The “Just Married, Please Excuse” Contest

So, the very funny Yashodhara of Y On Earth Not, has a book out. I expected nothing less from her. Although how she managed three kids, a job and brought out a book, will always be a mystery to me. Titled Just Married, Please Excuse, it is pretty much autobiographical, telling the tale of Yash and Vijay’s courtship, and the early years of their marriage. While I’ve had the pleasure of learning her voice through her blog, nothing prepared me for the book. Kahani mein action hai, emotion hai, aur drama bhi hai. I’ll admit I wasn’t too excited before I picked it up, because hey, I read her blog… I know how this story ends. But it’s a whole different thing to have the gaps filled in and handed to you in the form of a book.

I read it through the night, fully knowing where it was going. And I guess that is the triumph of her writing. It keeps you engaged and amused to the very last page. I’m not going to tell you anymore – so buy the book.  What I will do though, is tell you a story of the OA and I, just after we got married. But before that, some stories from the week just before we got married. This is an entry for a contest she is running and since I love Mamagoto’s food enough to sell my kids and park myself there for a lifetime, I’m participating in the hope of winning a meal. Yes, I’m cheap like that.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that the OA and I had a rather filmy love story. Dashing Hindu boy meets shy Christian girl. Pursues her until she gives in. Suddenly realises he should have been working on his parents instead of her, but it’s too late. Boy’s parents dig their heels in, boy decides to follow his heart and the girl. Boy and girl struggle to put him through post grad college and true love triumphs.

This is where this story begins. Convocation was over and as he tossed his cap into the air, I felt a surge of pride. We’d done this without anyone else. A lot of other students had significant others attending, but they also had parents. We were a lonesome twosome with no adults (I still thought of myself as not-quite-an-adult) there for us. Our wedding was a week later so his parents were at the height of their outrage and mine were busy organising the event.

The next day we had a train to catch back to my hometown. Two heavy suitcases dragged to the gate, friends hugging at every step, congratulations being shouted out (he was the first getting married straight off campus), plans being made… and we were late for the train by, oh.. about an hour already.

As the cab pulled in to the station we heard the train whistle. We had it all planned. He’d rush ahead and pull the chain to stop the train. I’d follow with the coolies and the luggage. He raced off and I started running, urging the coolies to keep up. We jumped down on to the filthy tracks, clambered on to the next platform and repeated the exercise until we reached the correct platform. As I clambered on to the last filthy platform, my hands a mess, my teeshirt filthy, the train jerked to life and phlegmatically began to pull out. I screamed for the OA, frantically looking up and down the platform. He was nowhere to be seen. And then I saw him wave in my face as his coach flashed by me. “Throw me that suitcase,” he yelled. And I made the coolie throw one in. The train chugged on, picking up speed and I made the coolie throw the next one in to another coach. By now the OA was far ahead, while the other coolie was running alongside, collecting his earnings and giving change. I kept running along, realising (to my horror) that the end of the platform was nigh. I might have made a jump for it but the heavy bag on my shoulder would weigh me down. I needed someone to pull me into the train. But the love of my life, soon to be husband, was riding a train and disappearing into the sunset – without me.

And then, DDLJ style, a hand shot out of the coach and a stranger’s voice called my name. It was not the OA’s hand – the OA’s ugly, stubby fingers cannot be mistaken and this was a beautifully made, strong brown, male hand – but I didn’t care. I grabbed hold and the hand pulled me in with little effort, just as the platform came to an end. I gasped in relief and looked up at my rescuer in surprise. Who could he be? He was the OA’s batchmate and had taken the liberty to help when he saw me in need. I thanked him profusely and headed off to find the OA and tell him what I thought of being thrown over for a couple of suitcases of books.

