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3 MONTHS…

Hi Tiya,

You turned 3. Well not 3 years but 3 months. And that is like 30 years in baby years. Phew. Things have gotten better but there’s still a lot to go.

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Years ago, I wrote this post which was a fictional blog post written by my future child. It was a boy I assumed then, but then as the great Mahavir Singh Phogat has said , “Apni chori koi choro se kam hai kay”.

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Anyways the point being, I remembered that post today and now having spend 3 short months with you, I was wondering whether you would really turn out to be the one I described earlier. But girl i described an evil kid back then. Reminds me of the movie the Omen. Should check you head for any evil marks now.

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I am digressing again. I just wanted to put something down to preserve this memory. It is easier said than done though, what with one hand on the phone (where i type this) and one hand trying to keep you upright and not crying. You seem like the curious kind baby, as long as you are satisfied in your tummy.

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There’s a mischief in your eyes darling. A mischief that turns into innocence when you want to get what you want. You will melt the hearts of countless guys my princess, with those big killer eyes.

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Your lips, they make that shape that makes you hold on to your nerves, to wait for those precious syllables to come out and then they curve into that naughty naughty smile. Oh baby, you will kill countless people with that smile of yours.

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Your hands, with those long fingers, when they go over my face as if in search for something, baby I swear I just wanna keep running a loop in time there like that  Dr. Strange did with that time stone. Awesome movie it was. Time stones and shit.

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You don’t like to lie down all the while now. You now like to be held up on your feet. You wanna see the world even though you don’t understand any of it now. And why would you. The world is a complex place and people turn into complex creatures when they grow up. You represent what the world should be. Simple innocent, brooding yet full of curiosity and most importantly without any tricks. We will try to keep you that way as much as possible and as long as things don’t spiral out of our hands like you are beginning to do so with that big head of yours.

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Baby, over the last three months I have begun to realize the meaning of what the ancients said about having their life in their pet parrots. You my darling are my pet parrot. My life is in you. And I cannot tolerate the slightest harm or even discomfort coming your way.  There are people who love you and care about you and then there are others who just pretend. The former are important people, and you must love them back. The latter, well try and forget them.

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You are three months now, and before we blink you will be 6 and then 12. But these moments that we ( your mom and I) have spent with you will always be precious. These are painful moments mind you. You don’t let us sleep properly, you constantly beg for food and you always want our attention. But all that pain is erased by just one little smile of yours that feels like a glass of 25 year old scotch after a long and tiring day. Cheers to that.

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Love you my baby.
Keep on rocking.
PS: I am gonna kill those bastards (mosquitoes) who dare to taste your blood.

STATUTORY WARNING: Although everything i have written above is true, these are just the rosy details, which they show you in barjatya movies and we believe them like fools. But, I  will leave all the gory details to my wife and her articles.

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Welcome to the world, my princess !!!
To be frank, we were all shocked for a wee bit, when the doctor came out and said, “Congrats it’s a baby girl”. All the signs and all the world’s wisdom said it was gonna be a boy. But it had to be a little angel. We weren’t disappointed by any chance dear, just positively shocked. And then the love poured in automatically.

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When they first showed you to us, you looked so angry as if someone had woken up from your peaceful sleep and you looked at all of us with such an annoying face. You were so cute. Right there I fell in love with you baby.

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The next few days were a blur of activities. Your grandma stayed with you and your mom at night, while me and your maasi stayed during the day. Your grandpa came to visit too. You were unaware of all this of-course, mostly sleeping blissfully, occasionally peeing and pooping. We just loved watching you sleep, watching you taking your tongue out from time to time and stretching your cute little arms and legs from time to time.

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You had long fingers, the kind that pretty girls with cute nail polishes have. No one in my family has such fingers. Your nose was like me and your grandma, a bit flat but cute nonetheless. You had eyes like your mom, a tinge of brown in them and the same sparkle as hers. Your skin was like your maasi’s. You had hair like me, at least it appeared so. You had a face like me, but your maasi said it was like your mom’s. We shall see to that. Your feet were flat like me and your grandma’s, the kind that make wearing ballerinas difficult. But you will wear gladiators my princess , so that’s fine.

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We soaked you in sunlight every morning to avoid getting jaundice. You looked so cute in your grandma’s arms while you soaked the morning sun. All this was so new to you.

