Monday, November 13, 2006

Mere yaar ki Shaadi!

It is very unbecoming of a cynic if he admits the sudden feeling of contentment caused due to something that happened to someone else! But that is precisely what I intend to do today. I know that it is utterly shameless of me to do so but true to my cynic self, I do not care!

A close friend got married today. Not with the usual paraphernalia that is associated in marriages across the world. Marriage is a big social event for everyone including the pygmies, civil-war torn factions, oppressed or oppressor communities. No Sir, this one was no social event. Unless, of course, it were being conducted under Dhara Ek-so-chaumalees.[1] So this friend of mine who is neck, eyes, every-strand-of-hair-on-his-scalp deep in love has eloped with the lady of his life. The marriage documentation happened today at the sub-registrar office, Jayanagar 4th block. The bride and the groom were blue. I think they kept forgetting that they are supposed to breathe. Three witnesses (trivia for the enthusiasts: they need three witnesses to endorse the marriage) were all smiles because it felt so cool - aakhir dost log court marriage kar rahe they - also because the first half of office was washed away in this exercise.

The lady at the desk looked at us. Mistook the witnesses for the bride and the groom because of their cheerful faces. I had to quickly intervene and address the situation. The agenda was set for only one marriage. Soon we had five forms staring at us in the eye. Trust me, this court marriage thing requires more work of the witnesses than the Bride & Groom. Finally after filling the address, pin code and due endorsements from the witnesses some fifteen times over, we were asked to wait outside the office. I took out my camera to click a couple of snaps but was asked by the bureau people to put it away. They do not allow you to click photos inside the premises.

The bride started crying. The groom was so very tense. Two of the supporting star cast i.e. (Saket and Raghu) took off to get some frooties so that moonh-mitha can be done. Soon some office boy took us downstairs and we were parked outside the office of sub-registrar for about half an hour after that. I thought that this was an indication that the government machinery required some grease to get moving. We quickly huddled together to decide on the appropriate number and the color of gandhijis that should exchange hands. It was decided that Tarun should carry minimal funds inside the office so that he can proudly proclaim our collective bankruptcy. Surprisingly, the registrar did not ask for anything. Surprise to those who are new to the business of bribing/greasing palms.

Soon we were asked to go upstairs to the processing room. Poornima (Witness #2) used this chance to pinch the photos of TG and Shanu off the notice they had put on the board some 2 months back. Tarun took about 15 minutes to scrutinize the spelling of the names on the certificate. And then came the silent killer from the auntyji behind the desk, "Where are the sweets?" Yes even the gang of four sidekicks wanted sweets. But the sweets out here were just a guise for the grease that we discussed in the previous paragraph. So TG took out the purse and handed over a mutually acceptable amount which was promptly exchanged for some "Army Day" coupons (Rishwat - deshbhakti ke saath!!!). One coupon for each Rs. 50 contributed. What a neat way of accounting the daily collections! I was amazed by the simplicity of the idea. Staff members are given a stock of these coupons in the morning. Every evening a count is run on the remaining coupons and the collections should match 50 times the decrease. Also the collections person is different from the person controlling the coupons. Nice control systems in place as well.

Anyway, we came down and clicked a few photos and came back to office. I have not had such a beautiful start to a day in a long time. Here’s wishing Tarun and Shanu a blissful life ahead. Indeed a happy day!

[1] An act of law that prohibits congregation of more than 4 people at public places. Usually imposed during curfews


Anonymous said...

Hahaha..of all the people TG did this, I wish I could have been there for him. Childhood memories sitting with TG from class VI to class X are flashing in front of my eyes.. Tarun on the right and Nalin on the left. Anant, Sambhav and Rajat on the bench behind us.

Awesome Awesome...!!!

Mo said...

Cant get enough of this post :)

Prateek said...

Yes, it is truly awesome. Cannot help but smile when I think of that day! Kahaani poori filmi hai!

Anant said...

So the 'ordeal' has finally culminated! TERRIFIC! Where is the groom btw? Where are the pictures?

Parle, your turn now. Come, join the club :)