Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Arun weds Shefali... The Solapur Tour...

Its marriage season in India and finally, I got to know one of my friend, Arun, is getting married. The marriage was scheduled on 11 May 2012 at Solapur and we started preparing for the same. There is nothing much that we have to prepare except that we have to inform all our friends and prepare the itinerary. Considering it was a Friday, a low attendance was expected. However, it was shocking for me know that the attendance was shamefully low. Modern world has made our lives such a hell that we don't care for our own breaths. Attending someone else's marriage is away, attending our own marriages is a dilemma. Thanks to the lovable HR policies that ensure that our bodies remain in the office buildings, no matter where the hearts and brains are

The Attendance Time
After all the initial discussions, formalities and judgments, it was decided that we will be leaving from Bangalore on Thursday evening to reach Solapur by Friday morning. The wedding was scheduled in the evening. The next big question was, "Who are these we?". At some point of time, we meant Arun only. Later, Rajendra & I decided to make ourselves a part of it. That was it from Bangalore. Kiran agreed to join us on the way at Gulbarga. The Pune guys were quite certain that they won't be attending but kept pretending that they are uncertain. A bunch of guys from Bijapur/Bagalkot were expected to make it to the wedding and they were my only hope

The Train Circus - DDLJ
The Basava Express leaves to Solapur from Yeshvantpur. Blame it on my ignorance or negligence, I planned to go to Majestic. With just an hour to go, I learnt this and immediately called others to inform the same. I called Rajendra who was in a rick to Majestic and asked him to change the route to Yeshvantpur and also pick me up on the way. With Rs 500 gone into the driver's kitty, he ensured that we reach just on time to the station and catch the train in complete DDLJ style. Now for sure, I knew, I am going for a marriage. Luckily, there was no circus in Gulbarga where Kiran joined

The Arun's The Killing The Accent
Capt Arun is a style icon. He speaks such hi-fi English that, most times, even he fails to understand what he is speaking. We reached Solpaur and called him. As I spoke to him, I considered it would be better if I do things myself. After all, I knew that the accommodation is set at Hotel Heriytage (I have spelled it right. That's how it is. Heriytage). Somehow, I got to know from him that we ought to get into Room No. 105 and that was all I needed. I kept saying OK to whatever he told. Blame it on my ears. I told him to come to the room and speak as I didn't understood a word. He smiled and asked us to get fresh and he will reach soon

The Solapur Tour
Siddheshwar Temple in Solapur is an attractive place of visit. We had been to this place long ago as a part of SSBJ trip (I guess, 8th or 9th standard). Visiting this temple again brought back those sweet memories. I was also happy to see that the lake around the temple is so well maintained. Due to lack of time or whatever, we could not go elsewhere. In the morning, we had a buffet breakfast at Hotel Pratham and it was sumptuous. The lunch at Kamat Hotel was another memory refreshed. Seeing the Bengre Kamat board outside the restaurant made Solapur look like Hubli. The numerous auto rides that we had been taking all the day was another highlight

The Wedding
The wedding was scheduled in the same hotel at around 5.30 in the evening. Being a Buddhist wedding, things happen in the evening. It was a different experience altogether, unlike the regular Hindu weddings (specially the North Karnataka style weddings) that I had been attending ever since my birth. After all the prayers, the bride and the groom promised to lead a life of a couple. Many more promises came on. The monks (read Swamijis) lined to tie them together for the remaining journey of life. In a few minutes, Arun & Shefali were announced Man & Wife. The focus quickly shifted from the stage to the delicious food that was awaiting everyone. I was amazed the speed of switch of the focus. I was busy with my new found hobby, iPhonography. I had borrowed the iPhone 4S from RD and was shooting my way to glory

The Reception
A grand vehicle landed with the couple, they were garlanded and the Military Band followed with great valor and fantastic rhythm. This was a feast to the eyes. Definitely, life in the Armed Forces is envious. I was stunned, to say the least. iPhonography continued. People starting moving up the stage with gifts and bouquets. I just awaited. We were just 3 of us and I was thinking on what could we do. I had no idea and considered it better to keep quiet

The Embarrassment and The Face Saving
Flashes of different marriages of my batchmates kept scrolling over my eyes. Instead of frowning, we decided to ask a few army personnel around to help us give the traditional dips to Arun. Just then, I received an SMS asking me where I was. I knew the Bagalkot/Bijapur party was here. I was so excited that I started running to search them. There they were. In big numbers. It was a great reunion. Better than expected. I rejoiced the moment. This was a total turnaround. We all moved on the stage. The Hugs. The Kisses. The Hi-Hellos. The Oh My Gods. The Wows. The Smiles. Soon, life had become wonderful. It makes such a big difference to have your childhood friend along your side on such wonderful occasions of life that happen once in a lifetime. Soon, Arun, who was on cloud nine dipped the 10th time to almost hit the ceiling. My wish was fulfilled

The Adieu
After munching some food, the Bijapur team left. We spent some more time at the venue. Arun was happy. A marriage cake was cut. A new life began. I was blessed to be able to see these wonderful moments. For those who missed them, we definitely have the pictures and this small write up. We left Solapur at midnight. Coincidentally, May 12 was Rajendra's birthday. At midnight, in Solapur, all we could do is give him birthday bumps. The Karnataka Express whistled its departure and soon, Bangalore welcomed

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy