I first heard his name and saw his picture in early 2010 when the two of them went to Mexico for an MBA exchange program. My earliest memories include thinking he’s cute and listening to him talk in the background while she and I skyped about some inconsequential things like pretty beaches of Cancun and unemployment all at the same time.
She thinks I am twisted and unpredictable. She has been clearer about what’s good for me and what’s not far more than I ever have. But just like me, she is not so great at managing her own shit. Enter Baiju Hindocha.
A few months passed before I was formally told that whatever was going on kinda had a meaning to it. I knew it was never going to be meaningless. That’s not her shit. And he knew that well.
I do not remember anything from my first meeting with him, except that she was totally smitten. A few months later, she and I had an argument which he seemed to read better than she did. That’s when I first took him seriously.
Months passed, I heard a lot about IMT parties and events and placements and more drama and how none of it apparently bothered him much. It was impressive.
He is one of the rare few people, or perhaps the only one, who is not in my immediate circle of friends and yet I have an alcoholic bond with. Yes, that’s a type. We downed a few drinks together on her 24th birthday and that’s when I finally loosened up and accepted him.
Through these years, I have seen him hold her hand through the craziest of times and never once frown about anything being said or done around him. I have to admit, he is pretty awesome!
When it was my time and responsibility to ensure she looked at things sensibly, I did my best. Y’know, I am pretty awesome too!
So finally after a WHOLE lot of drama, they got engaged in the summer of 2013. I planned so much for that occasion that I just missed it. Just like that.
But I was not going to miss this shaadi. I was almost living in her house for those three days. Yes, when the cats start hanging by your clothes, you are pretty much an occupant of the Kapoor House. In other words, every member of that house welcomed me as someone more than a guest – more than a friend of the bride. I LOVED running up and down to facilitate the chooda process, I loved being the first one in for her mehendi evening, I loved being the last one to get mehendi on my hands, I loved it that her mom expected me to take care of some things. My muscles ached from all the dancing to the dhol, but I loved every moment of it, including the slight awkwardness.
I thought she looked gorgeous that day. My camera and the new lens agreed. I was very happy and satisfied.
More muscle ache looking for a stupid photocopier in an unknown place for 60 minutes just so I could take a print of her speech, forgetting that printout at home, having five glasses of wine, shedding tears of happiness for a second consecutive night, posing like crazy at the photo booth, telling her sister-in-law of my very own Gujju romantic interest (hic!), and talking endlessly while Lynn drove me back home was that awesome cocktail night at a super pretty rooftop venue. I ate something that I loved but have no recollection of. Show me the menu again, someone!
With a horrible hangover and crazy shit going on in office, I focused on her haldi and tried getting some more pretty pictures. I was loving it!
It meant a lot to me that she asked me to be with her while she got dressed for her big day. She had earlier told me that she considers me to be her sister. I had cried then. Through all this she treated me like a sister. It overwhelmed me. But it was so exciting watching her transform into this stunningly beautiful bride. The folks there did something to my hair and I looked half-decent too. 😛
She is the only bride I know of who made fun of herself on the wedding night. You really had to be there to witness the madness that that hour was.
I wish I had stayed for the pheras. When she formally signed up with him for life. I wish I had stayed, not so much to see her happy, but to see how he expressed what he felt.
I haven’t seen them since. Soon, at the pending photo shoot, I hope.
Here’s wishing them not just a happy new year, but a lifetime of togetherness through the real shit that will begin now. I am sure she will struggle, but I am surer that they will sail through.
With all my heart and a lot of love,