It was a bolt from blue for this Kitli Times (KT) reporter. Lying on the table was an invitation for nothing less than the wedding of the century!
“We, on behalf of my younger brother, Shri Amar Singhji, invite you to the wedding of Shri Amar Singhji’s nephew with Shri Amar Singhji’s friend’s company’s brand ambasaddor. We request you to kindly come in time and show this invitation to Shri Amar Singhji’s black cat commandos. RSVP Shri Amar Singhji’s elder brother”
What turned the heaven into the 9th one was the fact that this KT reporter was the ONLY reporter from the whole of India to have been invited to the wedding.
Anyway, in my best shervani and carrying the card in my hand – in such a way that every loser and his uncle could read the content – I reached the venue much before time.
Suddenly a couple of commandos jumped down from within the trees at the gate and pounced on me. One of them twisted my hand behind my back kicked my handsome behind with full might. Other punched in the stomach, slapped me and kicked me away from the gate.
“Pata nahin hai, Shri Amarsinghji ko media waaley pasand nahin hain?”
“Arey, lekin unhone his bulaya hai”, I tried to explain, amidst feeling the pain in my posterior.
Before they could pulp me further for opening my mouth, the gate opened. And out came Amar Singh, with his patent smile.
“Arey kya hua? In logon ne tumhare saath bhi koi majjaak kiya kya?”
“Arey yaar, aisa thoda-bahut toh ho jaata hai majjaak-majjaak mein. Isi baat pe ek sher sunata hoon:
Atal ne kaha beheji se, aa sakhi haath milayen
Humne kaha aap to bas apni-apni ghadi milayen
There are a few things that you HAVE to do if you want to be a reporter. Listening to Amar Singh’s shayari is one of them.
Anyway, we soon went in. Amar Singh’s elder brother, bhabhi and nephew were doing some puja at the lawns of Jalsaghar – within an air-conditioned pandal of course. There were 101 pandits saying mantras; each in a language of his own. It was then that I understood the meaning of ‘wedding of the century’.
Anyway, across and behind the pandal was the house. THE HOUSE! How many millions have died wanting to have one look of the house, and HIM in it. But I, a humble KT Reporter was invited to the place. Hail Kitli, hail Cha and …”hailo to all”. The last one was my greeting from across the pandal to anyone who cared to see me in my torn sherwani!
As with everything related to the marriage, the news of my presence spread like a wild fire …amongst news persons, all of whom wanted to be inside at any cost.
Never to shy away from creating drama, a crowd of about 5000 media people gherao-ed the main gate, all shouting “gaddar ko baahar nikalo” and “KT Reporter tum peechhe hato, hum tumhare saath hain”.
And what followed next became the Breaking News of all channels:
“Jab hum sabhi hai-hai ke naare laga rahe thhe, tabhi WOH, jee haan, HE himself, woh bahar aaye aur hamari taraf muskura kar wave kiya. Really, what makes him stand apart is his humility, even at this stage of his life. Is par pesh hai hamara ‘Vishesh Karyakram’ – “AB: Ab Tak Humble”.
The pooja seemed to be getting over when, suddenly, all hell broke loose – this time inside the Jalsaghar. HIS neighbour’s son was caught using his mobile for filming …the pandits! Suddenly, from nowhere, again, Amar Singh’s commandos got down to their business. The boy was first serviced in his backside and then a little warmth was pasted on his stomach, cheeks and nose.
The moment it got over, HE personally came to the boy and apologised. “Woh hamare guards nahin, Amar Singhji ke commandos thhe, jinpar hamara control nahin hai”.
All this while, I was getting curious about not having cited the bride and groom even once!
“Amar Singhji, yeh dulha-dulhan kahan hain?”
He started smiling. He looked around and whispered: “Woh to India mein hai hi nahin.”
“What! But today is their wedding!”
He looked around again, smiling all the while, and dropped the bombshell: “Haan, toh shaadi to shaam ko hai na. They will be back from the honeymoon by that time.”
“So, does anyone, I mean ANY one know about this?”
He gave this wicked smile:”Not even bade bhaiya.”
It was too much to handle for me. The last I remember was the news about Abhi arriving on the ghodi in the evening. People told me that he looked ecstatic. And ready for more.
Bade log, bade log.