Of course, being the OA and I, we were as disorganised as ever and the reservations had been done too late, with the result that we had only one berth to share all the way back. The last couple of days in college had been stressful and he looked exhausted, so I generously forgave him and obligingly squeezed myself into a corner so that he could get some sleep. The hours flew by and we pulled into another station. He opened one eye and I asked him, solicitiously if he’d like a cup of tea. He nodded, turned over and went back to sleep. Telling myself that the poor man needed some TLC, I headed off to hunt for some tea. I found one chaiwala eventually and he was mobbed. I waited my turn and as he handed me my cups, he said, “Madam, isn’t that the train you were on?”

Were on??

I turned around to see the train was pulling out of the platform and leaving me behind, for the second effing time that day. Flinging down the hard-earned, steaming cups of tea, I ran along the train again, the speed just that bit too much for me to risk my life. I hoped and prayed that the OA had realised I was not on the train and was looking for me. I should have known better.

Once again, a voice called my name and the now familiar hand popped out. I grabbed without a thought and jumped on to the train. The OA’s friend had seen me get off the train and realised I’d not got back on when it started. I pledged my firstborn to him and rushed to wake the OA and tell him of how misfortune was following me. He opened an eye, heard me out and then, disappointment writ large on his face, said, “You mean you didn’t get any chai?”

At that moment I deeply regretted not having managed to get the chai. I could have flung it in his face.

And yes, dear readers, I married him inspite of that. Shoulda married the other guy. He’s married too, now, by the way. Too late.

————————

But picture abhi baaki hai mere dost.

The night before the wedding we were a raucous household. Family from all around the world was staying at our place and of course the OA too. He had to be, considering he had nowhere else to go. He was part of my mehendi, I was part of his cocktail party. As we called it a night, happy and exhausted, my Uncle who was down from Australia after a gazillion years, recklessly volunteered to make breakfast and his desi favourite, mango lassi for everyone. But he needed some help. The distinct lack of enthusiasm from the rest of the family didn’t deter him. Finally, the OA, drunk as a skunk and always up for anything food related, offered to help. Yes, you can always tell which ones are not related to us by blood, because they enjoy cooking. No one in my bloodline is a happy cook! Heck, that’s why we live in India and hire people to do it.

Anyhow, he woke up at the crack of dawn and began to help Uncle. I, naturally, after all that   train-chasing, was getting some much-needed beauty sleep. An old family friend came by to see us in the early hours of the morning. She was too old to attend the wedding and reception at night, and wanted to wish us in advance.

Ma settled her into the living room and said she’d just sent someone to wake me up and I’d be awake and down in a minute.

The lady nodded understandingly and said, ‘What about the groom? Where is he?’

Oh, said Ma, he’s in the kitchen.

Right, said the sweet old lady… ‘having breakfast, I suppose?’

No, said Ma. She is honest to a fault. “He’s cooking it.”

It would not be an exaggeration to say the old lady almost fell off her chair.”Look, I know his parents are against the marriage, but surely you can’t treat him this way because he has no one standing up for him!”

I still split my sides laughing over this one. And yes, of course we cleared that up.

—————-

Now while the idea was not to ill treat the OA because no one was standing up for him, we’re not the sort of family to stand on ceremony and give him son-in-law treatment either. And that is how he found himself on the railway station with my brother, at the ungodly hour of 4 am, picking up family coming in on a delayed train. Everyone was pulling their share of weight and I don’t think either we or he, even considered doing it any other way.

My grandmother and her siblings arrived and my brother introduced the OA by name to them. They weren’t particularly enthusiastic in their greeting and the OA and my brother put it down to age and exhaustion on their part. A lazy red glow spread as the sun rose and they drove home in silence until my granduncle asked my monosyllabic brother if he could take him to visit his old college, in our hometown. This is how the conversation went.

Granduncle: I studied in this city, 45 years ago. Do you think you could take me to see my old college?

Tambi: Actually Thatha, we’re pretty busy with the wedding arrangement and your college is on the outskirts of the city. We may not get the time.

Granduncle gesturing towards the OA: What about him? Can he take me?

