate in Chennai and also a colleague. Now the invitation had mentioned the time of Nikhah as 12:15PM. I had read each word in the invitation since I was jobless in my bay and I had seen the hardcopy too, and I remember being very excited to hold something written in reverse for the first time. Not that I knew to read Arabic (or was that Urdu?? :roll:), but the thrill of having someone invite you to his wedding in a language you don’t know, is bliss indeed. Ofcourse it had a translated version (in English) on the other side! Anyways, I had made sure to note down the muhurat time (dunno what they call it…my roommate is not yet back from his vacation…err…honeymoon…or whatever they call it in Arabic/Urdu! :P). No doubt the time mentioned was 12:15PM on the card.
Saturday, 10th May.
I had reached Bangalore by 6AM after an overnight journey from Chennai. I was supposed to Mysore (about 140 kms from Bangalore) since that was where the Nikhah was supposed to be. A classmate of mine was supposed to come with me (my roommates had taken a direct train to Mysore from Chennai, but I had preferred to go home) to Mysore for the Nikhah. So we planned to start at about 8:30AM by bus, when my mom said that she and dad were planning to make a trip too to Mysore to visit their friends. Me and my friend were thrilled to get a free ride on the red Santro (which my dad doesn’t even allow me to touch from the driver’s seat…he and his obsession deserves a dedicated post)!! So here were we, on our to Mysore. We reached Mysore by 11:15AM.
Mom: “Let’s have some coffee/tea at some restaurant…there’s still time for our lunch”.
Me: “Nah mom…Can’t eat anything when the Biriyani at the nikhah is waiting for us” (I said this with a wide smile, and looked at my friend who by the way having his head shaved – for reasons known only to him – was looking like a another version of Ronaldo…He smiled back with an alpha nod.)
Mom (looking at both our Biriyani-filled eyes): “Well, I would still say there’s quite sometime for all that…Have something”
Me: “No mom…not hungry at all. Dad, drop us at the venue.”
Ronaldo: “Ya aunty, not hungry at all”. He said and laughed. If you ask me (not that it matters), he looked so dumb doing that! 😉
Mom: “Ok fine guys. Dad, drop them at the venue and then lets go and have some snacks”. Yeah, you read it right. She calls him Dad, in front of kids. Dunno why exactly, but guesses are not worth noting down here. 😉
When we reached the venue, what do we get to see? Dumb-struck, I looked at my watch to check the time. It was 11:30AM and we were 45 minutes before time, and there was not a single soul…so all of us went to have some quick snack.
And when we reached the venue hall again by 12:30PM to find a few men in dhoti with the traditional caps on their head. We enquired if it was the correct venue, and they were happy enough to oblige and confirm that we were indeed at the right place. Never knew being on time could also be a problem! 😀
We went in and sat down and slowly the hall began to fill with men, and men only. The groom came in at 1:10PM along with the maulvi (one who performs the marriage) and the ritual was completed by 1:30PM sharp. We both then went on to the stage to wish the groom, and he happily hugged each of us three times right-left-right and then shook hands with the smile being permanent on his face. Ronaldo was hungry and went searching for the dinner hall and I blindly followed him. We were welcomed there by a few unknown faces and made to sit around round tables after enquiring if we preferred Veg or Non-Veg food. As we settled, there were questions lingering in the mind which were still unanswered.
While Ronaldo was all about Biryani, in my case it was all about the mysteriouly missing woman folk!!
When we went back to the main hall after lunch, there were loads of people sitting there and this time to our relief both men and women! 😉 What struck my eye was the contradicting dressing of men and women. Most of the men had come in simple white shirt and dark trousers or some even white dhoti. In one word, Sober. The most extravagant dress would have been a sherwani and that too was worn by the groom and his brothers. Whereas when it came to the women folk, they dressed like there was no tomorrow. The colors they were in would be a feast to anyone who adores the hues. There were bright colors and loads of jewellary to go with it. Phew…you gotta see to believe! 😉
I called up my mom asking her to pick me up in the next 15 mins…and by that time we conveyed our wishes (once again, the groom wanted to hug…but this time we were aware of what he would do…so just shook hands) to the groom and bade goodbye to a few friends who had attended. Dad and mom picked us up and on the way back, we discussed about our first Nikhah experience…Ronaldo gave all updates about food, while it was all about colors from my end! 😉
Whatever and however it was, it was one memorable experience. Wishing a happy and long married life to my classmate-roomy-buddy!! 😀