Sometime in April, there was Tipo’s Brother’s marriage. (Hereafter to conserve space, it will be referred to as Tipo’s marriage). This is, as usual, my attempt at being a Historian (for those who dont know – a Historian writes History), so that the version of this wedding which is remembered is the one that I write here [Insert megalomanical-ish laughter here]. This post will take a long time to write.
This post is non-fiction. Tipo’s marriage did take place. There might be a little hyperbole, a touch of extrapolation and a tad twisting of the truth but in essence it’s fairly objective :).
Stage 1: The planning
SLT: Super Lite Theesko. -ASR
Tipo announced his wedding a reasonable amount of time before the actual wedding (unlike Anand who gave 2 hours notice 🙂). This enabled us to come up with a reasonably accurate plan to go to his wedding. The principal parties involved were asr, vishnu, aziz, sid, monga and yours truly. Some were stationed at Hyd and others at Bangalooroo [I plan to misspell Bengalooru as much as possible]. Having been veterans of weddings (read here) we already knew all the pitfalls and what not. So, we started having discussions (conference calls, courtesy of You-Know-Where) on important matters of matrimony. They mainly revolved around asr’s boss and his work ethic (SLT – refer to subheading), sid’s latest girlfriend and the three breakups he’d had over the last week(end??) and Vishnu’s insistence that we do everything not-at-the-last-minute.
After many conference calls it was decided that me, vishnu, vishnu’s brother would leave by some train. Asr and his mom would also come by that train and siddarth (the extravagant philanthropist vagabond that he is) decided to pop over by a short simple flight (he wanted to get over his latest breakup by hitting on some Indian Airlines’ BTM’s [Behenji Turned Models]). Aziz and Monga had no idea on what they planned to do yet
Stage 2: Last Minute Panic
Me, Vishnu, Vishnu’s brother, Sriram and his Mom all reached our train (the Charminar Exp – I have a photo somewhere) on time and were seated comfortably. The train journey, well, that’s a separate subheading. Aziz was coming by a direct train from Bengalureoo to Chennai. Monga had some urgent work issues (which are all described later under a heading called “Stage X: Monga ki kahani – Yahoo ki dastani) so could not make it.
Now, you’re all wondering why I titled this “Last Minute Panic”. Well, one of our number was juggling major crises. He had a product release over that weekend, a manager who was reluctant to see him go, two girlfriends simultaneously discussing the latest fashion trends. Vishnu was extremely worried about whether we’d all make it or not. I was the confident type – sure that we would. Sriram was blissfully unaware of any such difficulties and was planning his own weekend in chennai.
So, we’re in the train. We pop over to Sriram’s cubicle, bogie and have a talk. We eat dinner and goto sleep. Now, for some reason, I’m not able to sleep (don’t ask me why) and am wandering around at 4AM-ish, unaware that I was being watched by Vishnu (who also was unable to sleep).
Stage 3: Tipos, the shopping and the sick guy
Chennai ke mausam ki <insert word> ki <insert word>. -CeG <oBelIX>
<RANT>Chennai’s weather sucks</RANT>. Anyway, sometime in the morning we’re all in Chennai. Sriram and his Mom go to their place. Tipo picks up Me, Aziz, Vishnu, Vishnu’s brother in a Tata Sumo that belonged to another era and we all head to hotel Chinnass [Yes, I am not putting down the obvious Chinna-Ass joke] where we get ready for a big day. There is no accord on what to buy for the wedding present [Despite Tipo making a big fuss, a hullaballo, a ruckus even, we all decided to ignore what he said and get a gift]. Siddarth arrives after having placated his manager (he did not tell us how => there was some impropriety involved), and released his product.
Stage 3.1: How to bargain with a Chennai Auto Waala
As tourists in a town, where you don’t speak the language, and are on a time-budget making the use of buses not so good an option you have to fall back on the autos. Now, don’t even get me started on Chennai ke auto waale. No one goes by meter [heck, I did not even see an auto with a meter], bargaining is difficult as they all talk in English. Anyway, here are some tips/facts that will help you bargain with the Chennai Auto Guy.
- They do not speak Hindi but they understand it
- There are different rates depending on whether they identify you as a tourist or a local-ite.
