A couple of years ago, back when I was working at an Ad agency, my dear niece Eunice had come down to Mumbai to study. Being the cool uncle Kima that I was, I took care of her whenever I could, making sure she was having a good time and in the right company. After all, we're all protective of our loved ones.
And then came that time when we started our own little gaming company, and I was so busy meeting investors and flying to Delhi and Hyderabad all the time that I was hardly in Mumbai. And so I asked my friends to take care of my niece while I was out of town.
I mean, I couldn't entrust her with my friends like B.Ramhluna, Charlie, Fela and Bena because I knew them inside-out as they're my best buddies :D I chose Thara because he was a super nice guy.
I called Thara one fine day and I said, "Yo brah, this muh niece yo."
He was like, "Yo sup yo!"
"Yo yo!" replied Eunice.
"Take good care of her while I'm out of town, bro", I told Thara.
"Any niece of yours is a niece of mine", Thara replied.
And so Thara took care of my niece while I was away. I felt relieved to know she was in good hands. It was really nice to have a friend you could trust, somebody who would not take advantage of your family members, somebody ready to take care of your niece…
But… I think Thara eventually took too much care of her, because just last month, I flew down to Bangalore to attend their wedding!
I guess I had been naïve and failed to connect the dots or understand body languages. All those times Thara, Eunice and I used to hang out together, I thought we were just hanging out as friends. I miss those cozy dinners we used to have together in Mumbai…
I mean, how could I have been so oblivious? When Thara came over to my house and took out Eunice for dinner, I was like, "What an awesome friend Thara is, making sure my niece is well fed!"
When Thara gifted her a box of chocolates and roses on Valentine's Day, I was like, "What a caring friend Thara is, making sure Eunice doesn't feel left out!"
When we went to the park for a stroll and I saw the two of them holding hands, I was like, "Wow, what an amazing friend Thara is, making sure my niece doesn't fall down and hurt herself!"
And when we were having dinner at home and I came back from the kitchen and saw the two of them kissing, I was like, "Awweee, so sweet, my dear friend is teaching my dear niece mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it will be useful some day when somebody nearby drowns!"
See, I had never suspected a thing!
Even when I went home recently, Eunice's mom told me I was going to be a "PUSUM" at Eunice's "man-ei" (our Mizo customary wedding tradition), which is an honorary title usually reserved for the elders of the family. Check out the odd-one out from the list below, the only "tlangval" in the Pusum list, lolz.
I found Thara at Eunice's house that night as he was helping them type out the wedding invitation. I was like, "What a concerned friend Thara is, he came over just to help them with the wedding program and invitations!"
It was only when I read the invitation that I realized the groom was going to be none other than Thara himself! :D :P
Ok all jokes aside, I am extremely happy to call Thara my… nephew-in-law? :P There is none more deserving of Eunice than Thara, and likewise, Thara of Eunice. Welcome to the family, brother.
Although Thara is from Gujarat and Eunice lives in Mizoram, their wedding was going to be held in Bangalore, and there's a very poignant reason behind that. My dear friend Thara had lost his mother to cancer in Bangalore, followed shortly by his father who passed away due to an unfortunate accident. Both of them were buried in Bangalore. Thara wanted to be close to his parents on his special day, hence the reason why Bangalore was selected as the wedding venue. Nothing felt more sweet than that.
On the day before the wedding, Bangalore peeps were hard at work preparing for the event. Bena and Dana of UTC along with their friends made the banner.
Evelyn Sailo, Wendy Chawngthu, Sangteii Bawitlung, Hlutea and their friends from around Kamanahalli did a great job decorating the Church.
Kamanahalli Mizos played a crucial role because they were like the hosts, as the guesthouses where the out-stationed guests stayed were located at Kamanahalli. This was where Eunice's family from Mizoram stayed at.
This place was right opposite to where my flatmate Amos and I used to stay back in 2006. But the entire area had changed now, completely urbanized, populated and bustling with activities. The only structure that remained from my days was Hotel Empire, the rest of the apartments and shopping malls were all new!
On the day of the wedding, my family back in Bangalore was busy getting ready :D
I on the other hand had just woken up from my bed in Pune and I got dressed immediately. Since I had just returned from a 3-week vacation in Mizoram, my leave was initially not granted, and finally approved a day before the wedding!
I booked my flight ticket on the day of the wedding in the last minute, and though last-minute bookings were expensive, it was totally worth it because my niece was getting married, and Thara was going to call me "Uncle" from that day onwards! That's freaking priceless! :D
And so I dressed up in my suit as I was planning to go to the Church directly from Bangalore airport. It was also the first time I ever took a flight wearing a complete suit, lolz.
Luckily, the seat behind me was empty, so I hung my coat there :)
Reached Bangalore :)
I took an Uber directly from the airport to the Church - United Theological College, Benson Town. Traveling on Miller's road brought back so many memories! And I literally screamed when I saw Miller's 46! It was one of our most regular haunts more than 10 years ago, and the place was still around!
Meanwhile, back at the guesthouse, Eunice was prepping up for her big day.
Her make-up artist was Lalhruaitluangi Chhangte, who's currently working in Bangalore.
Hruaii did an amazing work.
The beautiful bride.
With her brother Sam Zobiaka.
On her way to Church.
Meanwhile, I too had reached UTC. I met Thara immediately, who was standing by the Church doorway nervously.
The beautiful banner…
My nephew Ruatfela busy clicking pics…
My two nephews Sam and Ruatfela… Third nephew Sawmtea is also somewhere hovering around :)
Good to meet Sangteii again after all these years.
Nervous groom being groomed properly :)
My cousin and mother of the bride U-Dini.
She arranged all our ties and hankies.
Father of the bride U-Zomawia.
Family pic time. I met U Maruata's new wife Dingdingi for the first time and she was super sweet. U Maruata was Eunice's LG back in Mumbai.
Thara with his soon to be father-in-law :)
People arriving to the wedding service one by one…
Wendy and Evelyn who played a very important role during the entire wedding.
One last bachelor selfie :)
Time to head inside the Church…
We initially sat here on the first row…
But later the ushers came and told us to sit at the special family section in front. Right side for the bride's family and left side for the groom's.
A few selfies while we waited…
Pastor Lalrinsanga arrived soon after we sat down and he too waited for the groom and bride.
Thara too waited patiently for his soon-to-be wife.
The bride arrived.
The best man brought her inside the Church…
Here comes the bride, tran tran tra tran…
Ready to start the ceremony!
Wedding ceremony in progress…
Hello, how do you do, my name is Thara :P
Wedding ring exchange…
Blessings from the Pastor…
Congratulations, you are now happily married :)
Signing the certificate…
Presenting the certificate…
A good short sermon…
Rev. K. Laltlangkima giving the final blessings…
There goes the bride and groom…
And with that I will conclude part 1 of the wedding. There are already 140 photos in this post so I'll put up the rest in the other posts.
Hope you enjoyed reading so far, upcoming posts have a lot of juicy stories on my friends Bee, Babie etc so stay tuned for that! :D
Until then, cheers everyone…