Kapoors took an early morning flight from Bangalore and reached back to Jaipur at around early afternoon. Since there were no 10 tickets available in the same flight; we came separately in pack of 5s. I was with Akbar, Jodhabai and Hamida Banu Begam. At the airport we were received by Akbar’s brother Hakim. While we were on our way back to our respective houses; Hamida Begum chose to give a transitory overview about the complete wedding at Bangalore to Hakim. Hamida Begum started with an amplified explanation on how Hakim’s brother and sister-in-law were the only charismatic people at Bangalore. They mesmerized all Natrajans with their English and all Natrajan kin desired to talk just to both of them. Well whatever she was telling wasn’t entirely a tall tale but the way it was portrayed wasn’t even 20% truthful. But since Hakim was never there; he had to trust his mother but what about me!!! I was sitting right next to Hamida Begum and it never occurred to her that I might know the veracity of the incident!! Well the exaggeration went on for some more time till they dropped me off to my place where my parents were already waiting for me.
Natrajans were expected to arrive in 2 days and again it was more or less 10 of them who were anticipated to show up at the wedding. It was virtually the same circumstances as Bangalore with only modification that both parties now have changed the courts. Finally Natrajans came down to Jaipur and they were received in a same manner they welcomed Kapoors but the variance this time was that the garlands were not Hawaiian. Natrajans were accommodated in a bungalow Kapoors leased out only for Natrajans. All arrangements from condiments, a cook till a car with a driver were done beforehand. Few of Deeps office friends also accompanied Natrajans; representing the girl’s side.
North Indian weddings are more of fun and entertainment rather a complete indulgence into rituals. The first key event that occurs 1-2 days prior to wedding is “Sangeet”. Traditionally ladies are the only people to take part in this occasion. During this event ladies sing and dance on traditional Indian songs, and joke around with guests. But times are shifting and every men and women who are close to the bride and groom play a part. Kapoors went a step further and appointed a choreographer for the same. All my cousins shaped a theme which described my birth, childhood, teenage and adult life in sequence of songs from Hindi movies. All male cousins were portraying me on stage and female cousins were playing Deeps. The first song introduced Mr. and Mrs. Kapoor describing they falling in love and for clear reasons this piece was commended the most. All my cousins and brother did a freakishly remarkable job to pull off something like this. There were like zillion songs which concluded the whole story and each individual performed in no less than 6-7 songs!!! It was implausible to picture the amount of effort everyone had put in to make this event extraordinary. The merrymaking concluded with the open dance floor where both Natrajans and Kapoors shared the dance steps on selected groovy tunes.
At last the 2nd judgment day arrived where me and Deeps would get married for the second time and after this I can talk to her anywhere and anytime without Hitler’s authorization. The bash began from my house. Kapoors formed a crowd and marched towards the wedding venue as a Baraat.
Baraat is a bridegroom's wedding procession with Band, dancers and fireworks. It is customary for the bridegroom to travel to the wedding venue on a mare, accompanied by his family members who are actually the dancers. The groom and his horse are covered in finery and do not usually take part in the dancing. The baraat, headed by a display of fireworks and accompanied by the rhythm of the dhol, reaches the meeting point, where the elders of both the families meet.
We reached at the wedding spot where we were received by Natrajans who were told in advance what to do as their fragment in the ceremonial. I was taken to the wedding room where 2 imperial chairs were placed for wife and husband-to-be. I seated down and shortly Deeps arrived in red wedding dress. The rest of the evening people kept coming to pass on good wishes to us. Deeps wasn’t accustomed with the procedure that the pair must fall to the feet of each elder to get the blessings.
