Something I thought could be very exciting!!!
That day was a usual day at college. Lectures were over and we were lazing around in the canteen over poha and chai. Prashant too was there with us. He read out the invitation … ‘You are cordially invited with family and friends…’
Now, when you are away from home for a long time, things like good food, dressing up, mingling with guys other than your boring batchmates are things that turn you on... ‘Cordially invited with family and friends’ struck the same chord among all 10 of us.
Prashant called out… 'Those who want to come for the reception, please raise your hands'... (the professor effect :P). Shamelessly I raised my hand… then I saw 9 other shameless people around me.
My friend Shagufta, a typical tomboy, and a total extrovert did the head count aloud. Prashant was visibly baffled; he was just being formal... Shagufta was just being normal!!!
Poor Prashant had to maintain that friendly gesture and said 'Yes yes... why not' and turned to the rest of us... one by one people started making excuses and began dropping out.
I badly needed a feast. Shagufta had been away from home for her graduation as well. Probably that made her hungrier for good food. She gave me the sternest look and said… 'Priya... you are not dropping out... We'll just be eating a tiny portion of the food from soooo much food... wont harm anyone'. I was game and thought it will be fun to try out. Gate crashing was something I always wanted to do. I accepted.
She gave the pleading 'please don’t drop out' look to another close friend Jay. Guess what… boys always agree and so did Jay.
'Aah that looks better'...
Shagufta and I thought Jay was definitely deciding what he should wear!!
We rang the bell... and banged the door... Jay called from inside... 'Come in... Door is open'. We went in to see him playing some super fast car game on his PC - dressed in shorts and a tee shirt!!! We were irritated!!!
Only then did Jay actually notice us. After all boys will be boys… switch off the TV or PC… only then their minds open up. He pushed back the chair and sprang up the moment he saw us... to him we were overly dressed for a usual evening - he least expected that we would actually dare to barge into the reception… uninvited.
Jay tried the ‘hurt the ego’ stunt on me. 'Priya!!! I never expected this from you...class topper doing such things just doesn’t suit you'. Shagufta came to my rescue... 'Jay, good food is waiting for us... but its not waiting for us forever... are you coming... now!!!' I stood there smiling at him with a 'serves you right' look.
We helped him find something to wear. Actually to make sure we don’t look overly dressed we dug out his most ethnic kurta and made him decide on that.
Jay is someone who was very conscious about his looks.
He looked at the kurta and at then at us… 'Are you girls sure I should wear this?'
Shagufta said 'Of course yes Jay... simple yet elegant'.
'Absolutely... all the girls at the reception would go crazy over you', I added.
That did it. Jay was ready in a minute and we were out with Prashant in the next 5 minutes.
Seeing only three of us, Prashant looked a lot more relieved than in the morning. He got the company he wanted instead of the crowd!!! Prashant called for an auto and gave Phansalkar Ma’am’s residence address.
The boys were embarrassed. Shagufta was angry… may have been hungry too. I was lost. Prashant rushed to the security guard to find out where the reception was happening. It was happening at a hall just behind Jay's house. Jay could not hold back his anger. We could not hold back our laughter. Jay sighed 'Aaah!!! Too much', Prashant the perfect host said... 'Come on let’s rush no more delay'... Shagufta promptly agreed with a 'Yes yes!!!'... I was more practical... 'Bhaiya, Shivaji Nagar'... I called out for an auto.
We finally reached the hall and stepped in. The big fans at the entrance, the red carpet, the potted plants along the walk way, food counters visible at a distance - this was the wedding venue!!!
After a while, our course coordinator walked in. We began hiding ourselves behind each other, in the process revealing all 3 of us. Sir smiled at us and spoke very normally. Some other staff members were also sweet enough to speak to us. We are sure... behind those smiles they were thinking... 'How come these people are here’?
Finally the inevitable happened. Phansalkar Ma’am spotted us. She saw our pink faces and tried to calm us down... "I'm sooo happy you'll came for the wedding... Don’t you'll leave without eating" she said pulling my cheeks like a typical aunty. "Tell her that's exactly why we're here' Shagufta whispered in my ear... I was confused how to react... and simply nodded. Prashant and a couple of other staff members were laughing at us for the rest of the evening.
Finally after all this, we headed to the food counter... and ate to our fullest. We were so shameless we did not even wish the couple, nor did we present them anything. We just ate and ate and ate.
The next day at college was good fun. We told long stories about our act of bravery. Our batch mates realized we were lying when we skipped Operations Research lectures for the rest of the term.