Inside the Mind of an Extrovert Desperate for a WhatsApp Invite this Shaadi Season


Inside the Mind of an Extrovert Desperate for a WhatsApp Invite this Shaadi Season

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

One of my long cherished fantasies has been to spend a few days in solitude. Cut off from humanity, digital world outrage, and calling my friends gorgeous on Facebook, I’d immerse myself in my thoughts and have heated arguments with my inner voice and not my husband before silencing it into calmness.

The lockdown was supposed to be my perfect opportunity to emerge with a bright halo from my self-imposed exile. I was looking forward to speaking for the rest of my life in whispered tones, radiating mind-boggling wisdom. So I plonked on my favourite couch and told myself with a smug smile, “Who in the world am i? Time to find out, baby!”

It didn’t take too long for the real me to emerge. She was spotted flopped like a limp lettuce near the main door, weeping copiously, wiping her tears with precious toilet paper. How long can a sunflower like me last without friends and impromptu plans? I bloom when I’m the centre of attention at a party, stunning everyone into submission with my wit.

Right now even my tomato, brinjal, and chilli plants that I raised like my own, telling them they could be anything they wanted to become, refuse to indulge me. The other day I was discussing the Farm Bills with my chilli plant, expecting a hot rejoinder. But no, she simply asked me to beet it!

Hrrmph, let the season of shaadis and celebrations begin and I’ll show these ingrates my middle ladyfinger!

My knight in shining armour finally arrived as a WhatsApp wedding invite to rescue me from my bland as a khichri life. My husband and I had finally made it to someone’s final 50 list of guests.

I celebrated this momentous occasion by doing the “Go Corona Go” dance. My heart was already beating louder than our neighbour’s drums just imagining the conversations I’d have with real people and not my plants, furniture and my family (all equally silent). Throw my head back in laughter at someone’s unfunny joke. Not having to see men and women in tiny compartments on my screen, all of them talking at the same time.

I even tried to make small talk with the couple who didn’t even care enough to wear a PPE.

My fabulousness had been terribly let down by the two measly Diwali dos I was invited to last month. They made even satsang look lively. Since lockdown has turned everyone either into an athlete, baker, or a pet mommy, the guests wouldn’t stop talking about their running routes, sourdough starters, and how much Jayanti, their poodle, poops. It was so frustrating, I actually threw a kaju katli at the bearded gent who wouldn’t stop bragging about his run from Delhi to Rewari. I mean, why on earth would anyone run so many kilometres only to return home?

I spent almost three hours getting ready for the wedding after watching a YouTube tutorial on “how to drape a saree sexily without offending the elderly”. Nine months of living in my PJs, no salon visits, I had forgotten how to doll up and could find my makeup brushes only after crouching like a frog near my dresser. I even raised a leg towards the ceiling and exhaled noisily. The online yoga classes that I have been attending with celebrity trainer Yasmin Kachrawala helped.

I sashayed into the wedding hall looking like a goddess with a FabIndia mask (because Sabya didn’t care enough) to four starters, no loud music, just muffled laughter from behind more masks. Even the drive to the venue was as uneventful as my life in 2020. No noisy band, baaja, baraat, or drunk uncles holding up the traffic for hours. My rich cuss vocabulary was feeling as useless as my six-figure frequent flying miles.

With no hot men to admire my carefully curated look or no gossip (social distancing and all), I got so bored, I mistook apple juice for wine. Since I don’t believe in wasting my efforts, I asked my janoo to click half a dozen pics for my Instagram fam. I even tried to make small talk with the couple who didn’t even care enough to wear a PPE. When they announced they’ll be honeymooning in Kovalam, my eyes watered in pity, smudging my mascara. Clearly, they do not spend enough time on Instagram or reading PinkVilla to know that Maldives is the place to be this pandemic. Tch..Tch..

But only one invite so far. My hopes for this wedding season have crashed worse than the stock market. Obviously we are not popular enough to make it to the final list of guests. Blame it on the husband who doesn’t lift my flowing pallu like Ranveer Singh or break into a bhangra after two whiskeys. Being sober is so overrated!

What if the vaccines fail and don’t make the awful “new normal” go away?

Now my dozen Banarasis are staring at me accusingly. Imagine not flying off to Seychelles for a beach shaadi! I so miss not hyperventilating deciding what to wear for the dozen functions only to realise that pastels are in this wedding season. I don’t know when I’ll be back in action next.

What if the vaccines fail and don’t make the awful “new normal” go away? What if Bolsonaro is right and we turn into crocodiles? I will have to turn my Chanderis and Banarsi Tussars into nighties! Use my gorgeous polkis as curtain holders! Just the mere thought of it is making my heart sink to my uterus. I can’t remember the last time I danced awkwardly to “Menu Lehenga le de mehanga” playing on a loop and spilling wine on someone’s expensive achknan.

Maybe I should convince my daughter to get married for the sake of my Kanjeevarams, kundan chokers, and my love of choreographed dancing. It’ll be so much fun getting to choose the top 50 guests, Hunger Games style. (Ms Chhatterjee you are uninvited for keeping me out of your secret summer soiree at the peak of lockdown).

There’s  a tiny obstacle though. My daughter is at the age where she thinks all men are trash. But if Aishwarya Rai can get married to a tree, surely she can marry a dustbin for the sake of her mom dying to be a social butterfly!