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We got discharged soon (which in hindsight was not a very good idea). Your mom was fine. You did not give her much trouble except a bit during labor. But she is a strong girl, your mom. Much more than me. Hope you get her strength of spirit. Next few days we enjoyed you in our arms at our new home. All this was so new for all of us. It was pretty painful at first. Our hearts skipped a beat at the tiniest sound you made. Your cries were agonizing. But when we saw you sleeping or looking back at us, it made us forget all our pains. You my dear, were most important and precious suddenly.

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There were a few hiccups. You cried a lot one night and we had to get you to emergency. You had a few hiccups in passing urine, so we had to get you admitted and get all tests done. All tests were negative. You were perfect my dear, in each and every way. But the doctors kept you still for 2 more days. Your grandpa was angry. But it had to be done. You just had to be naughty.

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This is just the first week. There is a whole life full of happiness and a fair share of sorrows in front of you and us. But the ride would be fun. I know your mom will be the stricter one. I will be the one to pamper you, so remember that. But however we treat you baby, do remember always that we will always love you unconditionally. You can fly as high as you want, and we will always be there watching your back. We love you so much, even though it’s such a cliched line.

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PS: We are calling you Tiya, and still debating on the name front. We’ll let you know as soon as we write that down.

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4 YEARS IT’S BEEN

Gosh, how time flies really. Exactly 10 years ago, i was 20 years old. I know that’s just easy maths, but the realization behind that maths is actually pretty serious. Coz 10 years before that, i was just 10 and not capable of doing this math. Anyways, so 10 years back i was just 20 and was gearing up to finish my college. I was lazy just like everyone else at college, but i also knew i was unique, just like everyone else at college. But that was college, and everybody at college thinks the world will dance to their tunes in life. Life of course has other plans.

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So, i was 20. Getting ready to clear college. There were so many things that life threw at me. Some bad like breakups, low-paying jobs, recession etc. Some good like a new city, awesome new friends, and lots of booze to forget all the bad stuff i mentioned earlier. Thank god they invented  booze. Have no idea what all the alcoholics would do, if there was no booze.

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But really, in the journey of these last 10 years, there was one significant milestone. Somewhere along the way, i happened to meet this girl, whom i simply ignored in all earnestness in my first encounter with her. Love at first sight screws a lot of people, and i never fell prey to it. Love still screwed me a lot in life, but that’s another story.

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So, there was this girl whom i met and i ignored. I think that was  9 years ago. I ignored her for 2 or 3 more years, till she shouted back at me. That was because we all wasted a lot of her time and she could only pass the DFSS exam in 3rd attempt. That’s another story.  But slowly and steadily, we got to talking. That turned into fights. That turned into more talks and somewhere along the line the talks turned serious.

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I proposed. She rejected. I was like – OK, lots of other fishes in the ocean. In fact i was already hanging out with a new fish. That got her jealous or some such thing. So she came back and proposed. I was like, GREAT !!.

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Seriousness doesn’t come easily to me (perhaps that’s why i lost my previous love of my life). So she had to beat the shit out of me to get serious.  But after 3 years of ignoring her and another 3 years of making up for it, we got married. And that’s the milestone i wanted to talk about today.

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Its been 4 years today. We did not know what marriage meant when we got married, at least i didn’t. We were already having fun, and there was no reason to stop. Marriage did not stop that, and i am glad. Today it’s been 4 years of togetherness. And trust me, i have not regretted a single moment in these 4 years (except when you cooked that horrible food that day). It has been fun. It has been weird but in a good way. We did everything the way we wanted and often set trends for others to follow. And we were bloody good at that.

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Life would continue to throw surprises to us. And we would keep on getting surprised and then laugh at it later. We are at the start of another journey and 4 years is just a speck in the dust of time. But if we are together, we will continue to rock just like always.

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Thank you for everything. 322086

 

 

 

 

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DEATH…

“Death is a great leveler”…. was something i had read and heard while growing up. Personally, i never could  understand the meaning of this statement. I mean, sure when people die, they are reduced to ashes and returned  to the very elements that they are made of. But what about this statement, philosophically. It was beyond my intellect, or perhaps i never paid too much attention to it. Well, until now that is.

