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Jaggu's daugher gets married

By Dhondy
April 2 2005

Jaggu's daugher gets married
by Dhondy, 17 Feb '05

Shahryar looked up and down the empty street in South Calcutta in amazement. Surely, he wasn't mistaken? Jaggu's letter had mentioned this very street.

Yup, no mistake! Where the hell were the lights, the marquees?

Just the other day, he had received the wedding card from Jaggu. "We invite the pleasure of your company to our daughter's wedding. Hope we can make this as much of a success as our bilateral cricket series".

Shahryar winced when he came across the word, "cricket". God, he didn't need to be reminded of the damn game! After the Australian series, the President had invited him for an informal chat. Shahryar, bedecked in his best suit and old army tie, had knocked at the President's door, harbouring visions of delicious dishes steaming in the kitchen, good looking maids in attendance...

Instead, the President had beckoned a huge fellow, a monster of a man, to join them. He happened to be the hangman at the local jail. Shahryar then suffered the indignity of 50 lashes from this revolting specimen, while the President looked on, sipping Rooh-Afza, a benign smile on his face. At the end, he had promised more if things didn't go to plan in the next series.

Was this going to turn out to be a fiasco like that? God, he couldn't take any more lashes!

Just then, the door nearest to him opened and Jaggu beckoned him in. It was noon, yet Jaggu was dressed in his underpants, hadn't shaved and looked like he had been up all night.

Shahryar was shocked. This man's daughter was getting married in a couple of days, and look at him! He couldn't stop himself. "Is every thing all right?"

Jaggu smiled, a picture of complete bliss. "Arre haan bhai. Andar to aao".

On the way in, he couldn't help noticing that the clock was showing yesterday's date, and the house-plants had not been watered and looked shrivelled.

"Jaggu, what's going on? Why are you sleeping late?"

Jaggu switched on his electric toothbrush. "Kya late yaar? It's just noon. The day has just started!"

Shahryar was then served a breakfast with yesterday's milk, & omlette made of time-expired eggs.

Shahryar was at the end of his tether. "Yaar, your daughter is getting married tomorrow, and you don't look bothered!"

Jaggu looked unruffled as ever. "Yaar ho jayega, chalta hai. Kyun itni tension le raha hai? We'll put up the lights tomorrow. Unfortunately, the matter of putting up the shamiana is in court."

Shahryar spluttered. "Court! Over a shamiyana?"

"Yup." Jaggu replaced the mouthwash. "I invited a tender for the lowest price. Didn't want to pay more than 100 bucks for the damn thing. Somebody challenged the lowest price, and it's now in Madras High Court."

"And where are the people, the relatives..?" Shahryar was still worried about Jaggu's lack of concern.

"Oh, they are coming the day after the wedding. There's really no point in hassling the bride and groom on their wedding night. The next day is when their conjugal life starts officially, and that's when people are needed to give their blessings."

Shahryar was feeling more and more uneasy. Christ, this man was a complete nutter!

"Who's the groom? What's he do?"

Jaggu headed for the shower, an unwashed towel over his shoulder.

"Groom? Yaar, aaj to ladka dekhne jana hai. What's the point in fixing a groom months before the marriage? Something might happen to him...he might elope with somebody. Don't you think it's a good idea to leave it till the end?"

Shahryar had run out of words. He felt slightly unwell.

When Jaggu came out of the shower, the chair was empty. Shahryar was nowhere to be found.

"Whatever could have happened?" Jaggu mused. "Why did he run away? Strange creatures, these Pathans. He looked like he was in a panic. Wonder what was bothering him?"

Jaggu simply couldn't work it out. Anyway, there was work to do.

He picked up the phone to place an order for the wedding cards to be printed.

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