Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Delhi Wedding - IV

I had had an idea for Veeru and Basanti's wedding gift for quite some time. Something practical and useful, that you can give close friends whom you've seen through their courtship. Especially when you have teased the groom - after some glasses of drink - about his inadequate sexual experience.

You guessed it right. So the night of the sangeet, as we make our way back to the hotel in a taxi - the Guy, me, Veeru's cousin and another friend nicknamed Lambu Chachu for being the tallest of us all - we look for a chemist that was still open at that time. Veeru's cousin seems like a straight-laced and rather naive small-town young man, so we don't let him in on the joke - deliberately, that is. In actual fact, the hints LC give are very broad, influenced by the copious amounts of alcohol he has ingested, and it would be extremely difficult for anyone older than twelve to not have understood what he refers to.

Veeru's cousin is extremely tired, it being well past midnight and he being one of the early-to-bed-and-early-to-rise types. We are rather cruel to drive around, ignoring his rather tired face and drawn-out yawns - but we figure it is Veeru's wedding after all, and this is something he'll remember (though not necessarily fondly).

Lambu Chachu volunteers to get off the car and get it, and him being a bachelor, the Guy and I give him a couple of tips on what to buy. LC makes a somewhat veiled reference to a down-market - and hence funny - brand name. "No," I advise him. "If we're doing this, let's get him something he can actually use. Get D."

LC nods sagely and gets down purposefully when we finally stop outside a chemist's. He comes back empty-handed.

"I found out where we can get it," he says, and gives instructions to the driver.

"They didn't have any?" I am surprised.

"Wrong brand," he informs me. "They had C, not D."

"What's C?" I wonder.

"Cobra," he says solemnly. And we all burst out laughing at the image that conjures up.

After we get what we want and get home, I find some kind of paper to wrap the gift in and take the ribbon off the chocolates intended for Chandni (sorry, Chandu, but I did give you the chocolates!) to give it a festive look.

Then the Guy and I fall asleep and miss the party. The little box lies forlornly on our table till the next evening, when we get back from the shaadi and have a couple of hours to rest and prepare for the reception.

We sit Veeru down and I tell him earnestly that we have a gift for him. "We hope you'll find it useful."

"Condom?" he says at once. That's the problem with trying to trick people you're friends with: your minds probably work in a similar way.

The men put him off the scent and Veeru looks suitably abashed at having made such a lewd suggestion. And then he unrolls the paper off and sees the bright blue box.

"Denim!" proclaims Lambu Chachu triumphantly once the laughter subsides.

Lambu Chachu has also been recording the entire proceedings on video. At this moment, he asks Veeru to look into the camera and say a few words.

"Yawn sambandh jab jab, condom tab tab," Veeru advises us all.

The reception is uneventful, compared to the fun we had at the earlier events. We get there just a little late - but before the bride, which is early enough. There is a hilarious photographer who make Veeru and Basanti stand in filmy poses while he points his camera at them. The rest of us make bets on whether he will ask Veeru to pick up Basanti in his arms, or have both of them make as if they were sliding down a slope and add snow-covered mountains onto the background later.

It was an open-air party, and we are glad that Delhi isn't as cold as it can be in mid-December: but as the evening lengthened we are grateful for the coal fires scattered around the lawns.

The fun part of my evening is when this kindly looking old uncle of Basanti's finds himself near me and tries to make polite conversation. "Where are you from?" he asked as most people are apt to ask at some point early into making my acquaintance.

"I grew up in Assam," I tell him.

"Really?" He is surprised. "You don't look like that at all." Like what? I wonder as I smile graciously.

He disappears after talking to me for some more minutes. The next thing I know, he's back, wife in tow. He introduces us, I smile and namaste.

Apparently, she has come to see the freak from Assam.

"You're really from there? When he told me I said, it's impossible! You don't look like you're from there at all! You're so good-looking - you look like you belong to our region!"

I continue to smile graciously: she so clearly feels that being told I don't look like what I am is a compliment.

Besides, me being Veeru's sister makes her a samdhi: and you can't offend one of those, can you?


Aneela Z said...

damn the samdhi...tell them to have a second think the next time they are ogling dipannita.

Unmana said...

Aneela: I'll keep that comeback in mind for the next time! I had actually thought of asking how many people they did know from Assam - because this 'you don't look like you're from there' idea is usually based on severe ignorance.

Pallavi Sharma said...

It's always easier not to argue with fools, innit? Although, inside you're about to burst a vein.

Anyway, these recent posts have been so much fun! I'm sure you enjoyed those events much more as they were taking place.

Anonymous said...

hats off to you for not giving it back - knowing you I am sure you felt the urge.I would have :P
and so we go on with our life, north-easterners who do not confirm to some jaundiced image of us.!!!

Unmana said...

simplypallu: Thanks, I was afraid these posts would make sense only to the few of us who were actually there at the time. I still finished them because it was so much fun writing them.

lostonthestreet: I'm afraid my silence is due to my cowardice and not my forbearance. I never think of sarcastic comebacks in time, and always spend the rest of the evening hating myself for taking it.

starry eyed said...

Yesterday an ophthalmologist from Assam asked me during the eye exam where I was from. "Right here," I said. "From Karnataka, Madam?" "Yes." I said knowing what was coming next. "But you don't look like that at all." I fixed him with a "Don't you dare" glare to prevent the next obvious statement, "But you're so fair how can you be a South Indian." Yeeeeeeesh.

I hate "where are you from" questions, they never lead to any meaningful conversation. I always wake up at 3 am too, with the perfect comeback. Hugs.

Unmana said...

starry eyed: Yes, I wish I could evade that question, but people seem to get just more curious if I try.

And I'd once seen the "You're too fair to be South Indian" remark directed at a colleague. She smiled and accepted the compliment: I never asked her how she really felt about it.

Sumedha said...

There really is nothing to say to statements like that, right? You can't start an argument in the middle of a party, and besides, it's extremely frustrating to see the blank look on people's faces when you try to explain what exactly in their statement annoyed you. I don't even know where to start, usually.

Unmana said...

Sumedha: Yes, indeed. I sometimes wish I could stand and explain why what they just said is offensive. On the other hand - why is it my responsibility to educate them? I'd rather just make a note to stay away in future.

On a similar note, I wonder whether 'friends' who asked whether I have any 'good news' wonder why don't hear from me any more.