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This weekend, i attended the cremation of yet another colleague of mine. Someone whom i had become close to, despite being only just over an year in my new office. Well, time doesn’t matter, does it ? When you meet some people, you connect instantly. There is a friendliness, a familiarity which you can’t really lay a finger on, but you know you can talk to this person, trust the person. And she was like that.

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“S” was like that. Office is a place where we spend almost 8-9 hours of each working day. That is easily 45 hours a  week. A week that has only around 100 hours of active time (including weekends minus sleeping time). That’s a lot of time. So an office colleague whom you trust and connect with, is almost like family. A lot of people don’t have such families in offices, places where people are more professional or simply don’t care. That was not the case here. To me, she was almost like family. I could talk to her, and i could trust her. And often she would reassure me, about things in life in general.

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I am not gonna go into the history of what happened to her, but sometime this September she fell ill. What seemed like a regular backache, turned out to be a case of recurring cancer. Things got worse, and in two months she died. We visited her in critical condition on a Friday, and we cremated her on Sunday. That fast. And this after, i had talked to her a week before, and we had decided to meet up at her home for some chit-chat. She was bored of the illness. Perhaps she knew her fate, but she never gave up. She was still cheerful whenever we talked to her, me or my team-mates, never for once giving the impression that she was suffering from something more than just a minor flu. All the time, till she stopped talking. And there wasn’t much time after that.

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It’s a great loss. But that’s an understatement. Such losses cannot be measured. She has a husband and a young girl (in class 5th), who was very attached to her. She has parents who have now seen the death of 2 out of 3 of  their only daughters. One cannot even begin to understand the loss.

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Something similar happened 2 years back in 2014 too. Yet another colleague of mine, a guy named “C” died of  tuberculosis. We had both joined our previous job together, straight out of college, and hence there was a friendship. Even though our thoughts didn’t match much. But all of a sudden he fell sick, and before we or our office-mates could even realize the severity of the situation, he was almost in ICU, then on Life-support and then death, within a span of 48 hours. We were there for a large part of that last 48 hours. But he could not be saved. A lot of it was pure negligence though on his part, but that is all in hindsight. He left behind a newly married wife and a new-born son who he could not even hug once in life. How do you even come to terms with that?

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We, at office did everything we could that time. Arranging from money to transportation of the dead body to his native place. The family went away and it was over. But a person who was alive was now dead. How do you even comprehend that? Funny isn’t it, how we say dead body once a person dies, while he has a name before death. Death robs us of the very thing which we spend so much time and energy building, when alive.

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Nevertheless, i left that city and that place shortly after that. A mutual friend of mine had urged me to write something then, but i could not muster the necessary words. But now, nearly 2 years after that incident, another one of my colleague is now dead. She sat beside me and worked. And now she isn’t there. One can argue over what she could have done for herself, what her family could have done to save her. But that is all in hindsight. Nothing brings her back.

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There on the cremation ground, while we cremated her, it was then that it hit me really. The meaning of it all.

“There are different kinds of people among us. There are rich people and poor people. There are good men and bad men. Some may be clever and others foolish. There are happy men and unhappy men. But all these distinctions and specialties last only as long as we are alive. Once we are dead all must certainly crumble to dust. Death has no distinction between the good and the bad – The poor and the rich – the kind and the beggar. Death comes to everyone one day or the other. That is why we are called mortals. In a way, death can called the great leveler as one that levels all distinctions. There is no way by which we can prevent death. All get defeated by death. People run after glory, power and riches without remembering this. They fight over silly little things. A man may be a great fighter. But he is fighter only as long as there is life in him. Once that life leaves him, he is turned to mere dust which everybody tramples on. Death makes all of us equal.”

Life moves on…

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SADABAHAAR NAGME…

Short Story..

Normal household. Typical Monday morning in the winters. The sun is out. The husband is lazing around in his “Lungi” on his favorite “Charpai” in the sun. Eyes half-closed as if in meditation. The wife is preparing tiffin, in the kitchen, slightly annoyed.

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She shouts angrily at the husband

Aji sunte ho, kabse bol rahi hoon. Paani garam ho gaya hai. Thanda ho raha hai. Jaake naha lo. Main dobara paani garam nahi karoongi. Kabse susta rahe ho bas..

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The husband wakes up from his slumber, with a sudden burst of inspiration.

Arre bhaagwan, ruk jaao. Abhi abhi ek taaza taaza inspiration aaya hai. Woh bollywood director saala kabse 5 gaane maang raha hai. Ek bhi nahi diya hai ab tak. Zara ek kagaz-kalam to pakdana..

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Wife – “Khud le lo, dekh nahi rahe ho khana bana rahi hoon. Paani thanda ho raha hai.

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Husband – “Tum bhi na bhaagwaan…ruko accha….5 minute me yeh ek gaane likh loon, fir jaa raha hoon nahane. Ek cup chai le aao bas jaldi se..”

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And that is how the world got the song…

“..Hai Love Mera Hit Hit Soniye
To Phir Kaise Khit Pit Soniye
To Baby Badi Fit Fit Soniye
Na Kar Aise Khit Pit Khit Pit..”

Cheers..

Short Post i promised..

billubarber011

 

 

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LAKSHYA…

Why did i chose this title ?
Well, you’ll know.

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On a crazy 4 day weekend (thanks to Ganesha Chaturthi and a rain-shortened day), there were 3 stupid people who decided to scale a local neighborhood mountain. I call them stupid because no one in their right senses, decides to wake up in the morning on a holiday, go to the edge of the city and even remotely think of climbing a hill. Hell, the mountain was not even in the neighborhood, it was some 40 kms away from the bed, the soft and comfy bed, the bed which is the next best thing to heaven, on earth. To make matters worse, after procrastinating the silly event for 3 days of the weekend, they decided to do it on the last day, the Sunday, the day which even God intended to do nothing but laze around in the winter sun, catch some akashvani and get high.
But then, i guess they were insane.

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So, these 3 stupid people wake up on this fateful (more like hateful) Sunday morning. 6 AM was the designated time. One of them was able to stretch this to 7 AM using his charming morning inter-personal skills (read coaxing the other people by repeatedly saying -“abe, so jaa yaar, abhi to andhera hai bahar“). But 7 AM was one of those 3 morons decided that enough is enough and there’s a mountain to be climbed today. I don’t know what sort of a sadist person takes personal pride in climbing a f***** mountain. But then, they were all sadists i guess.

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So, 7 AM, they get up, get ready. They pack up all the equipment for the expedition (read jackets and caps and water bottles and snacks), and get going. A quick morning selfie to mark the beginning of the trip, and that’s enough rituals done. The sun is peeking now from the clouds now, and they realize that the sooner they leave, the sooner they return and sleep again. So off they go.

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Its a fucking 40 kms drive. Half of the road towards the end is not even good. There are potholes the size of martian craters. In some places , they don’t know if the road was built that thin or was it just eroded to leave that thin patch. Nevertheless they walk on. They reach the base of the mountain.

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Now for some stupid and intensely passionate and pessimistic reason, they decide to walk the last of the 3-4 kms to the base of the mountain, despite the locals warning them against it. “It will be good warm-up“, one of them said. The trio decide in favor of that, with curses muttered under the breath.The stupid warm-up lasted 3 kms. At least the sun wasn’t out, so it was pleasant. But then, even the wind had decided for holiday, so it wasn’t that pleasant. At a distance, in the upward direction, they could see the top of the mountain, where they had to reach. Everyone let a lump down their throat, but no one said anything.

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They reach the base camp. Next was what, Everest ? Let’s concentrate on this for now, they decide. Then they start climbing the trek. The trail is made of stones and its not an easy path really. 5% into the trail, they think whether to move ahead or enough of trekking was done. By a vote of 1 in favor of moving ahead to 3, they decide not to turn back, enough said.

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And so they climb. They walk and walk and walk. They walk at angles they never knew existed outside the treadmills. They walked at 10 degrees, 45 degrees and even 80 degrees at some points. There were no shortcuts. Well there were a few, and they miss them all. There are no shortcuts in life, they say. Whoever said this was such a loser they think. Who doesn’t love shortcuts. But they keep climbing.