Tambi: No, Thatha, he doesn’t know his way around the city. He’s not from here.

Granduncle, looking disappointedly at the OA: Oh I see. Is he here to attend the wedding?

Tambi (master of understatement) drawls: I sure hope so.

Yes, yes, granduncle realised his faux pas later, but this story has given us many a merry evening.

—————————-

And now finally, so that I don’t get disqualified on the technicality that I’m not married during these tales, I’ll share the honeymoon one.

When I met the OA and fell in love, I was rather in awe of him. He was older, wiser… and I thought he’d take care of me. Yeah, Sound of Music hangover. And to his credit, he mostly does. Except for when he doesn’t.

Poor as church mice, we took a bus from Delhi to Manali for our honeymoon. Hopes of a knight in shining armour were dashed to the ground rather rudely as the knight stuck his head out of the bus window and emptied his the contents of his stomach across the hill roads. I watched curiously, wondering how he could throw up more than he’d eaten in the last 6 meals put together. The only explanation was that he’d thrown up his intestines too. But I dutifully got him water, washed his face, begged someone to give us the seat up front and tried to (wo)manfully raise my shoulder as high as I could to give him a head rest. Too drained to care, he slept. Around us other honeymooning couples billed and cooed and necked. I adjusted the smelly puker into a corner and resigned myself to a rather unromantic couple of hours.

Half way through the night the bus stopped. It was eerie. The sounds of the jungle came closer. I woke up and being the nosy person I am, checked out the bus. There was no reason to stop. No roadblock, nothing – and the driver was missing. I waited for someone else to make the first move. Three old ladies, sisters on a holiday together, hobbled off the bus to get an explanation. It turned out that the driver had decided to strike because he was being made to work overtime and not being paid for it. He laid out a blanket off the edge of the road and was snoring before we could say ‘Manali.’

The old ladies realised they needed numbers and came back to recruit from the hordes of youngsters in the bus. Shy young brides looked up at their husbands in awe as the men got up and stretched and swaggered, ready to get down and take on the lone driver. One of them called out to the OA to join them. He opened half a bleary eye and chivalrously volunteered, “Let my wife handle him. You won’t need to send anyone else,” and went back to sleep.

Yes, yes, ladies and gentlemen, I still honeymooned with him. Not just that, procreated and continue to live with him. A silent, suffering woman, that’s me. The only good that came of that night, is that we still dine out on that story.

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92 thoughts on “The “Just Married, Please Excuse” Contest

      • Okay I am going to get very personal and ask you now – do you still love him that much? I am asking because we have a very similar situation – Brahmin girl and Christian boy – my parents were against the wedding but somehow we pulled it off. And I can see myself doing similar things for him then. But now after 1 kid and 13 years of familarity ( 6 of them in marriage) I would be so furious if things like this happened. I ask myself if I am falling out of love or maybe I am just more practical now. Sorry did not mean to get too personal!

        • More, I think :-/ I don’t mean to be mushy, but young love grows into something deeper. I’m glad ours was a love marriage. No arranged marriage would have survived such nonsense – why would you put up with an utter stranger’s madness?! :)

          We still do all the same things. I’ve blogged about handing our kids into a running train to strangers and jumping in. junta went wild and called us bad parents. I don’t care. This is us. We love each other. We love our brats. We have our fun.

  1. How well you write! I think I have said it before but never-the-less let me repeat it….I can always “see” what you write. Do I even make sense? :)

      • He’s adorable because he’s confident of his wife’s abilities :)
        I’ve enjoyed this very much. If you are writing a book, please write a travelogue as your travel stories are quite a “aankhon dekha haal!” and so “baithe baithe ek trip ban jaata hai!”.

  2. Wow make sure some writer does not steal this story and retires :))). Jokes apart it was hilarious ….. Glad things worked out for both of you……best wishes

    Bhavani

  3. Teehee.. outrageous. Id have never thought that quiet man I met last year was capable of all that. You, on the other hand, I can believe every word you’ve put down here :D
    This has inspired me to do my own just-married story!

