I stopped Deeps and dragged her back from the fence.
“What’s the matter with you ?”, I asked in anger
“I just can’t stay here like this anymore”, she enlightened me while climbing the wall again
“What do you mean anymore ? From how many years have you been living like this ?”, I still held her, she wasn’t able to climb the wall but she was trying hard
“Look it’s tough for me to adjust instantaneously, I know only one person in this house and that’s you”, she began to weep
“Look don’t cry, its only today and that too only few more hours and after that I will never let you go”, I consoled her
“What is the guarantee that this will not happen tomorrow ?”
“What guarantee ? Am I selling you a mixer grinder ?”
This pissed her off even more and she tried to climb the wall again but I again dragged her back
“Have faith in me that I will not let this happen again, do you trust me ?”, I asked
“Great, then go back in there, have a sound sleep and we will see each other again in the morning and don’t worry things will be all alright”, I winked at her
She began to walk back inside the house miserably while I watched her just in case if she tries to break out again. I could realize her situation; it would be inflexible for anyone to all of a sudden get into a entirely new realm. But this time she behaved like a grown-up and went straight to my mother’s room with an assurance that she will not try to escape again.
Morning I woke up and guess what was the first thing I looked out for ? Yes, she was happily snoozing while it was still breaking dawn. After a while it was time to get ready and say goodbyes to each and every relative in the house one after another. Since it was first day after the wedding; people kept coming to visit us and gift the bride in exchange to see her face. It is undeniably a very good and affluent ritual for brides because people would keep coming to acknowledge both but would gift only the bride!! What wrong have we (bridegrooms) done ?
Muh Dikhai ritual is only for the bride by the groom's family. Relatives and friends shower gifts and cash to the new bride as blessings.
In middle of all this Deeps parents and all the family members visited us to see if Deeps is doing well. Deeps took advantage of the language barrier and described her mom about the last night episode. Till now I just heard that listening to something grave one’s face turns white, today was the time to witness that. Hitler’s face turned pale and white like a ghost after paying attention to what her daughter would have done on first day. She was shocked and started explaining Deeps what she must do and what she should not even think of doing. After an affirmative response from Deeps; Natrajan kin left to go around the city. Natrajans had planned one extra day for city excursion and leave Jaipur by evening flight.
By evening we were totally dog-tired by the amount of guests and the lack of sleep from the previous night. Finally all the people remaining in the house were gone and we were left with parents and few cousins. The next item in the list was to see Deeps kin off to the airport. Me, Deeps and Mr. Kapoor reached at the house where all of them were residing until now. Everyone was packed and all set to leave except Mo2. I did not know much about him but I knew this much that he is the laziest friend Deeps have got. So he was the only person still packing and what it seemed to me that Mr. Natrajan wanted to leave to the airport as early as possible to avoid disarray; understandably because he has seen the rush-hour traffic in Bangalore. There were 2 taxis for 10 people, 5 each but since Mo2 wasn’t on schedule and Mr. Natrajan had already pressed his panic button twice; we let the 2 taxis leave, leaving Mo2 behind. 3 of us anyways were going to the airport to see them off and hence Mo2 can piggyback with us.
The flight was at 7 pm and the 2 taxis left at around 5 pm. The journey to the airport was around 15 minutes so it was fine to even start a little late but since Bangalore is absolutely opposite Mr. Natrajan took a call and left precisely 2 hours prior to the flight schedule. But we 3 were still waiting on Mo2 who got ready only by 6 pm. By Jaipur standards it wasn’t still late but bearing in mind the whole procedure inside; we might make it just in time. We started immediately to the airport, we were just 5 minutes away from the airport and Mo2 got a call from Malyali who was already at the airport and was anxious about Mo2’s arrival,
“Where are you”, asked Malyali
“I am at home, still packing”, Mo2 said
“Whaaaatttttt, are you crazy old Potato !!!”, Malyali yelled on him
“Relax dude, it will take just 30 more minutes for us to reach there”, Mo2 was having fun with Malyali
“Forget it, you will miss the flight”, Malyali was utterly infuriated
“Hey please don’t go without me, hold the flight till I reach”, Mo2 giggled
Well Malyali did not say anything and hung up on Mo2 in repugnance. All of us had a good 5 minute laugh on the ridicule of the situation. We arrived well inside time to the airport. Deeps met her parents one more time before saying goodbye.
We got back to the house and by now we were only house members left. After dinner it was time to doze off but we were asked to wait as my brother and cousins were busy in decorating the room for both of us. After sometime when we were permitted inside we were awestruck. They had put each and every ounce of strength to transform that room into a gorgeous view.
They pushed both of us inside before bolting the door. I looked at Deeps and asked,
“Is it ok now ? Or do you still want to run away ? You can’t even if you want to because the door is locked”, I grinned
“I am perfectly fine”
I was thrilled to hear that and hopped onto the bed in delight but the moment I landed on the bed, the room was filled with crushing sounds and chortles from outside the room.
Something’s fishy !!!
Deeps was terrified to hear all the sound but we realized instantly that it’s a mischief done by my cousins because as soon as we raised the bed sheet; we found 10-15 papdas (Poppadum) lying there. I should have predicted that there will be some malice action that’s going to happen.
Well the married life began little bumpy but let’s hope that it becomes smoother by time.
Thanks for reading When South Met North. I thank all for being with me for the whole time while I was writing this. Special Thanks to my wife who permitted me to compose this. Thanks for all encouragement , appreciation and criticism from all the readers of “When South Met North”. I will certainly miss writing it and will unquestionably miss all the candid remarks by you all.