31st December, 9:30 pm, Chattarpur farms, New Delhi.
Pooja Kapoor weds Raj Malhotra.. Read the invite in Krish's hand.
The wedding mandap was a huge fake opera house with a fake lake and sleepy swans. Big Chandeliers and heady flowers hung all around. Ladies with noodle straps and more shimmer and shine than the Sun, bustled around. Men were attired in more colours than the rainbow itself. Gargantuan bodies gyrated frenziedly on the fragile dance floor to the latest Yo Yo chart busters. Somehow the bonechilling cold seemed to bother none. Booze flowed like water with enough food to feed the army. It was pure ostentation at display.
Krish surveyed the chaos around and mulled," She had always wanted this.." As the pain kicked in, he signalled to the overworked bartender for another large tequila shot. Suddenly a hand reached out of no where, plucked the refill and gulped it down. Krish stared at the bearer of that arm and blurted out..
"You are a woman!"
"Yes Einstein! I am.. so?"
"You are fully clothed.. In leather!!"
"You are a genius. I am not here to revel and participate in this.. This freak show"
She did a bottoms up with another large.
"Hey, hey take it easy. Otherwise you will..."
"Silly setting for a wedding. Silly ideas of a silly bride. Who is this social upstart, Pooja Kapoor? Bloody LS!! Trapped my Raju into doing.. This!!"
"Hold on ! Don't you dare say anything against my Poo Da"
"Poo! Boo hoo! Why are you so possessive about this Pooja? What's the deal with Poo da?"
"That's what I have always called her. Is your Raju a docile dork, waiting to be trapped by a sweet little angel?"
"Sweet little angel ? Pooja ?? Blah !!! No!! not at all and Raju is great. You should meet him. It's all Kookie Auntie's fault. She always had these strange tastes. She made me go around in those ridiculous shiny slippery sarees and barely there blouses. I always fell ill after attending her parties. I even learnt to.."
"Hold on. Now, who is this Kookie aunty?"
"Raju's mother. You see, she poisoned Raju's mind, turned him against me."
"Why would she even bother to do that?"
"Because I was to be the original Mrs Raj Malhotra! Now go, get me another drink"
Wordlessly Krish did as asked. Once her thirst was satiated, he continued...
"By the way, I'm Krish ! Krishna Mohan. Kookie auntie rejected a beautiful girl like you!! Mind you, my Poo da is beautiful too. More feminine."
"Oh really! That's a huge relief. Like I care! And I'm Satya. What's with you and Pooja darling?"
"I love her. I thought she did too. We grew up together. I slaved for her smile.. Her approval!! I worked hard, went to the best schools, did a stint abroad. I earn in dollars you know? I treated her like a princess. But... I couldn't be a Kapoor. So there was no marriage happening. I was always a safe bet for her.. To try stuff! You know.. You understand right?"
"You mean.... You and Pooja!! Ho ho !! Serves him right."
"What's your story Satya?"
"Hmmm..Kookie auntie is all about money. She and my mother were kitty party friends. I loved Raju very much. I liked my hair long, sort of playing on my face. Raju liked it short. In fact for him everything had to be short and snappy. No lingering of tastes or savouring of flavours. Everything had to be instant and in your face. He did not have a single artistic tendency. I am an MBA, you know, working with a multinational. Raju barely managed to graduate and then joined his family business. It was a tough job going out with him. We would always end up fighting. But still, I tried.. I remember how much my mother cried when Raju came to my house, to tell me that I wasn't his type. He had already met Pooja, you see. Their respective fathers had seen a profitable future in their being together..."
And they talked and talked. It was as if they had been thick friends before. The common pain, the sense of betrayal opened the flood gates, opened new channels of communication. A sort of communion of kindred spirits. They shared similar interests, fears and hopes. The surrounding crowd and chaotic noise seemed to blur and it was only two of them.
Close to midnight, it was the time for the final act in the marriage ceremonies.
Satya said "Let's raise a toast for the happy couple. One large for each Phera!"
Needless to say that they did not last beyond the fifth Phera. They both passed out in unison, out in the cold. Some friendly cleaner helped them out at the break of dawn.
Next day as Krish nursed his hangover, his first call was on Mrs Pooja Malhotra. He badgered her Raj to part with Satya's number.
Satya played it real cool, when Krish called her over for coffee. It was as if, she had been expecting his call.
Coffee and Conversations have flowed ever since. A year later, Satya has consented to walk with Krish, into the Sunset.
Krish remains eternally grateful to Poo da and Raju. But for their wedding on 31st December..
Krish would not have met Satya. Sparks flew. Life happened .. again.