A cousin ties the knot tomorrow. The golden, jewel-studded knot of prospective marital bliss. We will all be dressing up in finery and going to this banquet hall that will have music and good food. I can already see myself gazing at her wedding sari and the glowing lights overhead.
I have always been fascinated by weddings. Yes, I hate it when you have to stand all alone and look at groups of people chattering away among themselves. That would happen to me when I was in school and was taken to weddings of every A, B and C who lived within ten miles of our block. Now, this wedding doesn’t come with such scenarios as I will be familiar with many of the people who will be turning up. In another time, I would have spent hours getting my outfit ready and sorting out jewellery. But my mind is preoccupied.
The day after the wedding, I will be travelling. Quite a lot of travelling. It will be a new city and a new village and an experience that lies merrily shrouded in mist. I have no idea what will transpire in that new land though I have been preparing to unravel the mist for a long time now. I sound lost do I not? But my mind is preoccupied.
What preoccupies my mind, do you ask?
Well it is simple. The day I will walk away from the new village – precisely on the 7th – I will be flying to – hold your breath – Pune! Sheesh. And we thought you were going vacationing with R to Africa’s land of lions. Now, Pune may not exactly be a universal Wonderland, but for this Alice, it certainly is.
(Come to think of it, wouldn’t it have been grand had this post been in first person? I mean, the wedding bit…)
I wish there would be no return flights to catch. I wish I could unlock my former flat and sneak into the corner bed with its yellow quilt. The curtains would be dancing in the breeze and there would be a lone flower on the mantlepiece…
I have a couple of interviews lined up in Pune. Two, actually. And then there is one more later in the month. So that boils down to almost a week in the city. When I am done being interviewed, R and I can go check out if Art Beat still serves palak paneer and has the same smiling guy to wait on us. We can also go dine in Good Luck Cafe and relish some of the amazing khaana. To save myself being labelled a glutton, I also plan a trip to Chaturshringhi Temple, ICC, F.C. Road and J.M. Road. I wonder if these places will recognize me from March last year.
It’s been a long while away from Pune. Now that I think of it, it surprises me how long I have been away! How did I spend the long and lazy summer afternoons? Did the monsoon and its first rain not tantalize me? Did I actually get through Christmas without an aww moment at the decorations in Pune Central? I shake my head in dismay. I actually did.
I apologize, Pune. But I am coming back to make amends. It may be only a week now but if you forgive me, it might be a lifetime. The way R and I adulate you – gosh, you should be beaming from your left ear to the right.
God. Pray there be no detour(s) whatsoever now. Wish me lots of luck and get set going with me to ace every hurdle. Here I come!