A sea of beautiful brown skin. Some bare-feet, others testing their newly bought shoes on the dance floor, dancing away with Kesha’s ‘Tick Tock’ song blaring through the whole house. The young, the old, the guys, the girls – all mingled up in the mood for a party, setting up their own pace. Loud music, louder commotion. Kids running all over – a complete chaos. Everyone is lost in the moment.
Every now and then, a car pulls up to the front of the house dropping off new guests. Tomorrow is a big day for the Gill family. Their only son Babbu is getting married.
By the time the sun touched the western horizon, the house is all packed full – to the limit. More guests trickle in – from as far as India, London and Vancouver. For a two story bungalow, the full blasting air-conditioners cannot subside the heat and smell – the smell of perfumes, sweets, masala, incenses and liquors… all mixed together.
The house in Brampton is a short drive from the Toronto airport. Raj – Babbu’s cousin, has been to the airport three times already, picking up the relatives as they arrive from all over the places. He is the most excited about his fourth trip, however. His three cousins from England are arriving next, the cousins he has not seen for a long time.
As the dusk turns into an early night, a black stretched limousine pulls to the front of the house. It is a part of the night-out planned for the groom and his passé. One last time, Babbu is going to enjoy his ‘single’ status before shackling down into the married life. The limo driver steps outside the driver seat, polishes the already clean windshield with a black cloth, like a ritual. Then he lights up a cigarette, while some of the elders watch him with a look of disapproval.
The groom and his passé of five friends get to the limo.
Raj drives in, back from the airport, speeding all the way to the driveway. His three cousins, all dressed-up, jump out of of his car in no time. Everybody rushes out to greet them. There are hugs, there are hi-fives; there are loud laughs. The neighbors should know by now – a wedding celebration is in progress.
After a quick exchange of greetings, shouts and yells, Babbu and his passé get into the limo; Raj and the three cousins follow them. The limo drives off. All of them, ten of them all together, are bubbling with untamed energy and excitement…like the bulls crammed together before racing into the streets of Pamplona.
“Can you first take us to a liquor store, please”, someone shouts at the limo driver.
“Okay boss”, the limo driver.
“Where are we going”, asks Bobby, one of the cousins from England.
“Downtown”, many of them respond back, one after another.
Everybody tries to speak louder than the rest, fighting to have their own say. The limo gets to the liquor store. Raju and Babbu jump out, followed by everybody else. No one wants to be left behind.
“Get some Black Label.”
“We need beer”
“Something for shots.”
“Sambuca” … Continue reading