‘There is only one thing that I have taught him’, said Ali’s dad when speaking about the only thing that he had taught his son. ‘That in life, one should be the horse that runs ahead of other horses. The horse, on whom everyone bets’. Well, that explains why Ali is the way he is. I looked at his dad. He reminded me of Virus. Life is a race. Ali is the horse. Running always. Just that, that evening when we had this little conversation with his dad, he was getting married. Congratulations Ali.
Tota keeps telling me I have become like Ali myself. And therefore I have no more rights to taunt his ways. His way of living life. Or lack of life. I wonder why I changed. And when I think about it, I don’t think I changed at all. I have always acted and behaved (and even tried speaking in the same accent) as the people around me. May be that’s because my papa always told me that there is nothing that you can’t do if anyone else in this world can do it. Or may be I am generally making my papa sound responsible for the way I am because it always feels good to blame others for all the weird things in your life. So, what could I do if I had Tota and Tiwari for company in IIT but a running horse as company in Ahmedabad? I started running myself and LOL, I haven’t yet stopped.
I have this feeling Ali got married in the exact same garden where Tota had gotten married. To Maina. In Gwalior. In my flight to Gwalior from Mumbai, I ran across Ali’s cousin whom I had met a few times in Ahmedabad. Do you believe in the institution of marriage? She asked me.
I have a very personal take on this one. If you are already living in with someone, and you like living that way, why not as well get married? Why? So that your status gets somewhat legalized and your respective parents and families get to meet together on a particular day to celebrate your official union-ship? I mean, that’s pretty much how I look at marriage. An event that someone who has found a person worth living with, should not mind letting take place in his / her life. Marriage is nothing more. Nothing less. An event that brings few benefits. And costs some money (but people throw party and do shopping most of their lives anyway – with or without marriage – so no big deal about it).
‘You have grown thinner’, Kates remarked when I met him in hotel Park Inn in Gwalior. The place where baratis where made to stay. ‘You have grown thinner’, papa had remarked when I had visited home the weekend before that. I was in home so that I could formally introduce MRP’s parents to my parents. And to rest of my family who was available. Her parents had come over for the weekend so that things could be closed.
‘You have copied Amitabh Bachchan, haven’t you?’, Nanaji commented on sasurji’s french beard.
‘No, no, I have had beard – and full beard, since a long long time. These days I keep the french because otherwise it itches on the sides. When I was getting married, they asked me to get a shave at least for that day. So I took a shave. Only for marriage. Between then and today, I have hardly kept a clean face. I remember once when MRP was a baby and I removed my beard. Poor child. Started crying. Couldn’t recognize me.’
By the way, it is funny that I had beard myself when we had started dating each other – MRP and I. Generally saying. I hadn’t met her papa then.
‘Kehtaji is a good man. Straightforward. Just like Polu’, Nananji told papa after having conversed with sasurji for a while. My nick name is Polu if you are wondering who that duffass is. My family liked sasurji. And sasu-ma. I never asked sasurji and sasu-ma how they liked my parents and nana-nani and dada-dadi. I generally don’t ask such questions.
Sometime in the morning today, I asked MRP to close her eyes, think for a while and write down the following in a piece of paper.
- Where she sees herself living five years down the line
- What she sees herself doing five years down the line.
She closed her eyes, thought for a while and wrote something. I did the same. We passed on our respective folded pieces to each other.
- Running a cafe
She had written.
- British Columbia, Canada
- Writing a book and taking pictures
I had written.
Aww, we are so cute. LOL.