It is a chilling winter evening. The wedding reception is in an open ground. A small tent covers the stage and a few chairs kept in front of it. Food is being served on tables arranged along the perimeter the ground.
Kids are stuffed with enough woolen that they may roll without getting hurt. Old men are wearing just as much but they put on a jacket. They set themselves apart by sporting a cap, some have a monkey cap. They look prepared to survive if were to stay here for the night.
Women are confused. They sit in the covered area unable to decide whether to let that thin shawl cover their elaborate jewelry or not. They may stand a chance to get a compliment from at least one of their husband’s subordinate or his wife. “Oh, that is a lovely necklace!” the wife will say. It means that she is looking forward to the day when she can afford it. Definitely, she would buy something better just like her taste.
An espresso machine stands in a corner. It makes a swoosh sound as it spews coffee in a cup. The cups are thick and save your hands from the heat. They are designed to look big and have less capacity.
You stand in a queue, get yourself a cup. You take a sip and all you get is the taste of cocoa powder and froth. But you are a born explorer who lives life dangerously. You venture into the unknown. You have let yourself be surrounded by strangers. Strangers who, when they question, make you wish they are struck by lightning. Twice. So, you quickly take another sip of that extremely hot coffee that destroys all taste buds. All the taste that ever was and will be.
You feel angry and embarrassed like a kid who is just old enough to realize that bed-wetting is shameful. You have now acquired the power to taste all the food irrespective of its taste.
The food will be declared terrible eventually by the guests. The worst thing that can happen to coffee is that it will run out. The cold is here to stay while everyone waits for the bride and groom. Till then most of the guests would have finished dinner and declared that only the coffee saved them.
Let there be comments!
The murder of taste buds by the Espresso coffee is something I have experienced almost every now and then. You have given words to my feeling Max.
Gud old wedding days..
U forgot to mention pre wedding n post wedding gossip sessions… 😉
B L Gupta
Dear Manas, I saw you last in late nineties at Rajghat Besant School, Varanasi when you were there with your parents.
I am very much impressed by your blog post. Your observation is so minute with precise details that I see a very matured author in you. Keep it up. All the best!