Wedding Memories

Anushka – Virat, Ranveer – Deepika, Priyanka – Nick and if rumours are to believed, Ranbir – Alia will follow soon. What do they have in common? Gorgeous, perfectly groomed couples, exotic locales, heartstoppingly beautiful venues…fairy tale weddings.

As the pictures and videos flood our timelines, we can’t help but watch engrossed in these flawlessly executed, beautifully photographed happy ever afters. I remember mine…complete with the exotic locale, the delicious food, the crazy parties and the rest. I even have the perfect pictures for proof. I also remember the drama that went on behind the scenes. Vividly.

We’d decided to get married in Coorg, at my parent’s estate. We, the bride’s party, reached a few days in advance and were waiting for the groom’s side to arrive. The groom, my then husband-to-be travelled with us to help out with all the last minute arrangements. We had a slew of functions planned, a mehndi, a cocktails night, the wedding and then the reception. The entire groom’s party were arriving the day of the mehndi…except they didn’t.

The AC volvo bus hired exclusively to bring them from Bangalore to Coorg broke down or in my mother-in-law’s words, “I was looking out of the window and I saw an enormous tyre rolling down the street and a few seconds later, a man running behind it.” The man was later identified to be the bus conductor.

So, there they were… stranded on the highway in a bus with three tyres. The driver apparently hadn’t had the puncture in the spare repaired so that was a no-go. We called the company, yelled at them and had another bus sent to them immediately. Which meant it reached them after a couple of hours. They travelled for about half an hour before that bus broke down. Not the tyre this time. The engine.

By now, it was evening and everyone unanimously decided it was better they spent the night in Bangalore at a hotel and came to Coorg the next day. A third bus reached them the next morning and they finally arrived in Coorg that afternoon. After a joyful reunion, we all settled in to enjoy the rest of the festivities. After lunch, the groom’s party decided to retire to the resort they were put up at to rest and get ready for the cocktail party scheduled for that night.

Come eight that evening, we were all dressed up and waiting. The guests had arrived and at that point we were informed by the caterers that we had forgotten to mention that we wanted service as well. They had drinks poured and snacks set out for us but were not willing to serve it. So, we swung into action and served it ourselves. Including in some instances, the bride and the groom. And then we got a call…

Their bus, the third one, had broken down again. This time, in the middle of the jungle. Luckily, I wasn’t sure we could even use this word at that point, the bus stopped in a patch that had cell phone coverage. At this point, we gave up on buses all together and sent them three Innova’s instead.

Finally, they reached the estate and the party started. This did not in any way dim either the festivities or the spirits of any of the people involved. We partied till early in the morning notwithstanding the fact that the wedding was the next day.

Wedding morning dawned with all its promise and, err, hope that the damn transport would stop conking out on us. I think everyone watched the gates with bated breath until the convoy of vehicles (no buses anymore remember?) with the groom’s party rolled in.

On the other hand, we had a new set of problems. Starting from the minor, the makeup man was so hungover he couldn’t function, the camerawoman came down with a bad bout of food poisoning halving our photography crew, to the major, the bride aka Me had a massive anxiety attack and refused to come down to the mandap when called. I sat in the room trying to get a grip on my breathing as everyone ran around trying to get me to calm down. Our family doctor, one of the guests, asked if I’d like to take a pill to help with the nerves. Since I didn’t picture myself getting married while I was drugged or sedated, I got up, got a grip and marched downstairs. Yes, I do mean marched. Gracefully gliding was never part of my repertoire.

The reception, later that evening, went off uneventfully and was a blissfully relaxed and fun function. The next day, exhausted, partied out and very married, we set out for Hyderabad and real life. We were on the highway from Coorg to Bangalore, when my phone rang…the AC in the vehicle carrying the groom’s party had conked out.

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