So the last kid in the Kochar clan is all set to tie the knot. Though, in the past, a wedding in my Father’s side of the family hasn’t had any relevance, it seems one is going to break the record, my brother and I set and actually attend this one. After all, I adore the mother of the groom.
The Roka-Mother decides to stay home, she’s unusually cranky these days. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s that time of the year – from March till July, when she needs special attention. No amount of coaxing helps. Wild horses won’t be able to drag her to the function. I eventually give up and head to my dungeon to get dressed. I get all dolled up and leave with the Father.
There’s something terribly nostalgic about this particular drive to the West side of Delhi. I hate airplanes, crowds, family functions and hypocrites and I end up missing the boy who would have made this drive what he called our, ‘brother-sister moment’. Under my breath, I thank the asshole and fade into the conversation the Father is trying to have. ‘Kyaa fayda he beta shaadi karne ka. Chinese maal he…na guarantee, na warranty! Tum mat karna!’, he says sipping his whisky. ‘Bolte raho, mein to zaroor karoonge!’
If you didn’t know my Father you would be convinced he’s trying to use reverse psychology…if you didn’t know me, you would be convinced I actually want to get married (At the moment, I can’t even make myself date anyone). But this is something we do, he and I- perpetually bicker. We are as different as chalk and cheese-he the eternal optimist and I, well, he calls me the ‘doomster’, always preparing for the worst. ‘Choud de ge, ek saal me!’. Oh ya! I forgot to mention the only thing we have in common – our tongues. ‘You sound like me,’ almost slips out but I’ve got my cue to shut up. Anyhow, after being warned about the disadvantages of marriage, we finally reach our destination-Piccadilly in Janak Puri.
Mine is a stereotypical Delhi based Sardar family – Pakistani migrants, ambitious, god fearing, whisky drinking, hard working, money loving lot. The women are well educated housewives, who won’t be caught dead without their solitaires. The Bua, is sweet, introverted and non controversial.
But The Chachi is in a different league. Total spitfire, spiritually inclined, not bothered about projections. They say free thinking women, raise free thinking adults. She’s raised her boys as free thinking men, who respect women and are unafraid to leave their father’s business and make it on their own in Canada.
It’s a typical Punjabi function where the To-be-bride and Groom, have to go through the ordeal of meeting all the relatives. The exchanging of gifts and the sitting on stage and eating, make it even more akward. ‘How much would I have to love a man to do this? Alot,’ I think to myself. But this is a very well behaved couple- they go through it without any complaints. They look like little kids who are pretending to be all grown up. There is an upside- the dancing! The cutest part is when the 75+ year old grandmother, gets up to dance.
In between dancing and dinner, I’m obviously asked when I will tie the knot. “When I’ll be 50, I’ll marry a hot 20 year old! Most of you will probably not be around to attend the wedding.” That’s their cue to probe no further. The advantage of being the black sheep of the family, one gets away with murder!