Do not be satisfied with the stories that are told to you. Unfold your own myth – Rumi.

A Wedding in Trichy…

So it rained. At last.

I don’t think the monsoon’s here yet, though. The rains are a good few weeks away, but the summer’s ending, and I’m thankful.

It was a raging, relentless summer, like the wrath of a thousand angry Gods, and I bore the brunt of it. Everyone who knows me will tell you that I love the rains, but never have I looked forward to them like this time.

It wasn’t raining last Sunday afternoon, though, when I got on to the Vaigai Express to Trichy from the quaint familiarity of Egmore Station.

Monday morning was Kruthi’s wedding.

True to form, the train was an hour late. I sat on a bench and looked around.

I’ve been on trains since I was a kid, and the scene on a railway station never changes. It is a captivating picture of chaos, a microcosm of our vast country, a celebration of the way in which we Indians live our lives. There are families, all three living generations of them sitting together in a huddle, there are soldiers, there are students, there are parents holding their babies, kids running around, tourists with backpacks, chai-wallahs, porters, magazine-stands, lathi-wielding policemen. There is so much color, so many languages, just so much life.

The train rolled into the station and I jumped into it. I had no seat anyway, so I chose a random compartment and sat beside a disapproving old man, who was evidently of the opinion that only the people who had reserved tickets should be allowed to sit. I quite unfortunately did not share his viewpoint and that led to a spate of acrimonious staring at each other. At last the TTR, who arrived after a good two and a half hours, found out that I was supposed to be on the unreserved side, told me to get up, to the old fellow’s immense satisfaction.

By this time it was evening anyway, and I was tired of needling old men, so I went and stood near the door and let the wind do the rest.

The skies were darkening.

All day I had succeeded in pushing Kruthi’s marriage to the back of my mind, not allowing myself to think about it, but there, as the train approached Trichy and it began to drizzle, then rain, and the streaks of water hit my face and cold gusts of wind took my breath away, I had to.

That was how it used to be back at University.

Ettimadai’s monsoon and winter cannot be described.

Only those who were there will ever know how it felt.

I know. I was there.

I have woken up on those freezing mornings, beautiful and windy and dark, the sky full of rain, the mist full of stories, and wanted them to never end, to go on forever. I have come out of class, holding my books, and sat down at the entrance to ASB, watching the rain fall on the grass on our lawn and becoming one, like two estranged lovers meeting. I have watched the Anamalai, hidden in shrouds of silvery fog as I walked through Amrita University’s roads, under an umbrella, wondering what great mysteries lay beneath the mountain’s heights.

Kruthi was there too. My two years at Amrita School of Business will define my life, and I know it’s the same for her. She is special to me, this girl, because at a time when everyone I knew had either forsaken me or didn’t give a damn, she was there. You don’t forget things like that.

How do you feel when you go to a close friend’s wedding? How should you? Happy, sad? I felt both. Happy, coz’ I knew she’s happy. Sad, coz’ she’s going to Texas, and I have no idea when I’ll see her again.

She’s a lovely girl, full of laughter, advice and generally useless philosophy, but she’s genuine, there’re no pretenses about her. If she wants to give you a piece of her mind, she will, and if she thinks you are a pig-headed idiot, she will tell you so.

Our time together as friends is filled with memories, some beautiful, some painful. But as friends, we endured. She had her debacles. I had mine. But somehow, in the midst of all that happened in those two years, the people we lost, friendships that broke, relationships that soured, we remained friends. I think it was more because of her than me – I can be colder than an arctic salmon at times, and I respect her all the more for it.

The train rolls past Srirangam into Trichy. I get down and take out the wet ticket from my jeans – Rs 89, it says, Chennai Egmore to Tiruchirapalli Junction. I let it blow away.

This is Tamil heartland, an ancient city of temples, fought over by the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Pallavas and later the British Empire during the Carnatic Wars.

Hallowed land.

I’m happy she’s getting married here.

What will I say to Kruthi at her wedding? I don’t know. I’m far too emotional, I don’t think I’ll be able to tell her anything.

But maybe, just maybe, if I’m able to, this is what I want to say –

Take a bit of South India with you da Kruthi. Take the scent of jasmine and the smell of filter coffee. Take sambhar recipes and some pickles. Take some Tamil sarcasm and some Lankan flavor. Take that damned Nike bottle of yours, if you want to. Build a home like only an Indian girl can, full of love, hope and all that which goes into making a family.

Make us friends proud, Kruthi.

Go live..!!


16 responses

  1. Gowri

    How better could this ever be?!!! As always it was jus brilliant, Sai… Drove me back to the good old ASB memories…
    And wishing my dearest Kiru a wonderful life ahead…:)
    Keep writing, dude….:)

    June 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thanks Gowri.. And I will.. 🙂

      June 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm

  2. You studied at Amrita? Which year pass out?

    June 22, 2012 at 12:31 am

    • Sairam Krishnan

      April 2011, Nambi..

      June 22, 2012 at 2:08 am

  3. Rithika

    Beautiful!! Hats off for that description – “Take a bit of South India…” Really liked it!!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thank you… 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm

  4. Well I got this link from a friend who had attended the wedding too. I asked her about the function and she forwarded me this link. Loved the words and the way you connected memories, emotions, time and a relationship with rain and a place and of course culture…

    My wishes to Kruthi and to you too 🙂

    and do keep writing

    June 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thank you Leslie… (: Glad you enjoyed it. I will..

      June 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  5. Amit Anand

    Hey Sai, another excellent written piece from you. As you rightly said, things could go good or bad between friends, but the friendship should always remain intact. I never knew you and Kruthi were such close friends. Keep writing. 🙂

    June 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thanks Amitji.. 🙂

      June 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm

  6. Harish

    Dear Bro,
    An Excellent Write…. Wonderful Have Felt The Same Way To When Going For My Friend’s Marriage… You Have Exactly Brought It Into Words…. Awesome Sai….

    June 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thanks Bro..!!

      June 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm

  7. uma

    Hello m kruthi’s skool fend, so happened to c this link on her wall, the words r so beautifully put together, sure she’ll treasure u’r friendship and hav a wonderfully life ahead!

    June 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thank you..!

      June 28, 2012 at 7:12 am

  8. smita

    Had wanted to read ur piece from so long but just could nt find time enough dr 🙂
    finally i did n it was brilliant as ever… for me the line “the people we lost, friendships that broke, relationships that soured, we remained friends n it was more because of her ” summed up everything. It Brought back old memories of etti n my friends…rightly said, some relationships are for lifetime….

    July 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thanks yaar.. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 9:41 am

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