• Pallavi Rao

Dulha Nahi Aaya

Day15 of #21days21sarees

When things don't happen the way you planned. When all that you play goes for a toss. When the unimaginable occurs. When you are down and out, well...I pick up a bright colour to perk myself up. I opened the almirah and she smiled at me-this beautiful Mekhala Chador from our weavers in Assam. Handwoven. Available at IndianArtizans

Lockdown Saree Stories

The muhurat for the pheras was 7.30pm. The dulha did not arrive.

There was mayhem. The girl’s family stood at the club entrance with the pooja thali in hand. As time went by, anxiety gave rise to tension.

The cousins fervently called on all possible numbers they had only to hear the constant, “Ye number network shetra se bahar hai.”

The impatient brother rushed one of the kids to the bride’s room, asking her to call the would-be-husband. The dulhan on hearing that the baratis had not reached the venue yet, went into a panic mode. What could have happened?

They had last spoken around 5ish. Excited and calm at the same time, they discussed in detail the P.O.A for the evening. Everything was co-ordinated to perfection as she always wanted and insisted, even if it were to his slight irritation.

It was to be a short Arya Samaji wedding ceremony san elaborate mantra jaaps. In fact, it was a small affair from Delhi standards. Only those who mattered were invited. The guest list frankly only had her side of family and friends. The poor groom migrated to the capital recently because of his love and had only a handful of his immediate family over for the wedding.

Handful meant 12 people including the dulha.

His bachelor pad was a little more than a walking distance from the venue. Barely 6 minutes by car. The Maruti Van would take maximum 3 rounds to get all to the club. He would come in the last round at 7 pm along with his parents and sister. Post the welcome aarti, would be the ‘Varmala’.

They had vowed to mingle with the guests and not stand for the ‘lifafa and gift’ performance on the elevated stage. They opted for candid pictures instead of that conventional ‘pose with the flowers and gifts in hand with a plastic smile’.

According to her meticulous planning for the D-Day, the marriage ceremony at the mandap would be over by 8.15 post which the DJ would play ‘ashleel’ songs to which she wanted to dance bindaas till the club closed at 11 pm sharp.

All was planned. Everything was set.

As she moved to and fro in that small murky room for which they paid a bomb, trying all corners to get a signal, she wondered at her luck. About an hour back, the DJ called to inform he met with an accident on the way and would not be able to make it.

And now, the dulha had not come!

The phone rang. She heaved a sigh of relief listening to his voice at the other end.

Kya hua? Kuch nahi. Arre kaha hai tu? Ghar pe. Ghar pe? Haan, do batches jaa chuki hain, I am coming in the last round.

Jaa chuki hain?

She was flummoxed. If the soon-to-be-in-laws had left home for the venue and were not at the venue yet, then, where were they? Zameen kha gayi ya aasmaan nigal gaya?

It was 7.20 now. Utter confusion. Calls back and forth. Bride’s family still at the club gate with thali in hand. Bride walking up and down the room coordinating with 5 people at the same time.

The baraatis finally reached. All 12 of them. They looked hassled yet relieved.

The mystery was revealed then. The over-exuberant but extremely sincere, lone chauffer cum man-Friday was habitual of taking ‘saab’ that is the dulha to ‘mam’s’ house every evening since they lived so close. He was disappointed that the wedding was a low-key affair.

Keeping that in mind, he made some self assumptions and deposited round one and two of the Mumbai guests in front of the bride’s house. The 8 baratis were confused and even offended. Even if it were a low key wedding, why is the house in darkness, they wondered? Sadly, there was no one to welcome them, because everyone was at the club!!! They waited in darkness nevertheless.

It was only during the 3rd round that ‘Sir’ realised what had happened.

The man Friday, slapped his forehead while at the wheel in remorse, saying, ‘Sir galti ho gaya, sir galti ho gaya!’

All was well that ended well.

However, nothing happened as per plan. The ‘Varmala’ was followed by bored guests rushing to the stage to hand over the envelope and head for dinner. Photos were clicked with plastic smiles, gifts and flowers in hand.

The pheras were not followed by ‘jhin chak’ music. The poor bride looked at the dance floor that she was to sizzle on. You could hear her swear under the breath.

For those who had no idea of the original plan complimented them for such a ‘classy’ shaant wedding by the pool, not seen often in a South Delhi wedding.

The party was over by 10.30 pm.

Our dear Mithilesh, in repentance did not have food at the wedding.

Rahul Narvekar the dulha, and Pallavi Rao the bride lived happily ever after.

Till tomorrow. Stay safe. Stay home.

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