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?