The didi with whom I had thought I would tag along in my first time solo Patna-Darbhanga journy, walked so fast in the wrong direction to fetch a rickshaw that I gave up, asked someone for the right direction and reached the bus-stand, not very far from the railway station. This was not the bus-stand I had seen when I had been to a bus-stand once. But then, that was ages ago. They have changed the location now. All the wheels of my trolley-bag broke as I rolled on my bag on the stand-grounds. It was full of pot-holes. And ugly buses destined for Darbhanga. I struggled to find one seat. I couldn’t. And then in one of the buses, in the drivers cabin where about a 100 passengers were cramped together like atoms in a molecule, I saw didi. I didn’t say anything.
‘I couldn’t see you when I turned back’, she said. ‘And then I realized I was searching for an auto in the wrong place. But finally found one and here I am. Very crowded this is’, she explained. I smiled at her and moved on.
I wasted about an hour in the hope of finding some place in some bus and then I gave up. I went back to the railway station, took a taxi and reahed Darbhanga in four hours. It was around one in the night I guess. I chatted, cracked jokes and slept with Taploo and Ruppu. To be woken up by a phone call which announced the arrival of Biwi, mummy and papa. At four in the morning.
Oh my God! Biwi dear had a coverd head and from whatever little you could see of the head, you could see sindoor. Oh my God! The wedding was the typical village wedding. Nanaji, Taploo, myself, Taploo’s Nanaji and few kids left the house in the evening in a flower-decorated red coloured Nano and reached th wedding venue. Just that it was someone else’s wedding. LOL. We soon realized (thankfully before Taploo stepped out of the car) and left that venue to find the right village. We lost our way, travelled few kilometers in darkness through a narrow kachcha sadak in the middle of fields and finally, reached the right venue. We were the only ones. Nanaji, Taploo, myself, Taploo’s Nanaji and few kids. Others arrived in the next one hour and all that everyone did was eat. Taploo kept getting married and everyone else kept eating. And when everyone was done, everyone left. Other than Taploo because the wedding went on and on. Even if the wedding were to get over, he was supposed to stay at ladkivaalon ke ghar for next four days anyway. We have a funny culture at home.
So everyone left. But Ruppu and I planned to hang around till the end. And then I found Ruppu missing. I found everyone missing other than Taploo. So I wondered if I was going to find my way back home, all alone, walking all night (after the wedding was over). I called up Ruppu and he told me, the last bunch of folks who were planning to leave were stuck. Because the driver who was supposed to take them back, had gotten badass drunk, slept inside the Nano with doors closed and didn’t wake up, whatever one did. I went to the car. I joined the gang trying to wake the drunk sleeping driver. The dude would just not get up. Even when you could so easily shake the Nano like a glass of milk-shake. Someone figured out how to open the door finally and the drunk dude was dragged out and thrown on the road. He kept sleeping. I was the only one who could drive so I had to take everyone back home. At around 1:30 in the night. I couldn’t see Taploo’s wedding till the end. Which I was told got over by 3.
This same driver who was probably still sleeping in the middle of a road, was to drop biwi and I to Patna in the morning. When biwi heard this, she asked me how would be return to Patna now? We had a Patna-Goa flight in the afternoon. I am not sure what I said. May be I said, lets get up at five in the morning and try finding the first bus. We got up at five in the morning. Papa dropped us at a pick-up point. In the Nano. We found there an empty bus and reached Patna quite on time. We even picked my birth-certificate which had been lying with an idiot who would always tell us he had couriered the thing but courier would never reach us. And when you asked him what happened, he would say he would courier again. Idiot.
‘Mere layak aur koi seva ho bhavishya me to bataiyega’. ‘If there is any other service that you may need in future from me, please do let me know’, the idiot said as he handed over the birth-certificate to me. I felt like asking him to step aside from his blue scooter for a second, lift the scooter up and smash his body. ‘Sure’, I said. He left. We left too. To airport. And then we reached Goa. Spent the night in an invisible hotel in Panjim. Met our landlord Pallu the next day. Signed our rental agreement. Paid brokerage fee. Paid first month’s rental. Picked up our stuff from hotel and moved to our new house. For the next one year.
PS: Taploo ki Shaadi in pictures here – http://shaadigrapher.com/best-wedding-photographer-india-taploo-ki-shaadi/