Day 1 (25th May)
I was suppose to leave for Aligarh (UP) on 22nd May but I couldn’t do that. At last I left on the evening of 25th May. It was my Uncle’s (Chacha’s) marriage on 27th and I was suppose to help in the preparations. I took the bus from dadri and reached there by 10:30pm. As I was chatting with my aunts (buas) while I was in the bus, when I reached home, they were already standing outside the house waiting for me. This hospitality was more than enough for me.
After meeting all the people in the house, I talked with my favorite chacha (Megesh) and we discussed our plans for the next day. There came a situation when my favorite chacha was calling me on one side and my favorite bua (Neenu) on the other. I got confused, and sat with my chacha at last. Although, later I asked bua that did she felt bad, as I didn’t listen to her. And she replied as, “Are you mad?” And I was all smiles then.
Well, it was quite a night as all the women started singing those songs and beating the “dholak” (an Indian instrument) and I was enjoying the latest songs on television with my chachas. I was very tired and didn’t take any time to fell asleep as soon as I layed down at the roof.
Day 2 (26th May)
I woke up and got ready to go to the market. My chacha went through an accident a few months back and this didn’t allow him to walk without the support of his walker. I took him to the market on bike (TVS Victor). There I met an old acquaintance whom I met during my bua’s marriage. He was like, praising me a lot for doing so much work in that marriage of my bua. Well, after some talks we bought the goods and came back home. I had a plan to go to Nokia care center, to meet my buas there, but it failed as I had other works to do. Later on, I was asked to get some diesel for the generator and was allotted a Pulsar 180 to go to the petrol pump. I took my younger chacha (Arjun) along with me. After getting the diesel we went to Nokia center and brought Neenu bua along with us. The whole day went away in placing the things at the right place, making decorations, serving food to the guests, buying stuff from the market etc.
At night, I tried to convince all the people of my age group to have a small bash and dance! But the speakers didn’t support me and we were again forced to listen to the songs sung by older people.
Day 3(27th may) – The Marriage
All the preparations were made already. After helping in the work I took some rest at Neenu bua’s place (also called as “Palle Ghar”). Her mother asked me if I would like to eat some khichadi(an Indian dish). I said “Yes” without thinking much as I knew that its gonna be tasty under all conditions. While the dish was getting prepared I was suppose to go to the main house for serving the food. many people asked me to eat the food there only, but I told them that I have already made my mind regarding the Khichadi. Most of them were shocked to hear my answer. After buying some goods from the market I went back to Palle Ghar to have my brunch. The Khichadi was accompanied with papad and 2 different types of achars. It was very tasty and I ate more than my capacity because of the increased appetite and took a small nap after that.
It was time for the “Bhat” now. Bhat is an Indian tradition in which the Uncle of the groom give away money to all the relatives. I got some money too. Soon my parents also reached there, I touched there feet, took the camera from my Dad and started clicking. I was clicking the moments which were not captured by the hired photographer. When my grandfather noticed this, he asked, “Why aren’t you taking the photos which have more meaning?” As I couldn’t make him understand my motto, I just smiled and took a few meaningful photos as well.
After this “Bhat” thing, it was time for the “Ghudchadi” (When the Indian Groom sits on a horse and the relatives dance in front of it while the music is played by the band) I wasn’t sure that whether I should concentrate on taking photographs or should I dance. As I was poked again and again, I handed over the camera to my Dad and jumped into the dancing group. All were shocked to see my energy. I also got some compliments later on.
In the evening we all went to the marriage home, where there were preparations for the party food which included lots of stuff. I was more interested in dancing rather than eating. I danced a lot with almost everyone who came on the DJ floor. I also tried my hand stand in between, but I don’t think it was the right time and place to do that. But who cares, after all I don’t like ‘too much thinking’ when I dance.
After the photo session we all sat outside, forming a circle with our chairs and enjoyed our talks. I didn’t ate any food but must have drunk at least 5 glasses of soda. Soon we all went back to our rooms to change our clothes for the next main event i.e. “Shadi”
Day 4 (28th may)
Today was not a day when we sleep. It was 1 am and all were back from their rooms waiting for the “Pooja” to start. As the bride and groom were performing the rituals we people were talking about our lives, sharing jokes, commenting on each other and had loads of fun. Soon we realized that it was morning, so we went outside for a walk. The cool breeze was very soothing and we didn’t want to go back. After the marriage, we brought my new Chachi home. I was suppose to leave for gwalior with my parents now. But my heart wasn’t happy to do so. I wanted to stay in Aligarh and enjoy rest of the events. But I couldn’t do so because we had another marriage to attend in gwalior.
I will never forget this visit to aligarh. Those places, those people, that love and care, is most precious for me.
I would love to eat Khichadi at my bua’s place rather than eating at a five star hotel. After all, the waiter will never ask me, “Please have some more, Kushal.”
I guess, this is never taught to them in hotel management. 😉