Indian marriages are believed to have been made in heaven but Indian weddings are definitely made in hell. From choosing the bride and groom, to making sure the guests are well attended to, the Indian wedding is a gala event with many pitfalls. This story traces the journey of an Indian girl, Nandini, as she juggles a college life and groom hunting with a painfully interfering family and her quest for her one true love and her family's quest for the perfect man.
"Maa, where is my bag? I am really late for class and I can't find it anywhere", a loud shriek was heard from the bedroom with the Do Not Disturb sign posted on the door. A black poster embossed with a pair of bones and a skull was also stuck under the red sign and it was accompanied by a photograph of two girls and a boy taken in the background of a beach. The door swung inwards as a girl, in obvious distress and in various stages of undress, stormed out.
Her heavy brown hair hung wildly down her waist and the last two buttons of her shirt were undone. Still wearing bathroom flip-flops, carrying an umbrella in one hand and a notebook in the other, she charged towards the sitting area. Not finding what she was looking for in there, she crossed the room and sprinted into the adjoining kitchen. Scents of fresh coriander and clarified butter wafted from inside, but not noticing any of it, the girl rushed into the kitchen.
"Maa, what are you doing? I have been shouting for you for half an hour. I can't find my bag and I am already very late for class. Please help me find it in my room. I left it on my bedside table but it's not there anymore. Ask Panna Lal where he's kept it."
"Take a breath Nannu or you may just fall dead on your face. It's in your closet. I kept it inside this morning when I saw it lying on the floor beside your bed. Now get dressed quickly and I have breakfast waiting. Don't be long." Her last couple of sentences were addressed to the retreating back of her scurrying daughter as she banged open her bedroom door and retrieved her bag from the closet. Throwing it on the bed, she put her umbrella and notebook inside it and then stretched out to pick up her laptop and slid it inside the bag as well.
Sighing with relief, she buttoned up her shirt and picked up a brush from the dresser to take care of her frizzy mane. Roughly brushing her hair with one hand while looking for her sandals, she took a sip from the tumbler of milk standing on the dresser. Finding a pair of denim ballerinas near the foot of her bed, she took off her flip-flops and slid her feet into them.
Rushing towards the dresser and staring at her reflection in the mirror, she muttered to herself, "All this ruckus had to be today. It's just my luck. Stupid presentation on the third day of college. Whoever sets these things up? Shit shit, what's the time? Already ten past nine. You better get your stuff together, Nandini Sehgal, or you'll be in serious trouble today." Throwing the hairbrush on the dresser, she picked up a kohl stick and a tube of gloss and picking up her bag from the bed, hurried out of her room.
"Maa, I'm going. No time for breakfast. See you at six." Rushing out the front door, she didn't pause when she heard her mother shouting from the kitchen about omelettes and orange juice and just headed to her car. Swinging the door open, she was relieved to see the key in the ignition and mentally thanked Panna Lal for his presence of mind. Another prayer was addressed to the Lord for making sure her ancient car managed to zip through the heavy traffic of New Delhi without incident and in time for her horrific presentation.