- They will start with 5*x amount (where x represents actual amount) i.e. they will say 100 when the actual fare should be 20
- If there are a group of auto-guys around they will all gang up on you and push the price up
- They will use a lot of ruses such as: Saar, One way saar, we have to go very faar or Saar, Return we wont get passenger saar
- The best strategy is to call up a localite, find out the price, say the price and walk away if he says no.
Anyway, we all head over to Spencer’s Plaza for shopping for the gift. We’re looking around, round and round, up and down wondering what to get when Vishnu says lets get them watches. So, we find set of watches in a showroom and buy them. Due to a severe shortage of common sense (on account of the presence of Aziz and the sick guy) we forget to take a photo of the gift and poor asr never saw what gift he gave :). Siddarth and Aziz (like a pair of women) go gaga over the clothes and start buying them by the truckloads. I don’t remember correctly but there was some very funny incident about Aziz and a pair of pants (sid, put in a comment about that and I’ll include it here).
Stage 3.2: The Lunch
I think we went for lunch before we went shopping but I’m not so sure. Anyhoo, we all ate lunch at Tipo’s house where we met his parents and some of his relatives (my sincere apologies, I forget there names and their relationship to Tipo). Anyway, the lunch was an exquisite experience. We had so many varieties of sabji and rice and dessert, all on Banana leaves, like a traditional thing and all. Jolly Good. Over lunch, the conversation is mainly about Tipo, his playboy-ish life in college and so on. It was not as frank and open as the conversation with Manish’s Sister almost one year back due to the sick guy (who would like to sincerely apologize for being sick and ruining the moment for Tipo).
Stage 3.3: The first ceremony
This section is very sketchy because of the sick guy who spent it sitting in the hotel room watching some stupid news channel. <RANT>Saala Chennai ka mausam, dehydration and whatnot</RANT>. Anyway, I’m hoping someone else will put in a comment and I can fill up this section.
Stage 4: Day 2 – The wedding
(The events listed here may well be rather out of order)
The wedding day – i.e. the day of the main ceremonies was actually split up into two parts. The bride and groom get married in part 1 (in the morning) and there is a reception in the evening. We arrived on time for the marriage ceremony (the sick guy and sid got late because they did not wake up in time). Anyway, after a proper south indian breakfast in which there was a lot of items (which I don’t remember) we were observing the ceremonies.
Stage 4.1: How to tie a dhoti
Now, Asr and Tipo were dressed in traditional south indian ishtyle. Both were weearing kurtas and dhotis and looking rather the dashing types. After a little while of sitting and absorbing some ngyanam on South Indian weddings we realized that Asr was occasionally getting up, going behind the tent and coming back. Most of us found this rather suspicious and after ten minutes of intensive questioning we found out that there was some trouble in the Dhoti department. Tipo sauntered over. He was in a rather jovial mood, doing a lot of work (of the moving items from here-to-there kind) and was having absolutely no trouble with his Dhoti. A lengthy conversation ensued, the details of which I will not write here because this paragraph is long enough. Eventually, Tipo gave up the secret of effectively managing a Dhoti. The secret is: “belts”. Tie a dhoti and then use a “belt” to hold it in position.
Stage 4.2: Tipo and रमा / ரமா / రమ
We’re all discussing friendly like about various stuffs. Somewhere down the line, Tipo makes a comment that goes something like “I have new friends in US and now I’m cool“. Now, Asr took umbrage at this. It took some clever work by Vishnu to uncover the hidden meaning. What Tipo had actually meant to say was “I have a new (girl)friend in US and now I’m cool(er)”. Further interrogation revealed that there was someone named रमा / ரமா / రమ (I had to type that out in Hindi / Tamil / Telegu because I do not know how to write it in English). This, as you guess, was explosive material in the wrong hands. “Someone” could take this, and write an entire post explaining how Tipo is managing the many-many relationships that he has right now – the long distance ones, the short distance ones etc …
Stage 4.3: The ceremony
There are innumerable number of nice things about the ceremony that I’d like to have put down here. However, owing to my laziness in not jotting them down then and my poor memory I have forgotten most. Anyway, the few that I do remember are:
- Its early in the morning
- Breakfast is good
- Bride and groom play some fun games with coconuts in which the groom always loses
- There are a lot of pandits
- The wedding music is mostly similar except that it’s played live
Stage 4.4: The afternoon after the ceremony
We all slept except for Vishnu who went out to buy stuff.