  4. Bwahahaha. What a story what a story! I’m sure it must have been a handful to take care of, but in retrospect, it seems funny. Lovely story btw, yes, filmy.

  5. Haha… Both of you quite make an “Ek Duje ke liye” couple… A chilled out man with zealous wife…..Train story is hillarious with the savior hand popping out every time… I expected the hand will give some tadka in the story with ur mind changing and OA serenading you all over again in bollywood style… A perfect song sequence.. Just kidding.. hey, but your (dutiful wifey) love for OA shines thorugh each n every story ..God bless both of you..

  6. It is 1 in the night … had to take a work call and then started chatting with my friend in India …and was so sleepy ..saw your updated blog..how can I leave without reading it (even if it is to go and snuggle between the love of my life and my little one) ..not only doi have to read, but i have to leave a comment too (which i very rarely do) because you made me LAUGH ..ROFL …especially the train scene…what is with you and missing trains??? you have for sure passed the genes to the brat and bean …
    keep writing and continue to make us laugh,think,comment
    Love

  7. I laughed so much. My sides hurt. My jaw aches. The first train story is my favourite. You guys decided to pull the chain and stop the train, just so you could get in? LOL. You guys are bold.

  8. Laugh riot :)
    1) You have a very endearing family ‘or’
    2) You write so well and you have built up everyone’s personalities so well in your blog, that we can actually see things happening in front of our eyes

    But i am definitely believing that its both 1) AND 2)

    Very well written :P

  9. love your way with words….it’s a wonder no one’s asked you to publish! (or maybe they did and you refused). Can’t stop laughing especially when I can put the face to the OA.

    • They have… a number of times. And I’ve said no because personally i don’t think i have a book inside me that I’d be proud to put my name on – yet. :)

      And yeah, Mridula, you know the OA… so you know what he’s capable of :D

  10. ROFL! :D That was amazing!!
    “And yes, dear readers, I married him inspite of that. Shoulda married the other guy. He’s married too, now, by the way. Too late.” – Simply awesome!

  11. I like the Tambi’s sense of humour :). Your OA of course, is quite the man, it seems. Loved this post. Especially the one about your wedding time and how your family treated the OA – despite everything you said, it oozed so much warmth and love. That’s the kind of family a lot of boysand girls would love to get married into, MM. (Which reminds me that I have laid final and definite claims on your little Brat boy) :D

  12. i laughed for the longest time. what a riot. and you and indian railways – they have to give you some kind of lifetime free card just for all these tales.

  13. When I saw Jab we Met, used to think who would miss a train twice. But appraently some people do come close to missing the same train twice in real life. Enjoyed your story thoroughly

  14. Dear MM,

    you know what we like OA more now!!! but really each episode is funnier than the other – my favorite is poor OA toiling in the kitchen while MM was sleeping!!!

    I am sure you are the winner of the contest!

    • The other day I’d dropped the kids to Alld and was coming back to leave for the US. Dad decided to helpfully make up the berth for me and dropped it on my finger. It bled like mad and the train started and I had nowhere to clean it. I took a picture to send it to you because we’d just spoken and you’d said – Don’t do anything funny on the train. Then as I was about to mail it to you I realised it was really looking gross, so I spared you. It festered and bled right through my US trip :-/

  15. Hahahaha laughed through the entire thing. Started off by missing trains and never stopped it looks like. But the funniest part was this: “A silent, suffering woman, that’s me.”

  16. Dear blogger,
    My name is Tatiana and I work in a publish company in Spain. I am writing you on behalf of a India client who would like to appear in your blog by means of an advertorial. Your task would be to write and publish a post in exchange for an economic reward.
    If interested, please write me back and I will tell you more about the project.

