Recap: Inayat’s friends throw a secret bachelorette party in her outhouse and make her drink alcohol for the first time. Yasmin keeps swinging into her past memories.
“You know what… I am in a very happy space right now… I have a caring and a very good looking husband” giggled a high Paridhi with a beer can in her hand. They were tired with dancing but not with their booze.
“I have a wonderful career… Life is incredible”…. “But…. But.… I miss my parents there in Sydney.” She sadly muttered.
“You know I have this dream that…. Ummm… I want to buy a juice shop for Papa where he will sell all kinds of juices and smoothies and hot coffee as well. And we’ll serve different type of salads, pastas, sandwiches and burgers.”
“So you want to buy him a Café basically” Chandni said while checking her phone.
“Spot on!” Paridhi laughed.
“Yeah… yeah…. I want to buy him a café but my parents don’t just listen to me…. They still believe in that old thinking that they should not be staying with their daughter after her marriage…. I told them I am your only child now, Palaash is gone but they just don’t understand.” She spoke and sighed.
“Parents, in Indian society….. kind of sworn that they will not interfere in their daughter’s life once they get her married….. Fu*k shit man! Don’t daughters have the same heartbeat as their sons? Don’t daughters understand their duty towards ageing parents? Do the feelings in a daughter’s heart change after her marriage? Huhhh… I hate this discrimination.” Paridhi was high when she uttered all this but her friends understood her agony.
Paridhi had a younger brother Palaash, who had died in a road accident in his late teens. She belonged to a typical Indian family where having a son is considered to be a big blessing since it is a male dominated society. Though her parents never really differentiated between her and her younger brother but they always believed that their son is going to be their old age support system where as Paridhi must take care of her married life only. Losing Palaash was a big shock to the entire family. Paridhi’s mom was in a state of Coma for more than 6 months post his death. Paridhi used to shuttle between Jaipur and Delhi to manage her family and studies. She always wanted to have a love marriage but unfortunately, her life was occupied with unwanted duties so much that she could not afford to take a glance at any boy around her. Rahul, her husband was her parents’ choice and she nodded to marry him without having a second thought. Her fortune smiled at her as Rahul turned out to be a wonderful man.
Finally just before the sunrise, Yasmin dropped Inayat to her room where ‘out of senses’ Inayat slept immediately. Yasmin was a tad worried now as to how Inayat’s family will react if they come to know that her friends made her booze which is considered to be a taboo for women in their family.
9th April – The Sangeet Day
Nobody noticed where Inayat’s friends were but unavailability of Inayat, the to-be bride, did raise her kins’ eyebrows. Everybody was wondering as to why she is asleep until now. Is she unwell or there is some other reason. There was a murmur doing rounds about her last night party with her friends as some of them had heard noises coming from the outhouse.
“Inayat” “Wake up Inayat” Her mother shook her on the shoulder but there was no response.
Failing all the decent attempts, Inayat’s mom threw a jug of water on her face and she came back in senses having a slight headache because of last night’s hangover. Inayat’s mom was terrified to see her daughter like that and scolded her for why she did this on her special day. But being the caring mom, she kept things under wraps by bringing her a hot coffee immediately and told her to tell everyone that she had a headache. Inayat was fine by noon.
Yasmin got up very soon in the morning or rather she didn’t sleep because there were things which were stirring in her mind for a long time, which she could not share with anyone. Others woke up one by one and were up by the lunch time.
“I will be going to meet Mom-Dad in Agra for the weekend. Harsh will join me and then we’ll head back to Mumbai from there.” Chandni told her itinerary to Paridhi who was asking it to everyone.
“Yeah, even I’ll be going to Jaipur for a week to be with Mom Dad and then I’ll go back to Sydney alone. Rahul is not coming.” Paridhi made a sad face and said and then she pointed to Saloni for her plan.
“I haven’t decided yet.” Saloni replied while eating. “I have my holidays till 16th so maybe I’ll explore Kashmir or Ladakh this year.”
“So you mean you’ll not be going to Kolkata to see Uncle?” Paridhi asked back.
Saloni nodded her face in No and said “Dad visited me in London 2 months back… so I am in no hurry to meet him so early. We Facetime once or twice a month. And we are cool with that much of communication.”