Stage 4.5: The reception
I think Stage 4.2 happened now. But, I’ve forgotten. Anyway, we had lots of fun. There was a Karnatic music recital which (to my surprise) was in Tamil. Sriram was able to sing most of what they were singing. Tipo was looking dashing-ish in a suit pant . Inevitably due to the weather, he would pop over to us, hand us the suit jacket and then pop over again when there was a photo-op and take the suit jacket back. You’d get the idea much better in a picture or two, however the people with the cameras have not yet uploaded them somewhere so …
Stage 4.6: The planning for the next day
After an excellent dinner (which had Chaat 🙂) we all went back and planned what to do the next day. It was decided to goto Mahabs (Mahabalipuram). Of course, we postponed the decision to the last minute and got scammed by the innova guy. Aziz said something very funny here but I forget what it was.
Stage 5: Mahabs
We left early in the morning (really, we did leave early), picked up Asr from his house and proceeded to Mahabs. It was a nice, hot, pleasant day. Sid completely monopolized the front seat. Anyway, the journey to Mahabs took very little time (mostly because of excellent conversation).
Stage 5.1: The cave
The first stop was a cave type of thing. Well, more like some architecture type of thing. Or rather more like some old stuff some old guys had made. (Yes, my English is beyond reproach). Anyway, it was fairly interesting to see that we (Indians) were making such beautiful stuff so long ago. We roamed around the place for an hour or so, climbing up and down, taking photos and going to an old litehouse. Then we all drank coconut h2o.
Stage 5.2: General sight seeing
Mahabs is excellent for this. Lots of touristic spots. There was this five chariot thing. Also, many many temples. We went around all these places taking photos and what not. (Yes, I am not doing this on purpose. I planned to put photos here but …)
Stage 5.3: Aziz and the sea
Mahabs has an excellent beach. Everyone went to get themselves wet in the water. (Yes, I did stand far away so as not to wet my unmentionables). Aziz, of course, thought that he was stronger than the sea. He would wade into the water till it came up to his waist and then stand there and wait for a wave. He would then brace himself for impact so that when the water retreated again he would still be standing. Now, you’d think after a couple of times of falling on your ass and having everyone on the beach laugh, you’d give up. But No, Aziz kept at it.
We all also had a beach race. (Yes, I came in last). Siddarth started at set instead of at go (we were using ready, set, go). Aziz was howling all the way about cheating, cheating. Then we went rock climbing over huge rocks. The most fun part of the day was sitting there and munching ice creams 🙂
Stage 5.4: The crocodile farm
After the beach we headed over to the crocodile farm which was on the way back to Chennai. Excellent place that. Very entertaining to see. Crocodiles are big, fat and lazee. (Rhyme – notice the rhyme people). The only time the crocodiles actually moved was when the guy came to feed them. And, then they moved very quickly. There was this other croc who looked as if he was waiting to attack one of the birds, however, after 20 minutes of standing at its cage shouting, “Chal be!! Bore mat kar!! Go Go Go!! Abe saale, g**** hila” with no results we wandered on. There was also a snake exhibit. I think Sriram memorized most of the trivia …
Stage 6: The next day
We had an afternoon train the next day. In the morning to not get bored we all went to see Krazzy 4. Which turned out to be a super dumb filum. So incredibly boring, short and uninteresting that we almost died of boredom. They could have named it “Krazzy Bore”.
In the afternoon me and Sriram and his Mom went to buy sarees. The saree shop was very big. It was called Kundaram (I think). Anyway, mostly, I remember staring at sarees and waiting for my instinct or my gut to tell me – “this is the one, get this one”. Also, did I mention the saree shop was huge.
After all this we went back to the train station and boarded the train back. It was an uneventful journey and we reached Hyderabad sometime in the morning and went back home.
PS: Long time no post
PS1: I planned to post this long ago
PS2: Lot of things to post about but me too lazy
PS3: My apologies Mythalez