At least to offer blessings no one was throwing food around in here
After attending roughly to 45-50 guests Deeps succumbed to the tradition and told me that if she will bend next time then she might not come back. I could understand her agony because my spine was also aching but I had to help her out. I told her that next time when you kneel down to touch someone’s feet; as soon as you come back up pretend as you are about to faint with an eye rolling expression, one hand on forehead and start falling on me. 2 minutes later one family came to acknowledge us and as it was expected Deeps overdramatized the act and instead of falling on me she fell on to the couch; falling on me would have raised some anxieties but this made them horrified. Quickly people poured in from each direction, someone came up with water, someone with food and every single lady was on the bride. Deeps rapidly understood what she did and opened her eyes while still pretending to be sick. Everybody dispersed and my mother did not let Deeps to get up from the seat anymore. When my mother was gone after sometime; she looked at me and asked “How was the acting ?” to which I said, “It was an Oscar winning performance but if you had hammed it up a little further than we would have seen doctors and ambulance too”.
At around 11 pm practically all the guests were gone and we still had to hang around for another 1.25 hours before any wedding ceremonial could start. This is the solitary major difference in a South Indian and a North Indian wedding that a south Indian wedding would take place in the morning and a north Indian wedding at around midnight. We were having fun while chatting and the time flew away like a cold breeze. We were asked to be seated for wedding ceremony on our respective spaces and Pundit began to recite the mantras.
We were about 15-20 minutes into the ritual when I observed that all my relatives are wide-awake and conscious while almost all Deep’s relative had already surrendered to the midnight and the heavy delicious food they had few hours ago. 75% of Deep’s kin was snoozing while we were getting married and remaining were also not far away including Deeps. After 10 minutes I watched diligently and noticed that Deeps has already been dragged into an incredible world of sleep.
How can she do that!!! She is sitting and sleeping in her own wedding !!
I looked around but nobody had noted it yet, so I adjusted my spot a bit and gave Deeps a slight shudder, it worked, she opened her eyes and looked at me, she gave me a smile and dozed again. I jolted her again and reminded her that it’s our wedding and we are not audience but the participants. She then comprehended the gravity of the situation and managed to keep herself conscious till the end. The ceremony got over shortly and we were married for the 2nd time. Deeps now was my complete spouse. Kapoors began their way back to home with an additional family member. Deep’s parents and relatives wished her for a great life, they tried to be resilient but Deeps and Hitler could not hold back and burst into a loud cry. It was impossible for a mother to let her loving daughter go but this had to happen sometime. After few minutes it was the time of realization for both of them to let all go. Both of us sat in the decorated car and Hakim drove us back to my place where some more relatives were waiting for us for yet another ritual at the 1 am in the night. It took another 30 minutes to get over the formality and it was time to sleep, after all running around it was time to go astray in loving arms of sweet and comfortable bed. We were waiting for all guests to leave and instructions from my mom, she came and said,
“You sleep in this drawing room and Deeps will come and sleep with me”, my mom said
“But why?” I asked
“Because there are still some people in the house who will go only by tomorrow” and she walked away
Deeps and I looked at each other in incredulity, “You are going to spend your first night with my mom!!!”
She did not appreciate my wittiness and looked very uncomfortable, terrified and totally freaked out, we were not ready for this, we were caught totally off-guard. I cheered her by telling that this perhaps is the last thing you have to do for me. She understood that there is no other alternative and went to sleep with my mom. I also slept in the drawing room with an amalgamation of various frequencies of snorts coming out of each direction from each guest.
May be 1-2 hours later
Ankit, Ankit, Ankit ……. Am I dreaming!!! Ankit wake up …… its Deeps
I woke up in a sudden shock and saw Deeps standing right on my head.
“What is it and what time is it?” I asked while try to look around and try to understand the situation, it was still dark and people in my house were still singing the snore song.
“Ankit, I can’t sleep with your mom, I am going to my parents place, Bye”, and she started to run away
“What … wh …. Wait….. ”, it took me a zillionth of a second to come back to complete consciousness and jump out of the bed. I ran after the runaway bride.
Is she taking vengeance from me for what I did in Kashi Yatra ?
Deeps was by now out of the house was trying to climb the wall to get away. When I saw the sight of it I was sure that this is certainly not what I anticipated my first night to be.