Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Marriage - an event of epic proportions

A scientist from ISRO had once said in a lecture that, a man must do 3 deeds in order to redeem himself as a human being. One of them is "performing a marriage" and I have forgotten other two :-) I guess the "constructing a home" must be the other deed.

I can proudly brag that I have fulfilled one of the deeds, at a fairly young age ;-). Am I young? well, I am listening to "18 till I die" by Bryan Adams, as I type these lines!!

OK, straight to the fact, I am talking about my sister's marriage. Though it is well over 3 months ago, I had been thinking of writing my experiences somehow today I felt, if I don't write today I might never write. So before memories fade, I want to put them in words. I would be utter selfish if I don't thank and acknowledge all my aunts and uncles for supporting me in fulfilling this great responsibility.
April 14th, the Sunday was the auspicious day .
These are my experiences and feelings about conducting a marriage. It gave me a lot of strength to believe in myself that I can do bigger things. I cherish every moment of it. It was an amazing experience, and possibly only solace for not having an elder sibling(I always craved that I needed an elder sibling!!). Here I go...

I never considered myself as responsible and important before my sister's marriage discussions started. When I confronted the question of "giving and taking" (as it is commonly known as "ಕೊಡುವುದು - ಬಿಡುವುದು") I felt a sharp shiver down the spine. I was speechless because I wasn't prepared for such question.
As month of April approached, things gained a fulminant momentum. I got a very sensitive project at office, for which I had to reschedule my vacation plans. I had to slog day and night in office and there were endless things to be done at home. For some strange reason, I was never tensed. My mother was opposite, she appeared to have taken my part of tension also.
I had no clue of what all to do and how to do. I must say that things just fell into place. Everything has become a package system. It all depends on how much money one is willing to shell out. Flower decoration, nadaswara, marriage hall decoration and such things just happen based on the package one opts for. So I did not have to worry about these things. The other important item is booking a good cook. I met 3~4 cooks and settled to one after getting feedbacks.
Biggest work was the distribution of wedding cards. Luckily my uncle had bough a car and learnt driving too!! It was like "My Autograph" feeling for me as I visited all relative's homes, with whom I had not even spoken for many years. It is very emotinal bit for me, as most of them recognized me. We had to be very careful not to miss anyone. As it leads to some misunderstandings. I had to go to Attibele on a weekday because we had missed inviting few people there. The routine was slogging in office on weekdays and distributing wedding invites on weekends. There was no scope was "rest".
Those were crazy days, and I still repent for my foolishness of forgetting inviting my friends. I always wanted to invite all personally so did not even e-mail anybody. I still managed to invite few of my colleagues on a raining Friday evening.
So far things were happening at a manageable pace and it was manageable to catch some Z's.
Friday went so fast, I wasn't home during "Devata karya". My mama and I went to the marriage hall at 1AM in the night with Chiroti Rava that was missed out from groceries. We had dinner at 2 AM there, that we had packed from home. There was no time to sleep before saturday. Saturday after packing and sending all guests to the hall, I found myself and two cousin sisters left. So I took them on my bike. The whole events so far appeared so casual that things were just happening, there was just enough time to act. When I reached the hall, it was full of activity.
I was bombarded with so many things by so many people, I am just amazed at my patience. It was like I was expected to know everything and it was my big mistake that something was missing. For example, Ice for evening juice!! How on earth will I know, if the cook himself forgets it. I peacefully managed to find somebody to get the things or went myself to get some things. During all these chaos I just notice that the reception had already started, the bride and groom were already standing at the podium and there were already guests wishing the couple. I was still wearing old T shirt and tracks, soaked in filthy sweat. I was so overwhelmed by the things happening at kitchen, I almost forgot it was my sister's wedding. I rushed to make myself presentable with a decent attire. By that time the hall was full with guests. Again I was caught in the job of accompanying few guests for the photograph and attending the dining hall to see everything was going fine. In spite of all my efforts I found that some batch of people did not receive "tamboola" after dinner. For that also, some people accused me as if I did it knowingly.
Finally the penultimate day was complete with everything going well. I got appreciations for the food, for which I should thank the cook for not spoiling anything. There were many other "shasthra"s that night, we were all watching and cracking some jokes and that was the only time for relaxing. My cousin tempted me with a few hours of kipping down and we managed to lie down on the floor(literally, we slept on floor).
I must have slept for an hour or so, my aunt woke me up shouting that there was no water in the bath room. I wondered what I could do to get water at 4 AM in the morning. I found my mother furious that we forgot the "peTa" for the groom. What on earth could I do now. One of my uncle took responsibility of getting the "peTa" before it was needed and that cooled down my mother. Then an uncle and I went to the terrace to see what was the problem with water. We found that the tanks were indeed empty and boiler was out of firewood. We got the maintenance person to switch on borewell and I started filling boiler with firewood and lighted it. Wow... what all I was doing!!! At least all the people who took hot water bath on that day, should thank me. I deserve that ;-).
Same rushing events made me running around from kitchen to marriage hall to temple. When I just managed to have breakfast, I got a call on my mobile that "taaLi" was being tied and where was I. I rushed immediately, after all I was doing all the things for that "holy" ceremony and I couldn't miss that. By the tme I reached the mantap, my sister was already there. I had imagined myself bringing her from room to the mantap, but everything was over here. Before I could get hold of things, "taaLi" was tied. And it was over, the biggest event of my life was over, and it took few moments for me to realize that.
Few hours later the hall was empty. My sister was ready on her journey to her new home and beginning of new life. I was still lagging behind to comprehend the events. I was preoccupied with remaining things like how to get all my relatives and other stuff to my home, all the payments I had to make and keeping accounts of everything. At the gate I saw everyone in tears, to send off my sister to her new home. Somehow, there was no drop of tear in my eyes. I have no idea, if I was indifferent or I had already prepared for this time or I was overwhelmed by the gravity of events.
Somehow I managed to send everyone and eveything home. Finally only myself and my best buddy, my bike were there. I bid a goodbye to the marriage hall and was on my way to home. Somehow I felt very light as if I was flying. I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
One question I ask myself is, for every marriage that takes place, is there a person like me who faces all such things? Was it really needed or was I over indulging myself? I don't know. But if there is anything that I regret in the whole event, that is I was never part of the marriage. I felt like I was standing outside and making sure that things were happening. I mean I never felt that "I did" anything. There are many more events, incidents that kept me on my toes.
Anyway, I don't know if I fulfilled my duties as a good brother to a sister, but I am sure I scored full marks as a human being.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

