Some times things are not meant to be easy. It is 8:30 PM (Very late by Bangalore standard!) and I have a wedding reception to attend and I am standing with my friend in a ‘everything under the sun store‘ with no idea whatsoever about what gift to give to my former colleague! I agree, I have been attending quite a few weddings for last few months but most of those people I have known for few years. Tricky part here is that I didn’t know this colleague that well. So now with no ideas, I decided to call up some of my other friends who were also attending the wedding reception.
Me: Can I talk to Meenal?
Vivek: Kyun kya hua?
Me: Please pass on the phone. I can do with some advice from a lady.
Vivek passes the phone
Meenal: Tell me.
Me: Is it okay to gift plastic flower bouquet for weddings
Meenal: Laughs…… NO. You can’t get plastic flowers. Nobody gives plastic flowers for wedding. If you can’t get flowers get some other gifts
Vishvesh: Thanks… do you have any suggestions
I cut the line.
Me: Shall we take the flower-pot
Amit: You could have taken Meenal’s expert advise
Me: Come on man
Amit: We can still gift wrap those plastic flowers.
Me: Yeah right, symbol of eternal love. We can say ‘These plastic flowers will never fade hopefully like their love!‘
Amit: What do we do? It’s already 8:30, we left office at 6:30. Others are going to reach there soon?
Me: It’s so hard to select a gift when you don’t know the person very well.
Amith: Lets go without a gift.
Me: Sounds bad but we can’t attend the wedding at 10. I am with you.
The whole slog didn’t start at 8:30 PM it started much before that. Two days before the wedding we (Amith, me, Vivek and Vibhanshu) had decided to attend the wedding reception and on the day of the wedding Meenal joined us. We convinced few others but they dropped out due to some unexpected works. So there it was, five of us attending our former colleague’s wedding reception on a Friday evening. We had permission from our lead to attend the wedding reception and leave office very early by our usual standard at 6:30 pm!
As usual on the day of the wedding we hit a snag. A task which was expected to be small and easy started to look like mounting Mt. Everest without gloves and jackets! I pulled out and so did couple of my friends and then the drama began, Vibhanshu who had worked with Elham (Colleague whose wedding reception we planned to attend) got all emotional and started a tirade against me.
Vibhanshu: I heard you are not coming
Me: I am sorry man, I’ve got lots of work.
Vibhanshu: I can understand you never worked with her.
Me: What has it got to do with this?
Vibhanshu: I have worked with her and I have to go. It doesn’t matter to you but it matters to me!
That line did hit me hard!
Vivek: I am having a headache. I can’t join in
Vibhanshu: We just have to go congratulate her and come back. It won’t take too long.
Me: Guys, it’s raining outside.
Vivek: I am dropping out.
Vibhanshu: It will stop. I am going irrespective of whether you guys are coming or not.
Vivek: So you want to go. I will join you. But no more changes in the plan.
Vibhanshu: What about you Vishvesh?
Me: I am still out. With very low chance of joining you.
Vibahnshu: She would be very happy if we all attended her wedding. She was in our team! Think about it.
He gave one of those sad tragic looks like my betrayal was responsible for the death of thousands of people. I could understand Vibhanhsu’s feeling. He was decked up from head to toe like it was his wedding reception! Properly shaved, nice formal clothes and all.
I remembered Spock’s saying “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one” and decided to strike a deal with my boss which had me working on a Saturday for more than 8 hours! We decided to gift her a bouquet of flowers. Not knowing were I might get one, I called up my friend Bharat and found out that I could find one at Cunningham Road. Since Cunningham Road is one-way, we dropped the plan to go there.
We set off at 6:30 PM and heroically managed to avoid one of the notoriously famous traffic pile up at Old Airport Road to reach MG Road by 7:30 PM.
Our Kobayashi Maru
Kobayashi Maru is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets.
We had reached MG Road on time and started searching for bouquet. Since we found no other place, we went to Central Mall inquired about flower bouquet.
Amith: Are there any stalls for bouquet here?
Amith: Any idea where we can get one?
Attendant: Garuda Mall….
We set of to Garuda Mall, the problem with MG Road is that most roads in and around it are one-ways. We were disappointed when we reached Garuda Mall, there were no stalls there either. This time we decided to ask the people around and were misguided couple of times.
Finally we met this Auto Rickshaw driver who could speak only in Bangalore Urdu (Sad state of our state!).
Amith: Do you know where we can get a bouquet?
Driver: What is it?
Me: Guldasta (Bouquet of Flowers in Hindi)
Driver: What did you say?
Amith: Hoovu (Flowers in Kannada)
Driver: aha! You should have said that in the beginning. There is this place opposite to Garuda Mall. They have it. I have seen it.
We said our thanks to him and went to the place. What we saw there made us laugh! There were flower pots all over the place! We got the right answer for a wrong question. We checked out the place, there were plants of all types and lots of flower bouquet made out of plastic (Plastics are ruining this planet!). Out of desperation we decided to call up someone who might know a thing or two about wedding gifts! That was the reason for the call.
We finally arrived at the reception hall at 8:45 PM without any gifts and our friends didn’t like it. We got big lecturer on gifts and reception.
Just can’t describe the feeling of being universally hated!
Meenal: What did you guys get?
Meenal: I will ask Amith. It’s in your bag isn’t it? What did you get Amith?
Meenal: How can you attend a wedding reception without a gift.
Amith: We couldn’t find any bouquet.
Meenal: You could have brought anything else.
Me: Plastic bouquet weren’t bad
Meenal: Nobody gives plastic flower for wedding. I told you once. We need to get something. Do you know any place nearby where we can buy something.
Then it flashed to me. Bharat is a true rock star.
Me: I think I know a place. We will get something in few minutes.
So we took out the bike and decided to trust Bharat’s advice and visited Sigma Mall at Cunningham Road. The bouquet shop there was almost closed and we managed to convince them to sell a bouquet.
So finally at 9 PM we managed to come back to reception hall with a bouquet. Two and half hour to find a bouquet. Bangalore has indeed changed!
Moral of the story? I didn’t learn anything other than deciding not to attend receptions at last minutes and I feel it would make good business sense to open up bouquet shops near reception/marriage halls.