Sankar-Software Engineer-Oracle Corporation

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Friends Marriage in Nagpur

The sun was setting on the yellow bed slowly in Nagpur. I was waiting for my train to arrive in the Nagpur railway station . After a hectic day at my friends marriage, I was ready to go home for visiting my parents and sisters in Chennai. All I could do in the station was to sit on Platform 2 of the nagpur railway station waiting patiently for 5 hours - Well you guessed it right, My train (2622, Tamilnadu Express) was running late by 5 hours. The station wore a wearly look with hawkers moving here and there and beggers on each platform. The station was not very crowded unlike other railway stations. Lucikly I had some sheets of blank papers and a pen. Good time to write a story.

Chai Chai
, oh that was the familiar sound at the backdrop. Let me take some time to enjoy my cup of tea before I resume my writing. Lets rewind my days back in Nagpur. Myself, Doss, Lokesh and Pranay boarded the Nizamuddin Express from Bangalore to attend the marriage. With this group of friends it was real fun drinking Whisky mixed with a Bottle of Thumbs Up during the night train journey. Lots of talk about Carrer, life, marriage & kids we slept at around 3 AM. We woke up fresh the next day morning and had hot idlies served with vada and sambar at the Secundrabad railway station. I was hooked on to my IPod listening the songs of Mani Rathinams latest flick "Guru".. Barso re...( Its still ringning in my ears). Lokesh and Doss were busy with a game of cards and very soon I joined both of them with a game of cards. The waiter came to take orders for lunch and we ordered Egg biriyani - It was vegetable biriyani with 2 eggs, thats what IRCTC calls as Egg biriyani and Pranay ordered for Vegetable Thali which comprised of 2 Dried up Roties, Dal mixed with rice & rasam & sambar & what not...?

After lunch we slept off and woke up at around 7 PM. The train reached Nagpur at 8.45 PM and we were recieved by friends of Amol - well he was the Bakra whose marriage was scheduled the next day. We were taken to Hotel Pritam near Agrasan Chowk, Gandhi Bagh. We freshened up to attend the dinner hosted at my friends house. We reached my friends house at around 10.30 PM and it was a typical Maharastrian crowd with people shattered here and there,chatting with each other. The menu was pretty spicy. Thank god they had rice , otherwise my stomach would have gone for a toss eating those sick roties and spicy Aloo masala. After late night dinner we went out for a stroll near my friends house. The place was more of residential area with a Government school facing my friends house. To our surprise we found a Paan stall open at that time, ordered for some sweet paan. After paan we came back walking to our hotel, it was very near from my friends house( only 2 km).

Next day was the D-Day for my friend. The marriage was schedulded at 7.30PM and his Baarat was planned to start from his house at around 3 PM in the afternoon. Baaraat- This is the most traditional and funiest thing that I was about to witness in my friends marriage. The bridegroom is made to sit on a decorated horse and taken to the marriage hall with friends and relatives dancing to the music all the way enroute - That sounds traditional rite?. Funny because its a way of marketing yourself to the people that you are the Bakra who is going to be offered in the name of marriage :). My friends who accompanied me for the marriage wanted to see a movie for whiling away our time till 3.00 PM. So we decieded to watch DHOOM 2 - Oh man , what a movie? It was waste of time, money( 190/ head @ INOX). The movie was so sick that we guyz came out and ended up at a Bar near our hotel to relieve out Head ache.

"GT Express - Late by 4 hours 30 minutes, That was the latest announcement"
"TN Express- Running late again - Oh god my head has already started spinning watching the trains pass by Nagpur railway station - Indian Railways Sucks!!!"

I will book my flight tickets next time, no more train travel to North india. Ok coming back to the story. We spent so much time in the Bar after Dhoom 2 that we missed the Baarat's starting ceremony from my friends house. Amol's friends had to take us to the Brides place to watch the Baarat continue after some ceremony at the Brides place. Luckily we reached the bride's place on time with some lighter moments with Amol's friends on the bike enroute. We danced all the way on the roads of Nagpur until we reached the marriage hall. We had great fun watching the decorated horse dancing to the tunes of the music with the Decorated Dhula trembling with each act of the horse. I was wondering what will happen if the horse runs away carrrying my decorated Dhula friend - The Bride is saved :). We reached the marriage hall and to our surprise it was an OAT ( Open Air Theater/Auditorium ) kind of setup with decorated stage and decorated food stalls for the marriage. The marriage was about to start that it started to rain - Oh man what a climax at the niche of time?. People who gathered for the marriage started running helter skelter seeking out for shelter. There is an age old tradition saying that if you eat too much raw rice during your early childhood days it will rain on the day of your marriage. After some time the rain stopped.

The gifts were lying at the corner of the OAT fully wet. The list was pretty long with Microwave oven, Sofa set, Dining set to 3 Almirahs...and more. The marriage ceremony was now resumed, Myself and Doss were startled when we heard some Buddist monks chanting - "Buddam Saranam Gatchami..." in the marriage. We were still puzzled with the tradition of workshipping Dr B.R Ambedkar and Lord Buddha before the marriage. There was no Mangalsutra wearing ceremony, It was a very simple Garland exchange and the marriage was done. Watching this marraige was an experenice of lifetime for a traditional tamilan like me. The crowd had already started moving towards the Food stalls. There was a mad rush for food and I was some people fighiting at the stalls. We thought it would be an herculean task to get food admist such a crowd. So me and my friends decieded to have a plate of Pani Puri. We were standing for nearly half an hour to have a plate of Pani puri, but bad luck we ended up with nothing. My other friends Lokesh and Doss were getting restless and we were hungry after dancing all the way nearly 2 KM in the Baarat.

Finally I managed to get some food. I spoke to a girl who was standing in the Queue with the marathi that I learnt when I studied in Goa and got a plate full of rice and some vegetable kurma. Thank god atlast we had food. I was just watching the crowd that had come for the marriage during dinner. Some group of girls were looking at me - probably I was looking like a Joker with my Digital camera hanging around my neck or I was the smart looking, tall and handsome Bachelor in the wedding ceremony. The stage was free of of the wishing crowd and my friends went onstage to wish the couples. We wished my friend "A Happy Married Life" and there was a photo session.

We came out of the OAT for a smoke. I was looking at the group of girls who were looking at me during dinner. The girl who helped me in getting the food saw me and she came to the place where we were having a puff. She looked at me and gave a naive smile. Not to disappoint her I smiled back - What a love story?. I looked up in the sky and gave a huge sigh. Wish she had come in my life 6 years before, I would have had the option of marrying her. Now it was getting late for us. We headed back to our hotel, we reached around 11 pm and Shahrukh Khans ' Main hoon na..' was running on TV. We ordered some beer and sat down to watch the movie. We boozed, played cards and slept off.

Next day was shopping time for us. We went to Sita Baldi in Nagpur and did shopping for our dear ones and started off. Here I am still waiting for TN Express to arrive on Platform no 2 of Nagpur Railway station.....


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