The five of us sat in the hotel room playing a game of Raja-Rani-Chor-Police waiting for the other three to arrive. It was past 1 in the night, but sleep was one of the last things on my mind. Although I was the worst player in the game, I didn’t really care. All I wanted was to sit and chat with the amazing people whose company I enjoy the most.
As kids we awaited the summers with bated breath as it gave us a chance to meet up once again and share our school experiences. Hide-and-Seek was one of the games I enjoyed, even though I was no match for the others who found the most innovative places to hide. Sadly, the time zaps by. We suddenly have grown up, with our colleges and jobs. And that is the reason I grab every opportunity to spend time with my cousins, and cherish each moment all the more.
The special occasion which united us again after almost a year was my uncle/cousin’s (He’s actually my mom’s cousin, but almost the same age as my cousins…so I practically consider him one) wedding at Chitradurga. It had been about 12 hours since we reached there, and frankly, no amount of time I spent with them seemed to be enough.
Speaking of reaching Chitradurga, we reached there an hour before the groom himself (Well, it was Rahukala, an inauspicious time for the groom to arrive) and joked about the most random things while we waited for the remainder of our family to arrive.
Although it had been only my second week in Bengaluru, it felt really long. I haven’t really been without my family for long, and thus getting a chance to see my mom and sis was an added bonus. The icing on the cake was meeting my maternal grandmother. It felt like ages since I last saw her. Her face just lit up when she saw us at the wedding hall. I went down to her room in the evening after were allotted our rooms at a nearby hotel. Singing one of my favourite songs for her was one of the highlights of the trip for me. It just made me feel at peace, amidst all the chaos. She asked me to record and send her a few more (and that is definitely something I intend to do in the next couple of weeks).
The best part of the whole event for me was the reception in the evening. The lightning during the journey from the hotel to the hall (and the heavy rain on the way back) provided added to the wow factor of the event. The decorations were absolutely stunning. I really enjoyed the live classical music, however it was a shame that I recognised only one of the songs they played during the 3 hours of we spent there. Struggling to arrange our side of the family for the grand family picture was one of my most memorable 15 minutes of my life. The photographers had a hard time just making sure that everyone was visible. Meeting one of my youngest cousins – Advik was one of my most loved experiences. Although just 4 months old, he looked really amazing. I felt a little sad for the couple though, as everyone other than them had had a chance to go and enjoy the feast of a dinner.
At the hotel, we cousins had arranged for adjacent rooms, so that we could spend more time together. It was terribly late by the time we finished playing Raja-Rani-Chor-Police, but that didn’t stop us from playing Chain Reaction and Taboo. I especially loved Taboo, as it actually made us rack our brains hard (and managed to keep us awake). We were joined by our cousins who came from Goa at 2.30am. The eight of us played charades for an hour. It’s rather funny how high the decibel level goes while playing that game! We finally wrapped up at 3.45am and went to catch a few hours of sleep before the wedding ceremony in the morning. I really missed the company of my older cousins (or should I call them the gang-leaders?) as they were all abroad. I am sure we will find many more occasions to enjoy once they get back.
The wedding, like the reception the night before, was a grand event. And getting a chance to dress up for an occasion like that was an added bonus. We cousins had our own photo session, and needless to say, we enjoyed every bit of it. I can safely say that I will enjoy looking the weirdest of selfies in which we photobombed ourselves (I know it sounds absurd, but it was fun!) for the remainder of eternity. Revisiting crazy moments like these always brings a smile to my face.
While the others decided to visit the famous Chitradurga fort, my cousin Nitya and I changed into comfortable clothes for the bus journey back to Bengaluru that lay ahead. Three hours later, we found ourselves at Majestic, waiting to board another bus to get home.