The big fat Punjabi engagement
Tania has been visiting me almost every day for the past three months and at times, she spent the night in the flat. We spread our bodies on the bed when Tania playfully runs her fingers on my neck and whispered soothing words in my ears, “Hey, don’t worry everything will fall into place” I hold her hand and we are instantly drawn towards each other, feeling a gush of electrifying adrenaline gripping our bodies. We caress each other’s face and our lips locked and curled into each other’s tongue in the heat of passion.
Tania abruptly pushes me away and swirls away from the bed, shouting, “No! We cannot do this and get carried away like that. This is so wrong.” She scampers away from the apartment and since that day, we didn’t meet.
It is the monsoon season and the tree branches are rattling down the window glasses inside the room. I am in deep slumber when I jump out of the bed with phone buzzing making a screeching sound, as if Shreya Ghosal is singing the opera. It’s Tania and she is shrieking on the phone, resembling one of those Saas-Bahu characters in their trade mark, ‘Nahin!!!! Nahin!!!
“Dude!!! Where are you?,” She asks.
“Of course, in the room..sleeping without a woman. Are you game?”
She shouts back, “Dude! I am in no mood to joke or take crap…”
I hark back, “Well! Thank you for disturbing my sleep at 6 a.m..”
“If you don’t move your ass right now and meet me at the bus depot in one hour, you gonna regret it all your life and will spend sleepless nights till your last day on earth,” She orders
“Are you out of your mind?” I protest.
“Just do as I say…I don’t have time and make sure, you pack clothes along. Ok, bye,” She hung up.
I barely had enough time to sip a cup of tea at the tapdi with a cigarette, jump in the rickshaw, feeling a rush a cold, as the driver stumbles on potholes, speeding as if he is Micheal Schumacher in his Ferrari.
As I reach the bus depot, I saw Tania, flashing her teeth, as if she is modelling for the next Colgate ad. She hugs me, “No hard feeling..ok..let bygones be bygones. We are going to Mumbai.”
“Mumbai!!, ” I yell.
“Listen, today is Anumrita engagement. We gotta stop it. Don’t ask, how. But, I know you, two, love each other and you gotta do everything in your power to convince her to break it.”
We reached the engagement party at JW Mariott and Anumrita is decked in a red lehenga, surrounded by her parents, swarmed by guests in gold colored attires with perfumes of tandoori chicken percolating in the air and free flow of alcohol. A tall, clean shaven guy in white Sherwani is standing by her side. “Oh! My God! Mr Money Bag looks so dumb and had he sported a moustache, he would have made a pale version of Charlie Chaplin, ashen faced,” I laugh.
Anumrita saw me and runs towards me, “Why are you here? Please, Sam, don’t make a scene here in my engagement. Wait!!!! What you doing?”
“I am drinking. Can’t you see? Common sense,” as I grab a large peg of whisky, nodding the waiter to pour ice.
“The big fat Punjabi engagement..wedding replica,” I say with a tinge of irony.
She is in a foul hardy mood, “It’s not funny. Stop making a fool of yourself.”
“Not me!! It’s you fooling yourself like some comic character and a pale version of Phoolan Devi whose bullet is stuck in her fake pistol. The trigger is lost somewhere. Anumrita, why you settling with an idiot like Mr Money Bag? Just because of the money!! Can’t you earn it?,” I goad her.
“Don’t you dare call my future husband, Mr Money Bag and idiot. After all, we gonna get hitched in some time. Find yourself a nice girl,” She averts my eyes.
“Yeah! You’ll be his Sita and he, your Ram, giving orders how to be a domesticated wife, ‘Prabhu aap ke charno mein swarg’n. How I hate Ram. Btw, I can’t stick with nice girls..I need someone naughty like you who love getting sloshed on alcohol, high on ganja, removing your clothes to fiddle with my emotions. Wait, did I say? Your freedom and independence at stake..opps sorry, its rocket science for you know,” I shot back.
I wasn’t done. “Bharatiya Naari..tera jawab nahin!!!! You may ask me to leave which I will do, not before, feasting on your parents Kabab and finishing one whole bottle of Whisky. How can you remove me from your heart? Oh! The big talks about freedom and independence. Anyways! You’ve stopped being yourself and indulging in the Great Indian woman sacrificing herself for Mr Money Bag. First, we had Sati and now, Anumrita!!!.”
She was at a loss of words and wanted to protest but couldn’t utter a single word. I walk upstairs to congratulate Mr Money Bags, along with Tania. “Congrats. We are Anumrita’s college pals,” Tanya introduces us. Mr Money Bag adjusts his collar to make the King’s speech solely to us, “Hey guys, nice meeting you. I wanted to meet Anumrita’s friends so that I get to know more about her…see with my work, I can’t afford to know her better…love and all things are okay, but money matters.”
“She loves dogs,” I hurl my sick joke at him. “Isn’t it, Anumrita?” I ask. She looks away and Tania shoots those intense glare at me, wanting to say, ‘sick humor.’
“Now, wait, don’t move away or flit around. I just spotted something and coming back in a jiffy.” The three of them, Mr Money Bags, Anumrita and Tania look at each other, wondering what made me jump like a monkey and speeding my way outside the hotel lobby.
I am on the trail of a puppy outside the hotel and finally, catch hold of it in my hand and caressing its fur, “Dude! You gonna be my swan song and my reason for revenge. You will poo on the expensive white Sherwani of Mr Money Bags.”
I hold the Puppy close to my chest and place it in the hands of Mr Money Bag, almost catching him by surprise. “Hold it bro, Anumrita loves cuddling puppies and spends her day with them. What you hesitating for? It’s the way to her heart. Waise, The cute puppy love dogs.” I had the last laugh and the gang of three, Anumrita, Tania and Mr Money bags stare at me in disbelief. Tania whispers in my ear, “Have you gone bonkers?” as the puppy is moaning, demanding for Mr Money Bags’ attention, clutching his suit with his claws. playing with claws. What a sweet love story!
To be continued..last and final chapter