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At one point they ask a person coming down, “How much more?“. He says 60% with a wry smile. They were a bit thrown back, but they thought that can’t be. They could see the mountain top in front of them. Hell they could even see the small colored birds , perched near the top. “Huh, we will be up in no time“, and they keep moving. There are numerous pit stops on the way. They eat all that it is on offer. But there were more pit stops than things on offer, so at point they just start ignoring them. Well, if that lazy-ass hrithik roshan can climb the mountain and kill those bloody Pakistanis and hoist the Indian flag, they can definitely do this. They are now pumped up. They turn on the mobile radio, hoping to hear the song “Lakhsya to, har haal me paana hai…“. Instead they hear, “Ae ante amalapuram..“. Damn the radio. Never helps when needed.

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So, they keep climbing. There’s no wind. Not a leaf moves. The water in the dam below can be seen now, and it seemed they had climbed where no man had gone before. Then they see a cow a bit ahead of them. Embarrassed, they keep moving.

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It started getting tougher. Maybe the air was getting rarer. They were out of breath. The pit stop frequency had increased. They notice a person coming down. Hell, it was the person who had started with them at the bottom. “How much more sir ?”, they ask. He says 1/3rd more. They look up again in disbelief. “Ah, we can see the road at the top“, they say. Those aren’t birds at the top. They are people moving up. Damn, they are still some distance from the top.

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There is no going back now. Limbs are tired. Sweat does not evaporate any more. They either climb up all the way now, or just die there. With a last remaining effort of will, they move again. The slope gets steeper now. They slip at places. But they keep moving up. Lakshya is all they remember. And then, the last few feet. The toughest few feet. They crawled up as slow as possible. And then they reach the top.

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The top. Its 1 PM in the afternoon. Its a lovely view from the top. Someone had once philosophically said ,”The Top is always empty, its always crowded at the bottom“. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of crowd at the top. Some were watching us climb the last few feet and enjoying. Shameless people. But they were now on the top. No more up to go. Next is what, Everest ? “We’ll scale that too. We need to be a bit more prepared for that“, they say.

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There’s cold wind at the top. There’s the clouds too. They march to the inside of the mountain fort, built by Shivaji. Someone in the crowd shouts, “Abe itne upar kaun kambakht aake banaya bey quila“. One of them keeps thinking of that saying, once he heard at Comedy Circus on Star Plus, Morning show,
“Khudi ko kar buland itna, ki himlayaon ki choti pe pahunche..
Aur khuda tujhse pooche , abe gadghe, ab utrega kaise…”

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Well, they have a sumptuous lunch at the top, of the local cuisine. The food has great taste. Or perhaps they were just too exhausted to question the taste. They roam around the fort. The wind is cold and refreshing. The view is breathtaking. The slight drizzle is enjoyable. They spent some time there. Also there’s cellphone network, so they update the achievement on Facebook with a few pics as proof. And then they come back. The journey is played in reverse till they reach back to the comfort of their home. Another tired selfie is taken in the end to mark the end of the journey. It is 5 PM in the evening now. It was a stupid thing to do on a Sunday morning. But then, they were proud of themselves. It was journey of tears and sweat and blood, but they had done it. The Lakshya was reached.

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And then they dragged themselves to the beds.

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PS: They were later told, that they had climbed a total of 5 kms up the mountain, and had walked to total of 9 kms from the starting point till the end.

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Well, i guess you all enjoyed my last post. It was me rambling about life after marriage and all that. When you start watching episodes of “Qubool Hai”, “Kitni Mohabbatein”, “Ek Hasina thi”, “Kumkum bhagya” and what all, it gets tough for the mind to differentiate between reality and virtual-reality. So now when you open the door for your wife, you do it like three times, and feel strange that there is no background score. Now when your wife tells you something, you ignore it oirst attempt, because you think in your mind..”oye chill yaar, ad break ke baad repeat karenge fir se”. And you expect a thrilling suspenseful background music, when your “saali” calls your wife, and tells, “…aaj pata hai kya hua..”. The real problem in life is that it does not have any background music.

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But this is not what i am here for today. Today, after a few peg too many of that last remaining Old Monk Gold Reserve, what i really wanted to spill out was the unusual story of my wedding. Ji Haan, meri shaadi ho chuki hai, aur meri ek pyaari si honhaar aur susheel biwi bhi hai. To those of you, who feel that this is a repeated statement, remember that you too shall be married, and i too shall laugh then. What goes around, comes around ( i never quite understood the real meaning of this statement, but bolne me accha lagta hai).

