Friday, November 30, 2012

A rendezvous on a bus journey

I ran and climbed into the 170L bus which I consider bliss. 170L meant a direct drive till home with no breaks in the middle. In sheer excitement I hopped in and started my 2 hour long journey home. (That’s how much I travel from office to home every day L poor me) I searched my bag for the document on “Pointers” that I had printed at office and was scanning through it. My IPod was playing, “A thousand years “song from the album Twilight.

It had been an hour since I had travelled. The journey seemed to be never ending from Ambattur to Perungalathur. I had completed half of the ride and the bus had reached the “St. Thomas Mount” bus stop. There was a lot of commotion then and I was annoyed with the background noise which disrupted the melody in my ears. I pulled my earphones and turned behind to notice the hullabaloo. On trying to peep through the crowd from my seat my eyes caught the hero of the clamor; it was Mr. Youth (A guy in his late teens. Named him with this as he play the lead role :P) Dressed in a white and blue lungi that was folded till his knees and a maroon colored shirt, he behaved as though he was the real hero of south India.

“I listened to conductor sir and came up from the footboard. I kept quiet…..” (He spoke rudely in a very local Tamil slang to Mr. Elder .Another co-passenger who along with the conductor had warned him to be careful while standing on the footboard)

The entire argument had started when Mr. Youth and Mr. Elder had got in at St. Thomas Mount bus stop. Mr. Youth was trying to show his heroism by standing on the footboard. The conductor had warned the boy not to stand on the footboard. Mr.Elder who was also concerned tried to raise his voice. He urged the boy to be careful in a strict manner which was when our hero (Who seemed to be a total zero: P) started his speech.

(Translated in English) “Hello, What did you just say? How can you talk to me like that? I listened to the conductor and came up but you don’t seem to stop. I think I need to teach you a lesson “ (All this was merely a chance to gather attention)

He went on in his heinous local slang, “You must be older than me. I am only 20 years old but I have also seen the world. I have gone to Kolkatta, Mumbai, Delhi. I have seen places.”(I kept wondering was this required in the conversation)

Mr.Elder finally spoke, “Listen you must have seen the world. But this is not the way you talk to elders…..”He didn’t stop with this nonsense, instead he continued his so called nonsense. “You are going to get down at Pallavaram, right?” He picked up his phone and dialed a number, “Hey, Machan(in the local slang), Bring our friends and come to Pallavaram. We have to teach a man a lesson

He disconnected the call and went on to abuse Mr.Elder and later the fight went increased to such an extent that caste issues were brought in. I tried to control my emotions and I wanted to do something. I felt bad for Mr.Elder as he was helpless. The entire crowd in the bus was quiet watching the commotion including the conductor who was not at all bothered.

A sudden thought crossed my mind. I had read an article a few months ago where it was mentioned that we could message to a phone number to inform the police of some mischief if it was not possible to make a call. I immediately switched on the internet on my phone and searched for the number.

I text the number to one of my friend in USA(Note this number for your use too:9500099100)He had his Chennai mobile number active which was very useful. I asked him to text to the above number saying, “Problem near Pallavaram” (I thought that would be the least I could do to help Mr.Elder) I had asked my friend to send a message as I was scared my phone number would be leaked if the issue had been blown up.
However, something unusual happened. Mr.Elder got support from three other people which scared Mr. Youth I guess. He dialed his friend again and asked him to come to Palavaram with his gang. And the hero who some time ago was screaming in the bus got down at a stop before Pallavaram.

I was smiling at all this and felt happy that at least two people went ahead to help the poor soul from a few youngsters who seem to be monstrous but actually are not. Mr.Elder got down at Pallavaram and I kept praying in my heart that he should reach home safely.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My friend's wedding....

I was hurriedly having my kellogs as I had overslept and got late for office. "Tatha, lock the door. I'm leaving", I screamed from the porch. (The woman in the opposite house peeped her head out embarrassing me :P) Picking up my sandals and lunch bag, I scarcely managed to wear my sandals on the run.

8:30 AM...
"Cynthia, Why on earth do you need that last 10 minutes sleep that makes you late..." The sun had taken a toll in the month of April and I was all the more irritated because of the heat.

"Girls, Need to have a conference call with you all.... Can we have it by 10 AM?" It was Jocy's message. (Well, we are a gang a four friends, Nitha, Simi, Jocy and myself)
I was sure that this message was for all the four of us. A conference call meant fun, frolic, pulling each other's legs, screaming on the phone without letting the others talk. (Thanks to the mobile phone networks who make this happen)

Although the day had started in a bad shape, the idea of a conference call gave me goosebumps. I reached office and ran to the restroom to be ready by 10 sharp to receive the call. Finally, the call was initiated and all the four of us were on cloud number 9. A millions "Hi's" were exchanged and finally Jocy was given a chance to tell us the reason for the call.
"Girls, I am getting married", She broke the news and for a second all of us were numb as though the call had been disconnected. And that was it we had got another reason for fun. And that day we began our preparations for "Our friend's wedding".....

The wedding was 6 months away in the month of October and ever since Jocy had broken the news we started behaving as though it was our weddings. I had booked my tickets well in advance to travel to Pune.