Everybody exchanged glances on her reply.
“Well, I will be leaving for Lucknow on 11th morning. I don’t have holidays and then I have to see Alia as well.” Yasmin said.
“Hmmm…” everyone hummed in unison.
“So you all had a blast last night… huh?” there was a new voice that interrupted their conversation. Saloni looked behind her and found Inayat’s cousin Parmeet giving a sly smile.
“You bet.” Saloni answered looking straight into his eyes.
“By the way, I hope you all are prepared for the Sangeet function today. Have you all done any preps at all or not?” He asked without changing any facial expression.
“Wait and watch” Chandni answered because Saloni ignored him this time.
“Good… All the best!” Parmeet said and left and Paridhi gazed at him.
“Girls, we are screwed” “It’s the Sangeet function today and we did not do any preps at all.” Paridhi said when Parmeet went away.
“Don’t worry… it’s just 1 pm right now… we have ample time for the preps.” Chandni said and tapped Yasmin on her shoulder. “We’ll start the rehearsals right after lunch… Right Babe”.
“You got it” Yasmin confidently replied and all of them were cheered up.
All of them were good dancers except Yasmin, she was excellent. She was a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and hence whenever there was any cultural fest in their college, everybody used to rely on her. They had won the inter college dance competition subsequently during their MBA days.
In their seventh semester in 2008, they had performed in the inter college dance competition on the song “Desi Girl” from the movie “Dostana” but in a very different style. While the song had Priyanka Chopra in a very Sassy avatar, SPICY group picked up an altogether different theme. They had assorted 4 different dance forms of India which were Bhangra, Garba, Lavani, Kuchipudi and had mixed it with Freestyle dancing. They had got the song remixed in a very subtle way and their crisp performance had earned them standing ovation by the judges panel. Needless to mention, they won the competition.
“Let’s perform on ‘Desi Girl’ guys, We know the steps, I have the song in my mailbox and we were quite successful in that. Let’s relive that day again… what say?” Paridhi, in her sheer excitement spoke out all in one breath which got others thinking in another direction.
We all make good memories with friends while there are some situations when we fight with our friends, misconstrue them, and those memories tear apart the friendship inside the heart. You pretend to be together but your hearts don’t beat for each other anymore. Chandni and Saloni shared one such sour memory which neither of both wanted to recall.
“We can definitely go with it but there are some challenges that we may face.” Yasmin put across her doubt in order to avoid the Desi Girl Dance.
“Like what?” Paridhi asked. She looked stern for dancing on that number without realizing the situation properly.
Yasmin understood that Paridhi isn’t on the same page and she sighed deep and said “A. we don’t have costumes as per our theme that we performed 8 yrs back and B. Ummm…We don’t…. we don’t have a… guy… who can be the mainstay in our performance.” And she paused.
Hearing this, Saloni moved her eyeballs at Chandni and Chandni looked in other direction. Everyone paused for a second. They recalled an ugly incident in a flash but Paridhi being Paridhi said, “Inayat, can we ask any of your servants to go and get our dresses on rent. I still remember the shop from where we arranged it for the college fest?” “And about the mainstay… can we ask that guy who was flirting with you?” Paridhi asked Saloni about Parmeet.
“He’s a creep. I will not dance with him” Saloni replied angrily and immediately looked at Inayat for her reaction. Inayat was too plain as if she did not mind her friend calling her cousin a creep.
“I think we can manage without the mainstay.” Chandni suggested. “We can tweak few steps here and there and we’ll be good to go.”
“Cool! Awesome! So we are doing it then… Inayat, I bet Navdeep and his family is going to swoon tonite” Paridhi snapped her finger with utmost cheer.
Inayat asked her mom for the dresses on rent. Initially her mom hesitated about the rented garments but then agreed for the sake of her happiness. Paridhi found the shop’s contact no. on JustDial and phoned them to check if the dresses they wanted are available. Getting a green signal from the shopkeeper, she gave the shop address to a servant and sent each of their body measurements in a paper slip. The shopkeeper sent the dresses as per the sizes given in the slip and the SPICY were ready to rock.
During rehearsals, Saloni and Chandni tried their best to hide the discomfort between them so that they could have the performance in place. But they had flashes in their mind which reflected on their faces a few times.
to be continued…