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Waise to meri shaadi…sorry hamari shaadi ki kahaani, is like any other wedding. For details of the marriage, you can watch the video that we have. Its a long painful video, watching which can be more painful than the real thing. I mean its got all the people in it who are eating their heart out at other’s expense, its got the dancing people, and a shit load of other trivial details, which when you see now you think…”uiee maa, yeh sab kab hua”. Anyways, for this piece, i would just go over the top few crazy items that happened at the wedding, over the course of around 15 days.

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1) Kissa Train ke dibbon ka
Well it so happened, that we (the groom side) were all accumulated in the city of Kanpur. The wife side was in Nasik, some 1100 kms away. We were 12 brave souls who had voluntarily agreed to go on to this mission to bring the girlfriend back as the wife. It was not as easy as it seems, so don’t think so. Ab 12 log flight me to nahi jaa sakte (simply too expensive), so we had booked 12 seats in a train, woh bhi sleeper class me. Now they say its sleeper, but sometimes, sleeping in a sleeper is itself a battle. The problem was 6 of us were in S10 and six remaining were in S12. My uncle, who loves his wife a tad too much, took the lead and arranged us in battle formations on the platform. “Aisa hai beta, tum, tumhare papa, unke dost aur badi mausiji…aap log S10 ki line banao, aur chunni-munni ki mummy, tumhare bua ji log aur choti mausi aur unki beti, idhar S12 waali line me aa jaao. Mere peeche rehna, aur sab theek se chad jaayenge. Samaan bhi divide kar lo do group me”. I was like, “Uncle, paani le lete hai pehle”, to which he gives me a look as if i was breaking his formation and the entire mission was doomed thereafter.

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Anyways, the train came, and we were able to board the jam-packed train, thanks to our pre-train exercise. But the two groups were cut off for the night thanks to a hostile bunch of people in every nook and corner between S10 and S12. The blankets were in S12, so the S10 guys (which included me) had to sleep in the November cold without cover. The small bottle of Royal Stag was also left in S12, any attempts to retrieve it were largely unsuccessful. The next day, in total contrast was hot enough to make us forget about last night’s cold. Uncle had called “chunni-munni” ki mummy at least 10 times by the next noon. Eventually we reached though. We also ate the famous bananas of Bhusaval, but we had to survive on a strict diet of just food and water. This was just the beginning of a long mission.

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2) Kissa toote hue car seat ka
Well, the wedding in Nasik happened to be pretty uneventful. The pre-engagement party , the pre-sangeet party, and the pre-marriage parties, were all immensely fun with all my friends around. For a moment i thought, “yeh to main roz kar sakta hoon”. Scary thought that was. Anyway, so the marriage was done, and we came back by train to Kanpur. This time the seats were in AC, and we did not allow aunty to talk to uncle so much over the phone, so everything was pretty calm. Problems surfaced next day, when we arrived in Kanpur.

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Apparently mom had booked the “shaadi waali car” for the next day onward. So, there was no car available for that day. And, me and my wife had to enter the house , fully dressed as wife and groom. And there was no car. Ab biwi ko auto me to nahi laa sakte ghar, izzat ka maamla tha. So, me and my bhai, we go out in search of a car. Now this being the marriage season, getting a car for hire was like was almost as impossible as  getting sharhrukh to dance at your wedding. After about an hour of effort, we could find get a maruti omni van, which after dropping the school kids, was going for another assignment. We stopped the car, gave him some money and captured it for the next half hour. So, finally, me and my wife , fully dressed in sherwani and lehenga, along with my mausiji and chachiji and god knows who, stuffed inside that car, started for our home.

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Now it still not clear, that whether the weight was too much or the seat was faulty, but no sooner than the car started, the seat that me and my newly-wed wife were sitting, collapsed on the car floor with a huge thud.  It took us a while to realize what had happened. We were fully dressed, the car was moving at a frantic pace and was stuffed to the brink. So we could only manage to sit there on the car floor, till we could reach our home. At home, only after performing all puja and stuff, we could board down from the car. It was pretty embarrassing, with all the neighbours looking into the van for the newly-wed “bahu” only to find the “pati-patni” sitting on the car floor in a broken seat.. I quickly stuffed a 500 in the driver’s pocket, asking him to stop giggling and repair his car seat. Main nahi chahta tha ki yeh haadsa kisi doosre couple ke saath bhi ho.

To be continued…

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