When I reached the station, I found that the talkative one who was supposed to join us the next day in Ernakulam was travelling with us on Friday, and the girl, Natana, who was supposed to be travelling with us on Friday, would be joining us on Sunday morning instead. Since Jigulu knew nothing about all this commotion, we decided to surprise her. Jigulu and the Talkative One are very close and the latter was to even become Jigulu's bridesmaid, incase, there was a goof up in the wedding.
Day 1: We got off the train without a wink of sleep, only because passengers who were proceeding onwards on to Sabarimala, decided that 4.30am was the most appropriate time to create some noise. Once we get off, JIgu's cousin, K offers to carry my bag while the other two look in amazement. Their bags were heavier, I guess. The two of us carry on with our polite conversation, totally oblivious to their comments. Then Kiran decided to have some fun with the Talkative one, and rolled the car slowly everytime we tried to get in. That was wicked fun. Finally we reached home.
Jigulu's parents were waiting for us outside to welcome us. We were shown to our room, and were left to clean up. After a short photo session post clean-up, we headed downstairs for a scumptous breakfast. Jigulu's family was amazing. Their hospitality is something that each one of us can learn from. Right from the moment we stepped in, we were treated like stars, and more importantly, with genuine care and affection. What more could three strangers from Chennai ask for?
We ate the most amazing plum cake, churuttu-a kerala dessert, idlis with two chutneys and sambhar, and wheat halwa, that was just divine. We then gulped down a cup of hot tea. We were so famished that we cleaned our plates completely.
The three of us then decided to take a walk, when Jigulu's father who was driving down asked us if we would like to join him on his way to town. Wihout any hesitation, I expressed my delight and jumped into the jeep much to the shock of my two comrades and mabe Jigu's father as well. En route, we picked up Jigu's mom and aunt. It was quite a funny sight. The three of us sitting in the backseat of the jeep, chennaiites, introduced to every member who got into the jeep. All this while, Jigu had disappeared with her fiancee for some early breakfast and was unawre of the surprise. When I spoke to her, she could not wait to see her surprise, and jumped and shrieked, when she saw her best pal in the jeep. It was such a wonderful moment. We later headed to Anns House of Sweets, which is a famous bakery in Ernakulam. It is inside a mall past the harbour.
Evening, we all got ready for the family party and we had a great photo shoot of the beautiful bride to be. She was dressed in an orange Georgette saree with chamki work done. She wore the neklace her mom had worn for her reception, so the moment was very special. The bride's smile and personality took on the saree with elegance and charm. She even managed to sweep off the photographer off his feet and the latter followed her with his crew, asking her to pose for some million shots. Later, when the party got underway, the three of us were asked to speak off gigulu and we used it well. To me, it was very very special because when we met, we were just colleagues and I suddenly found myself at one of her engagement. Our friendship had come a long way. We have never spent a great deal of time with each other, but yet there was a certain sense of regard that we had for each other. I was glad I was there.
The other two joined us and we shrieked with joy when we met. It was so natural and so much fun. We immediately took a whole bunch of crazy pics, showing off our butts (with the pants on), blowing kisses, bunching up as a group, it was endless fun. We finally got dressed adn went downstairs to surprise Jigulu with our surprise guest. The bride surprised us by saying that she was aware of Natana;s arrival,all thanks to Pasta who had blurted it out the previous night. The bride looked breath taking in her pinkish red saree with a heavy gold border. Jewellery was from Kerala. On the whole, she looked ready to conquer the world in her stunning outfit that also included those golden slippers. It may sound jazzy when you read the description, but you got to see it to believe what I say.
When we reached the Banquet Hall, we were given the first row reserved for guests, to sit along with the bride!! We were so taken aback with the treatment that befitted royalty rather than us lesser mortals. The entire morning was spent with the blushing bride. The groom seemed like a really nice chap, one of those sturdy ones. The couple looked so happy together and complemented each other really well. On the way back to the station, we stopped at a bakery to buy plum cake and other stuff. From there, we headed to the Mall, which opened to the Harbour. It was such a lovely sight. I was too tired and had already slumped into a chair at the cafe in the Mall. The bride joined me in her quest for some rest. More photos followed. Then we followed the train schedule!
These moments were special. Words are never enough to express the affection that had brought all of there on that momentous day. I guess special people deserve special gifts and nothing beats the gift of friendship', which is the greatest gift of all.
On this note, I would also like to add that on the return journey, the five of us bonded well. We shared jokes, laughter, serious conversations and built bridges which I hope will stand the test of time.
The next day, Jigulu mailed as thanking us for making her day special 'cos of the presence of her friends.
At that moment, it occured to me that life is made up of these small bits of happiness. It is not about your life, but the joy you bring into other's lives by these small acts of love. I was glad I was there for my friend.