I wanted to write my experiences leading up to my wedding and I thought, this one should count too. Now, I also write in a category ‘Toastmasters’ where I post the speeches that I have delivered in various club meetings. And, I spoke of this experience in one of the meetings. SO, I am posting this instance in both the categories.
< For the toastmasters, I delivered this as project four of my advanced communication manual – “The entertaining speaker”; for everyone else, hope you enjoy!>
Date: 27th of August 2010.
Time: 9 PM
Place: Living room of an independent house in Delhi
Occasion: The night before a prospective groom and his parents are to visit a girl’s house for the first time.
Now before I go any further, I must tell you that the family I am talking about is a typical middle class orthodox Brahmin family, where groom, his parents, siblings, uncles and aunts, close relatives, distant relatives and very distant relatives are treated like the Indian cricket team returning after winning a match against Australia at their home ground.
The story happens to be my own, and that fateful night my parents were strategizing on how best to make would be guests comfortable and ‘at home’! Discussions were taking place. Dusting and cleaning had already been done. Menu had been planned right from the welcome drink to light snacks to snacks to lunch to dessert to after lunch drinks. Confectioner had been contacted and instructed to make samosas with stuffed cashew. Crockery had been dusted and the kitchen organized, what if incoming aunty decides to pay a visit to the kitchen. Dresses were ironed and kept ready in the closets. Carpets and bed sheets were changed. New pillows and pillow covers were on the beds and matching new cushions on the sofa. My siblings and cousins had already been trained to be extra polite and courteous. My youngest cousin had been given due reminders of classes on how to behave. My aunt and mother had stacked the refrigerator with vegetables, sweets and soft drinks. My uncle and father had planned the route, the car to be sent, the pickup and on the way pleasantries. But the best of all was my grandmother; she had practiced to sit in absolute silence with a smiling face lest she should say something about a rebel of her granddaughter!
The expected arrival time was 10 AM the next day. Due to the ease of driving, my uncle’s place, a kilometer from ours, was chosen as the meeting venue. At about 9 AM, my father called up to ask if they had started. A minute later, he hanged up, looked at my mom with a mischievous smile and announced to all in general, ‘their Scooby is ill, they have to take him to a vet, so will be delayed by an hour or two’
The most relived person to hear this was me; I had just gotten up and so was worried that I will have to dress up in a hurry.
Anyways, my parents left for my uncle’s place with a set of instructions for me and my sister and brother. They read something like it,
Ajay – Get ready soon, get the sweets, drive everyone and reach their latest in an hour
Sapna – Clean up, check if everything is set, lock the doors and come soon.
Rachna – Get ready on time!!!
An hour and a half later, when everyone else’s tasks were done apart from me, my mother called up on my cell and my father on landline – ‘Where are you? They are reaching in 5 minutes.’ My siblings were shouting on me in person and my parents on phone. A car was sent with my cousin while I was putting finishing touches to my non-existent make up. My sister rushed me in even though I wasn’t finished with looking nice, a tough job for me right :P. So, I took advantage of sitting in the front and adjusted the rear view mirror to look at myself when a sudden jolt shook us all. My cousin, who was driving, glared at me, but afraid that he might make me cry, said in a very sweet tone, ‘Didi, there is a reason they give rear view mirrors in-car’ Thankfully there wasn’t much problem. Having apologized to the people behind us, we started again, all the cell phones ringing all the while. I was enjoying the special attention. As soon as I reached the place, my mom ushered me in, lest I should start shouting sorry speaking in my usual voice. Unfortunately she was a second late, by then I had already seen my aunt and shouted my pleasantries at the top of my voice. However since I couldn’t be scolded that day, I was allowed to go and sit in a separate room while samosas, cashews, cold drinks and other such stuff were being fed in the other room. My cousin came to my rescue when he entered the room with a plate of snacks in hand, ‘Didi, eat, for you, from them 😉
I happily ate while mom and aunt were staring at me with disbelief, eyes wide open. After some time, the voice came, beta Rachna, come in!
I don’t know why, but I suddenly had an urge to laugh uncontrollably. After some scolding from my mom and embarrassment of my own, I came out, trying not to laugh, when suddenly my uncle said, ‘What will you go in with, everything has already been served’ That was it, I knew I couldn’t keep quiet if I stayed a moment more outside, so I ran in and without looking at anyone, blurted out – Hello Granny, Hello aunty, Hello Uncle, greeted their daughter and looked at the only person who was given more importance than me that day.
Well, I have absolutely no idea, what did we talk, if I stopped laughing afterwards, but I was told some ten minutes later in a different room that you may now stop being crazy, they aren’t staying for lunch and have left already. Friends, that was the first proposal that came my father’s way for me and in spite of all that I did, I am pleased to say that once I am mature enough, you would all be invited to my wedding with that man soon!
P.S. I have been married to that man for more than a year now. 🙂