(Before I begin, let me clarify that it is not a movie-review as many of you might think.)
It’s been seven years since I last attended any family occasions or celebrations, primarily for two reasons: a). I’ve been a little busy; and b). I don’t like them. As my parents and all my relatives would say, I am arrogant/introverted/silent – a person who likes to stay within himself. But the reason I don’t like such family functions is because I know what is in a family function for me! It is a set of three questions by all those people whom I am only going to meet on any such rare occasion and then forget even their names the second day. The questions are:
- How are you?
- Where are you working now?
- Where are you living currently?
An optional fourth question depends on the occasion, e.g. if it is a marriage ceremony of any relative, then ‘When are you getting married?’ and if it is a birthday party, ‘When is your birthday?’
After answering all these questions, there is an awkward silence and then one of us would take out our mobile phone and start scrolling their already seen messages and sneak out from the other person’s vicinity. And there is always this character who claims to be next to your parents; the one who says that you’d always piss on his lap when you were a kid and you wonder if you’re meeting someone from your previous life. His usual reaction on meeting you is: “On my God, look at you! You were a six year old kid when I last saw you and now you’re this tall and handsome man with a French beard.”
What timeline are you living in, sir? 18 years back a lot of my body parts didn’t have any hair.
But this time it was the marriage ceremony of my cousin Dolly. She is one of the very few people in this world that I am close to. She is like a ‘best buddy’ with whom there is absolutely nothing that I cannot talk about. During childhood days, I’d use to spend my vacations at her place. As we grew up, our get-togethers became less frequent but the sweetness in our bonding never ceased. And I didn’t notice how time ran and she was now getting married. I could risk everything to attend it.
I was there for two days. Seeing her going through all the bridal treatment and cultural formalities gave me outburst of laughter. She looked like an alien with the rice bowl on her head and “mehndi” on her arms and feet. Well it is normally not funny, but it sure was, with her (:P); except for the reception night when she was on stage, sitting next to her groom. I was gathering the courage to go on stage to wish her luck for her married life and get some space on the wedding video, like everyone else was doing. Because facing her there would again give me an outburst. Only this time it wouldn’t be laughter. And when I finally went, these were her exact words: “Saale! Zinda ho tum?” Innocently, she kicked all emotional trash and I couldn’t help but laugh again.
The next day was my train. I had to drop by at her home (ex-home, I should say) to drop some stuff. I saw someone sleeping in her room, on her bed, packed in a blanket from top to toe, just like she used to. Of course it was a guest, but I was stupid enough to think that she actually came back for one more night. It was different at her home. In fact, something was different in the air, or the city may be. Something was bothering me, but I chose not to take a minute to think and keep moving.
She is not there on any social network and so won’t be able to read this I guess. And that would be fine, because with her you can talk about all sort of crap, but sentimental talks are beyond crap. 😛