    Best regards,
    Taty

  17. OA knows MM can take care of thing be it hopping on to a train or fixing a striking driver. I think it’s any day better to have a hubby like OA who is great for your confidence and isn’t high on his own ego either. Am sure you appreciate that about your husband :)

  18. Loved the pre-wedding stories. My husband cooked for my family before our wedding too. He had to prove to my mother we wouldn’t starve to death because I can’t be bothered with boring chores. And I empathise with the OA and his pukiness…I was purging from both ends during our honeymoon in Leh and my husband still moans about how I killed the romance. What else? I had to beg some army men at a remote outpost to let me use their loo, we got stuck in a snowstorm and had to spend the night in somebody’s house (we ate their dinner) and we got mistaken for siblings a whole bunch of times !!?!!

  19. Now this is what you call true love. All men are like that. I know 17 yo guys exactly like the OA!! :P
    Oh, and MM, thank you!! I was so waiting for this post! :D

  20. Ha ha ha ha. Absolutely crazy! What a funny+amusing+romantic+nostalgic+lovely++++post. Your train scenes reminded me of “Jab we met”. The reserved, quiet Shahid (OA) and the firebrand Kareena (MM). Thank God, a hand offered you help, and you got on board, and unlike Kareena, were not to roam in the “Ratlam ki galiya” or watever it was. I am ROFL in the silence of night.
    Wish i too had any story to share, but happy to finally have the post i was so much waiting to read. About you and OA, as i have not read your old blog. Hope to have more of them…plz do.

  21. I had this broad smile till the end of your post! :D Very well written! I can imagine how much you love OA! :) May God bless you with many more happy and awesome years together! :)

  22. But but but…how did you MEET? Would love to hear that story :)
    PS – when do we get to see the holiday loot (books)?

  23. (Forgot to add) asking coz I literally worked my way through your last two lists and I loved so many of your recommendations – Loving Frank, Garp, Sealed Letter etc.

  24. It’s my first time here. In the train story I was expecting a twist in the tale. You know, you married the other guy!
    haha.. jokes apart.. I could picture everything. well written!

  25. You guys are adorable, the DH would have reacted exactly like your OA – “Tum chai leke nahi aayi?” So, I feel your pain. You deserve to win. Good luck!!

  26. Hillarious, enjoyed reading your post…1/2 read through sneek peeks at work n the other 1/2 on the mrt back home with my co-passengers wondering why i’m laughing! The way you write is absolutely impressive…if i were the judge u sure are the winner :) hugs :)

  27. All the stories are funny, as most of your posts are, but missing the train repeatedly was the best. I have the inverse tale, where I was lost and hubby guided me home…I wonder if he now thinks he should have let me go when there was still a chance :-) I think I might add that one to my entry for Yashodara’s contest….
    BTW, I second the opinion that you should publish a book (I for one would read anything you wrote) but have much respect for you holding off until you have something you could be proud of personally. Hearing your own voice over the din of popular approval is the mark of true humility, to me at least. More power to you!

  28. You know, I SHOULD have known better than to read your blog at work :) after all these years…wound up chortling at my desk and a couple of my co-workers coming in to read the entry as well! (Friday before a long weekend, so everyone’s restive)

    LOVE the description of the train journey – the “now familiar hand” indeed :)

    M

  29. Oh My God…this is really crazy! The train bit. You remind me of Jab We Met train fiasco!! Ours is a love marriage too. But not this dramatic Neither our kahaani, nor the past 5 years, barring a few funny tales.

  30. OMG i mean in bigger letters O.M.G.
    What an eventful wedding from start … :)
    Even though they sound hugely hilarious now i am sure they were nothing near that at that moment :D
    Amd YES – One Brilliant writer you are!!

  31. I just found this post and i can’t stop laughing!

    Your story is inspirational…i see so many people in love not getting married because of issues like finance or family pressure…

  32. Pingback: THE SORTING OUT SID: BEER AND BLOGGER CONTEST | The Mad Momma

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