The building next door is getting ready for a wedding. Third floor’s daughter is getting married for the second time.
This is unusual enough for my conservative neck of the woods to make for excited chatter, but what really adds spice to this bubbling pot is that the second groom is the girl’s once-spurned love, chased away by family, friends and muscled ‘well wishers’ because he was from a different ethnic community and language group. Besides, he wasn’t doing too well for himself. “How on earth can he support you?”, f, f and m. w-ws demanded of the then-forlorn girl, completely ignoring her cushy Government of India job which — with careful budgeting — could keep a husband and a child till the former found his feet.
Anyway, the entire neighbourhood’s eager to see how this wedding (and the subsequent marriage) pans out. Already, to their delight, there’s hint of delicious friction, only not from expected quarters.
Last night, while coming back from work, I heard Auntie-of-the-bride holding court at the corner of the morning walkers’ park. She was elaborating the brazen inconsiderateness of her niece, who apparently hadn’t come to terms with the fact that she was a divorced woman, being generously taken back by a man who hasn’t yet enjoyed a wedding of his own. Bowing and scraping to his once-spurned family was in order, but the stupid child wasn’t following the script.
“She says she doesn’t want a big ceremony, because it’s embarrassing to go through all that a second time”, Auntie complained, her tone a perfect blend of the stern and the derisive. “But I told her, ‘You don’t get to say anything! You’ve had your fun, now let your new in-laws decide what *they* want’. Why should I let her hang-ups deprive his family of their enjoyment, no? They didn’t have to agree to this. They had every right to refuse us. After all, she’s used goods, but he’s still fresh”.
Her minions all nodded in agreement. I stealthily took the longer detour home.