The next three months were filled with plans for the wedding and all this was done without the bride having any clue of it. It all began with the attire for the D-day.
"Gown....:D" I screamed on one of the conference calls.
"Yea... Gown is a good idea...." Nitha seconded me.
"No yaar.... I think we should look traditional. It's a south Indian Wedding", Simi Suggested.
"Ok guys, thats cool but we should all be in the same color", I voiced.

We finally decided on a purple shaded Saree and our search for the same began. I went in for a Purple shaded saree with silver work on it. The three of us landed up buying different shades of purple.(Not to forget, Nitha was not convinced her's was a purple shaded saree until the day of the wedding :P)

Days flew and our calls for the wedding increased. It was the month of september and we hadn't yet decided on the gift for the bride. It was then that we actually pulled up our socks.
"A pearl set",One of us suggested.
"A huge painting of jocy and the groom, it would look great if they put it up in their bedroom" I suggested.
"But we don't know the size of the bedroom re..." Nitha spoke up.
"We need to gift her something that she would have with her for years" Simi eventually gave her point.
After a lot of thought and phone calls we decided to gift her a Gold ring. Something that she could cherish for years.

Our friend was going to experience the biggest day of her life and we wanted it to be the day that she would reminisce throughout her life. Years from now when she would look back on her wedding, a sparkling smile would adorn her face. This was all that we had on our mind.
The gift was ready, but we had another huge plan set up. What was it? Any guesses.... :)
"A video" I suggested.
"Yes, a video with all her photos.", Simi came up.
"Yup.. right from her childhood till her wedding day.But how do we get her photos?", Nitha's question made us wonder.

We had only one contact and it was Jocy's sister who could share her pictures with us. Her sister was helpful enough to provide us with the photos and I was supposed to scratch my poetic skills and come up with a poem to be put on the video.

The idea about the video was a unique one, we wanted a song to compliment the video and after a quick search we came up with the song, "Daddy's Girl" (Here goes the link A lovely song... Only a daughter would understand its worth)

Our next plan was about the Haldi function. Nobody had decided on a haldi for the bride and we wanted it to be just a small gathering that she would enjoy. (As traditionally we don't have any of that ritual)
Jocy had once mentioned that she wanted to dace once before the wedding, so we came up with the idea of preparing a dance for the haldi function and then dressing her up as a bride and applying haldi for her.

With everything almost ready, I reached Pune on the 18th of October, 4 days before the wedding.

Our dance for the Haldi was not ready as yet and we had just 1 and a half days in hand. All thanks to the great Nitha and Simi for their choice of songs for the dance. The event was going to be a dance and drama combined act. One of us was going to act as Jocy and the other two would take turns and become her fiancee. I guess the wedding was just another opportunity for us to be together.

19th October…. 3 days to go !!!. We started our practice for the dance and landed up practicing and preparing for it the entire night. The night's practice had taken a toll over us, yet we were all hyped up the next to day purchase our accessories for the wedding.

"Bhaiyya, purple color ke earrings dena?" We were all immersed in purple that day and eventually all the shops in Clover center had to dig out the stuff they had in purple color.
"Bhaiya... Purple with gloden base... Nahi bhaiyya.... Purple with silver base bhi..... Chudi dikhaiye... Aur nahi hai.... " These were the tantrums.. (My gosh I pity the shopkeepers now... well that day I didnt :P)

20th October ..7.30 PM: (2 days to go !!!)Jocy's house was filled with music and we rushed inside in our dazzling anarkalis to make the surroundings realise ki bhai.... Yeh toh shaadi ka ghar hai...
The haldi function began with Simi introducing herself as Jocy for the dance and Nitha and Me as the boy. The entire gathering at her place enjoyed the 5 minute performance and we had become the heroes for the day. Then came the point of convincing Jocy to get dressed in a red colour ghagra. We dressed her up and put the dupatta over her head as a beautiful bride. The ladies in the house came and applied haldi and our bride had little drops of tears floating in her eyes. 
I remember Jocy's cousin pulling her aside and saying, "You should have friends like these people", pointing his fingers at us. It was wonderful to see her happy. It made us feel that our mission to make her wedding special was actually getting fulfilled.

21st October ... Day before the wedding (1 day to go !!!) : 
We spent a sleepover again making he video and it was worth the time. 

22nd October.... Wedding day !!!... The parlour female was called home as the three princesses had to make their way for the wedding :P... Well I think the bride would have taken lesser time than us to get ready.
We got ready and reached the church. Their stood Jocy in her wedding gown. She looked beautiful. 
Vows were exchanged and they were declared man and wife and then came the fun part of the wedding. It was the reception. We were waiting for Jocy to see the video that we had prepared. 
It was the most joyous moment to see her hold her husband's hand and watch the video. It brought back all those wonderful memories that she had cherished. 

The reception was almost over. She stood elegantly with a poise on the stage. Her head bent a little low holding her husband's hand. The three of us sat in one of the rows in the hall. We held our hands and smiled at each other watching our friend experience the best day of her life. Our hearts were full that minute because we knew we had made her feel special. And this was proved when the groom told us, "Thank you gilrs for making my girl feel special on her best day !!!".....