At the subconscious level something must have happened in school which made by brain stop me going back there. In school I was the guy with average IQ, sandwiched between friends to whom studies was a walk in the park. Over all I would say school was a very enjoyable phase in my life, which makes me wonder why is it that I’ve not kept in touch with more of my school friends and teachers or attended any of the alumni meets, albeit being in Delhi all these years.
So it was a pleasant surprise when out of the blue I get an invitation on Facebook to attend the wedding of two of my school mates. I was thrilled that at least someone did remember me even after such a long sabbatical. I congratulated my friends and promised I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I would be meeting my school friends after nearly ten years.
I made plans for the 15th Dec’11 with the only school friend that I am in touch with. Unfortunately she had to cancel and I made the journey alone. I arrived on time (I hoped) since in my excitement I hadn’t even seen whether the invitation was for the marriage or the reception, let alone the time. After giving the valet my car to park, I asked where the marriage is and was pointed vaguely towards the front. I entered the wedding hall at the end of a corridor which had an arch decorated with flowers at the entrance. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the women dressed in traditional Bengali attire. Surprised, as my friends are now settled in the states and had come home only for the marriage. I hadn’t expected it to be a traditional Bengali affair. But my happiness did not last long as I soon realized I didn’t recognize any of the guests present in the hall. I made a hasty retreat to the archway to have a look around to see if I could see any signage to confirm if I was at the right place. Then I saw it, “Arindam Weds Anuradha”…. and heaved a sigh of relief. But I didn’t feel like going back in. Suddenly I heard the sound of band baaja and hoped it was my friend Arindham. It was. Arindham and a lot of barati’s dancing away to glory. I don’t know whether the groom had a horse to start with, but at that moment he had both his feet firmly on the ground, dancing along with everyone. After a lot of photo opportunities and hip swaying the crowd finally covered the last few meters and reached the entry to the hall. Anuradha too arrived at the spot in her car and the couple did a dance together in front of both the families who were laughing, shouting, and dancing at the same time. To my relief in that merry crowd I finally saw some familiar faces. I must tell you I was a wee bit disappointed at the boys. I think if I had seen them even after another 10 years they wouldn’t have changed. It was if it was only yesterday that I had last seen them. The girls on the other hand had become ladies. It took me a while sometimes to recognize their faces. The first half and hour was exciting as the ex Patalian group grew larger and larger, and sometimes a little embarrassing as sometimes there was a long pause trying to match faces with names. After a while once the first hiccups were out-of-the-way, everyone fell deep into conversation, reminiscing about the past and catching up on the present. I have a feeling that Arindam & Anuradha too wanted to join us. Haha…ha
Once the ceremonies were done and the bride & groom were having the customary dinner with close family, Anuradha couldn’t stop herself and joined the party happening on the dance floor. The last song played by the DJ was the song which is a rage now ‘Kolaveri’. In the end the blessed couple too didn’t want the party to end and fervently insisted that all of us come again for the reception. Let the party continue….