My New Companion - Ritzy Ritz

Finally all planets aligned on Friday, 3rd July and I found myself in the driver seat of my Ritz, driving it out of Sagar Automobiles on Bannerghatta Road!!!

Yes!! I have found myself a companion!! Ritzy Ritz.

After a lot of study and comparisons, exploring the new world of 4 wheel automobiles... I finally zeroed in on the Maruti Suzuki Ritz, ZXi. Have a look at it, how ritzy it is, after a 1.5 hour back breaking washing!!

But rain gods made sure that my Ritzy stays out of 'dhrishty' by showering some drops of rain after I took this picture!! But I am not moved, I will wash it again tomorrow!!

Background: When I decided to upgrade myself with couple of extra wheels, I started exploring all new 4 wheeler automobile world. Its a world of its own. The decision making was very complex.
Petrol or Diesel? The price difference for a diesel engine, takes about 50000+ kms to break even. That is almost half the life of the engine, though the FIAT 1.3L internation engine of the year seem to defy the diesel engine philosophy. So after my own study and consulting friends, I decided to go for Petrol.

There is hardly any choice in this category. My preference was a hatchback, small car. Swift tops the list. I10, I20(though a bit expensive), Inidca Vista Saffire, and then newly announced Ritz. My mind was thinking of waiting till Jazz and Grande Punto too. But I knew they would be out of my budget.
Then Test drove Ritz and I20 and liked both. Vista was ruled because of Tata's poor after sales service(read in reviews). Swift was ruled out as it has become ubiquitous on roads and also average performance of petrol engine.
The K12 series 1.2l engine of Ritz seemed to be impressive(source www.team-bhp.com). Also the design, especially rear design is, I should say different!! And it is built on Swift platform, looks almost like Swift from front. I20 is on the expensive side, though I was impressed very much by the features it boasts.

So Ritzy and I were destined to be companions. I decided to opt of ZXi, fully loaded. It is packed with ABS with EBD, MP3 player with FM, stearing mounted audio controls, company fitted security system, alloy wheels with wider tyres(185/70) to name a few features.

First drive impression - Awesome. It is almost impossible to tell if the engine is on without looking at the RPM meter. So life is going to be more fun and exciting!!!