These parties are generally from the upper-middle class people who pretend to be of rich class. They are generally post-wedding parties or depending on their caste pre-post-wedding parties. Women are dressed in heavy gold-bordered traditional sarees and real-looking artificial jewelaries. Men are quite simple with traditional kurta pyjamas, shaking hands with every body else, unlike women who use both their hands to say, “Namaste”.
The moment you enter the party, you are either waiting for the band people to come or you arewaiting for the dinner to be set. Mostly the second, when it is the sole purpose to attend the gathering. One has to survive, afterall.
You learn how to kill time. An elderly lady is standng next to you and you start with a healthy smile. Her dark red coloured lips spread accross her face. It’s an omen that time will get killed. “It’s very hot in Ahmedabad”. Yes! “Sure it is, aunty”. I can’t believe that such a discussion can get pragmatic. Someone else will quip, ” Well, I saw the newspaper today, the temperature is normal, it is the humidity that causes the sweat.” I am sure her husband belongs to the meteriological department or she is a teacher at school for geography or she has a great General Knowledge. In the mean time the band arrives. The people are dancing and we enjoy their dancing.
All of a sudden you find someone who knows you; you figure out that things might get easier. And the discussion flows from weather, traffic to life in office. We suddenly realise that our jobs are what we hate the most. But we console each other by saying that “Well this is just the beginning”. The dinner is served and time to quit is nearing.
The dinner is exotic in these wedding parties. The parties are lavish with all kinds of food choices – South Indian, chinese, punjabi, desserts, Italian, post-dinner, jukie, salads etc. It takes time to figure out which is the best to eat to not spoil the evening further. You ask people who are eating but anything you choose is the worst. You start eating your food when some elderly uncle comes and smiles and starts asking,
” How are you?”.
“I am fine, uncle”.
“So what are you doing these days?” I told him that thing in our last meeting. But he has to ask because last time he asked was not in a party.
“I am doing a job in ABC Softwares”
“Good. Computer jobs are easy to find.” Yeah, sure they are. This is a misconception. Perhaps they are easy to find but there is always a better job.
“How much do they pay you?”
Good, this is the ultimate question.
“Oh! (that is a disappointing expression) But this is the first job, there is still a long way to go” Thanks for the encouragement, Uncle.
“Perhaps I will study further”
“Good. But remember that everything happens for one’s good”
Sure it does. Please go uncle, aunty is waiting for you.
Then there comes one more, “Do you remember me or not, my Child”
No I don’t.
“Sure I do, Uncle. How can I forget you?”
“So tell me who am I”
That is the worst dilemma. Do they really have to ask that? He is perhaps an old-old friend of my dad whom I last met when I was three. I make a questioning face and he smiles – he is happy.
“So you dont remember me?”
“Yeah, I dont”
He tells me who he is.
“Oh! I am so sorry, Uncle. Now I remember!”
Now is time to go to the podium to give our best wishes to the newly married couple. They are the only ones happy. We stand in a long queue and I realise that I am getting bored. So I go away and watch the queue move. It is funny that the moment you leave the queue it starts moving.
Mom and Dad have a great party and it is time to go. Again, it is strange that when you start enjoying the party, it is time to go.
We reach home, drink a glass of water, change to night-dresses and go to bed. I ask my dad, “Were we from the groom’s side or the brides?”