Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lonely journey, lost camera, lots of love...

Feb 10 and I had reason to be anxious. After all, I was late by around 30min and no signs of bus to airport for around 25min. Never before had I even gone near an airport. Was contemplating for auto when the bus finally arrived at 6:25am. Though I reached an hr and half b4 my flight to Delhi, I got only a middle seat and that too beside the wings. My first take-off was smooth and cleared a few concerns hovering in mind without reason. Two business ppl seated either side of me greeted each other, ignoring my unkempt outlook. The one near the window put on the sun-shade to shut the partial view completely. With nothing to do, I penned for the first time about my experience including such mundane details like number of exits and trolley counts. And, atlast the flight mode of my cell had a use for listening music & playing games.
The flight landed half an hr b4 the scheduled time. Delhi temperature was 17C and fog had moistened the wings. Soon enough my cousin arrived and we "snailed" through the Delhi traffic. What to say about Dwaraka? Apartments, apartments and even more apartments..big ones.. and all occupied.. areas there named as: sector-1, 2, etc!! Placing a foot on their marble floor made me realize why ppl in North use slippers inside the house. It was ice cold :(. My cousins children greeted me "uncle" and soon enough I realized that I had attended this cousin's marriage! Now, 10 yrs later, I had come to attend another cousin's marriage. Phew..
My family (father, mother and elder brother Arpit) coming via train got delayed. So, had to go with my uncle to Loharu (a place in Haryana, 6 Km from my native village - Bhawtari in Rajasthan). So much crowd in bus. Wonder how they ppl manage to get in and get down. If that's the case in relatively outer region of Delhi, wonder the condition in main city? Three buses and 5-6 hrs later reached my uncle's (bride's father) place.Not a min passed, and the cousins gathered there were all over me. Though I remembered only few of them, everyone knew me! Had dinner with five others in one plate and shortly afterward my family members arrived. I was damn tired but my 'beloved' cousins would not let me sleep. To keep them involved, I did a few hand tricks and they made a mini circus out of me. Dance program started and I had some respite only after about an hr. A thermo-coat and 2inch thick blanket saw me through the ice-cold night.
Early morning on Thursday, I got a rude shock. My camera was missing. Someone had opened the side zip, cut the intersecting cloth and taken away the camera. Seeing the handiwork it was concluded that this was done during my bus travel the previous day. It seems there are hand-held x-ray devices for such works! I had little time to moan as we got ready and around 5:30am, we reached a temple where we had to go bare-footed and bare-handed :(. An hr later we started back with imperceptible hands & legs. The same multi-persons-in-one-plate policy was followed for breakfast.
Shortly, the various ceremonies for the bride started. With my camera lost, Arpit's camera was the only option left. And his batteries soon drained out. We searched in vain for compatible batteries, even trying out the ordinary ones which lasted only 3-4 snaps. Finally, we got rechargeable ones for rent from studios! Around 4pm, we started to Bhiwani where the marriage would take place. It gave me an opportunity to catch up with sleep and around 5:30pm we reached the marriage hall.
We had snacks and got ready for the occasion. Traditions seem to be changing for good. The arrangement is that relatives/friends (not so close to groom) of the bridegroom can arrive before the 'Barat' (Barat is procession of family, relatives, and friends of groom that accompany the groom to bride's home for official wedding ceremony). Food, seating & dance-floor had been arranged for such guests. I have to mention about this kid (from the groom side) who went on the dance-floor. He stood firmly at a place, and just kept swaying back & forth!
We had dinner (again following multi-persons-in-one-plate to save cost :D) and the wait started for the Barat to arrive. Around 10-10:30-pm, I could see them arriving with big band & bursting crackers. They would arrive at the gate only after 12:00am! The couple were Garlanded on a circularly rotating platform and lead to hall. Photo-session with relatives followed which took almost an hr!. I was damn too tired to stay awake anymore and went-off to sleep. Thankfully the 2-inch thick blankets were in place here too.
Woke up around 5:30am. The last rites of the marriage ceremony were still going on, mostly about giving money/clothes to relatives and gold jewelery to the groom. We helped to bring down the bride's things which would fit only in no less than a mini-van! And the painful moment arrived - of that of sending off the bride. An interesting ritual took place after that - a women from our side would dip in mix of "kumkum" and paste on both sides of shirt of men from the groom's side & hand over a 50Rs. note.
Its already a very long post. The rest of my stay included visiting my native village Bhawtari and my Mom's sister place in Jhunjhunu. On Sunday morning, around 3:30am, we started to Delhi in Wagon-R. The cab was booked so that I can reach in time for my flight to bangalore at 9:40am. It was so foggy that it was difficult to see 2-3m ahead. But the journey was safe and we reached the airport by 7am itself. I bid good-bye to my family and embarked on another lonely flight journey. I added few lines to my flight experience. And yeah, I forgot that notepad in aircraft itself. So much for penning for the first time.
It was gr8 experience to visit again those places, walk down same lanes of the yester-years, those rooms & terrace we played, that well we bathed, the banyan tree, mouth-freshener "Chutki", the railway stations, the warmth of relatives & cousins & their children and many more. Something to remember and cherish forever.

To complete the title of this post,
"...Life is a Journey, Life is a Lesson."


Anonymous said...

Cooooooooool Mr. Uncle. Nice to hear your experience. I want to see the plate which you shared for food with your cousins. Show me on your marriage.

Niaz Ahmed said...

nice trip :)
i am happy u lost ur cam :)

Karthik said...

Excellent description, Sundeep. I could imagine every little thing perfectly. Thanks to your splendid narration. :)
On the contrary, I'm still waiting for your story. Hope to read it soon. :)

Sundeep said...

That is just ordinary plate used for everyday purpose. And yeah, being called 'Uncle' was odd-feeling. THanks for the comment.

Glad u like it :) And, U r not alone in that wish-list :P

Thanks man..U r always encouraging.. Next week for sure, am posting the short-story :)

Prakash Deore said...

Sundeep, this is amazing narration of your experience, I like most abt "two business folks greated each other and missed you" haha!
Perhaps they did not realized that the young writer sitting right middle of them, and an opportunity they will miss after a few years down the line, when they stand in a que to get your autograph! :-) I think i am getting more expressive! hahaha
Looking forward for your short story! Keep it up!


Sundeep said...

Thanks Prakash,
Glad you liked it :)
And my story is already in place now ;)

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