Bikaner. The latest escapade in the diary from all the hustle of work and life. Thanks to friends taking the leap and giving us the excuse to getaway to the destination weddings. But that’s not all it is about, there’s more to it: witnessing the union of two souls, meeting their family and seeing where they get the lineage & features from, the friends you’ve heard stories of, cousins who they’ve grown up with. It’s seeing parts of their personality and hearing stories from people who’ve seen them in different walks of life.
Congratulations to Upasana & Sameep, beautiful bride, and ever charming groom. Their wedding celebration started off with meeting friends of friends mixed with few family members – FJ & Mithai. The friends, no less than family – Pawan, Pansari, Deepika, Angad, Ankur, Akshay, Kartik & Jasmaira. Now, I was the little hesitant & half drowning in self-subjected banter on my phone, meanwhile, these bunch of crazy people were setting the place on fire. The first to catch my attention was baby Jasmaira, who happily agreed to be in my arms & mark her territory with one teaspoon of saliva on my hair. She will eventually go on to becoming one of the best roommates, but that’s for later, the gorgeous mommy of this 4-month old was the true diva – Deepika, reliving her school days accompanied by Ankur and Kartik. Their stories are never ending & references you can never think of. Pansari & Angad are going to be best friends. FJ is going to be coolest host & uncle ever. Mithai, as the name suggests is going to be the sweetest of the lot. Akshay will be the lover of the window seat in the car.
Night & Day One – Everyone meets, introductions were done, drinks pouring & the table gets lively by the night. Jokes cracking, Pawan sticking mayo & fries on his arm, dancing in front of random strangers, cutting a cake nobody remembers, braving the cold & finally setting off to Bikaner, of which Ankur remembers or knows nothing. Thanks to zoning out & sleeping all night. Pit stops for chai breaks and witnessing clear skies in the desert state, a memory too simple yet beautiful. Clicking pictures in the scorching sun middle of the sand dunes had its own fun. Being welcomed to the royalty of Lalgarh Palace, exploring the structure, exotic wooden furniture & colors of history, the day goes by with visit to the city fort, clicking pictures, creating memories we didn’t plan on creating, evening welcomes a new energy with everyone gathered around one little JBL speaker, which will go down in history for surviving the night & Pawan’s company. The endless laughter, music, puns & jokes, wild dance performances & people like me, passing out only to wake up and hear stories of the epicness missed.
Day Two – Narendra Palace. Tired, happy & excited feet dragged themselves to the infamous fourth floor of the hotel. Some decided to sleep on it or went missing, while some decided to get the first-hand feel of Marwari customs. The diva mother & I were subjected to questions for not having mehndi on our hands, which we later obliged to. Evening calls for Sangeet, boys nervous and prepared to kill on the stage, while youngest Mall needed persuasion to step on it even. Eventually, they did kill it with their confidence. Star of all was Upasana, came close to it were Sameep & the entire family. Midst of all this, the diva invented ‘Bingo’, on similar lines with Boomerang videos but since each of these has Deepika in them, it is called Bingo. Middle of celebrating a friend getting married & a friend celebrating his birthday on the same night, a bunch of 20-year olds were kids again. Also, on this night, I realized you never really grow up for your school friends, they come with a time capsule & you’re happy reliving those times over & over.
Day Three. Bye Akshay. Welcome – Myra ceremony, pool party & the wedding. The only people who were brave to survive less sleep and wake up for it were – Jasmaira, Pawan, Deepika & I. Fast forward, the pool was as icy as it gets but with a view & great company, one can forget all of it. Comes the barat, you could tell from a hundred meters that the bunch dancing like they would never hear dhol again were the friends, friends who would pull out the last note to keep the dhol only louder or risk slipping their disk again or forget the bounds of the world and dance like no-one’s watching.
These friends who were strangers two days ago linked by a friend who’s set to wed & get a best friend for life, the friends who would protect, care and cherish each other like they’ve known each other forever. Stay awake nights to make each hour a memory, watch out for Jasmaira so the beloved diva could get ready & enjoy, taking in all the gyan from Mithai, high-fiving Kartik just for being from the same state & keeping secrets not so secret, keeping up with Ankur and his sleep schedule & the exotic accent, to Pawan cracking dirtiest of jokes to make everyone laugh, bird watch girls together & pull their legs, watch the strong FJ in awe admiring his little one’s, eat from each other’s plates, lend their jackets to keep warm & not to impress, yell and shout to get everyone in one frame, say goodbye like these three days were the best in a long time and will be the best in a long time. Sam got Upasana forever that night, and the bunch of us got each other.
Happy Ending. – DD