Place: Wedding Hall
Time: 12.52 p.m.
Occasion: Cousin's wedding at some far away place
What's your frame of mind?
The first thought that comes to your head is, when the hell is the buffet going to start? You have probably not had your breakfast in hopes of having a sumptuous lunch, and waiting for the food is as difficult as waiting for your friend to tell you the juiciest gossip. So, you have no option to keep an eye on when the food counters are finally thrown open. With the other eye, you at least pretend that you are interested in listening to all relatives and friends who are gathered around you.
In one corner, you observe a stack of gaddis on which little boys and girls are loitering on. All bacche log are having the time of their life jumping, playing, and rolling about on the gaddis. And you envy them so much!
That's when one of your aunts lands up next to you and fires away the usual questions: how's your job, what's new with you, so when are your wedding bells ringing. You curse the caterers for not having opened the food counters. Then you could have wandered off to get some more of your favourite sabji, if nothing else. But now, you have no escape and you answer the questions as politely as possible.
You casually turn towards the bride and bridegroom and find that they are still engrossed in all the rituals. Most of the elderly people are watching whether the panditji is performing the shaadi rituals correctly. Perhaps they are remembering their own weddings and how scared and tired they were then.
Your attention is caught by the constant flashes from a camera. A group of youngsters, mostly beautifully decked up girls are having their pictures taken. They are mostly the bride's friends who have nothing more to do than wait for her to get done with the rituals and hope that their turn comes soon. Till then they will enjoy themselves fully. A few of them will also be on the lookout for handsome, still-single dudes. These guys are mostly the groom's friends and they too are flaunting themselves openly.
In the meanwhile, a small kid gets hurt in the gaddi-jumping play and bawls loudly for his mother. After a couple of minutes, the mother rushes to the child and takes him away. You are relieved not only because the child found his mother, but also because the bawling stopped.
A group of mostly men in their thirties and forties will be busy discussing the latest happenings. Every one will have an opinion about Obama's Nobel-prize-receiving speech, the Copenhagen summit, Kasab's case, and of course India's latest match.
And suddenly, you will find people thronging to the food counters like bees rushing to flowers and you know that you are finally saved from starvation.