Sheekha Singh

Writer, Technologist & Podcast Host

My Friend’s Flat Screen Wedding

They say you always have a choice. They also say, there is always a next time. I personally, might disagree here because I certainly did not have a choice and I don’t think there is a NEXT time when it comes to your best friend’s wedding.

Growing up in a normal Indian middle-class family and studying in a convent ‘girls only’ school, I ended up sharing everything with my friends since I was 5. Never did I once think that I would not be able to dance and laugh at my friend’s wedding when she sits there, dolled up, posing for the wedding album with her Mr. Perfect. I remember the days when we couldn’t wait for lunch hour at school. We just pounced on each other’s lunch boxes. I miss those days and the fun we had sitting at the school ground, sharing our lunch, talking to each other, debating over silly stuff and making memories. Now, I just sit at my desk, stare at a screen when I open my lunch box that has nothing but frozen food in it.

We moved to different continents, far from each other. In the age of Twitter, hashtags, Facebook and Instagram, I started to share everything virtually. Those bone crushing hugs are now a pale-yellow face with two tiny hands.

Kisses lost their value and sleepovers, well, sleepovers just became late-night Skype calls.  Eventually, I fell prey to the virtual world, lost in the artificial world of fake emoticons and gifs. I tried, and I couldn’t help but drown in this vast ocean that consumed me, my friends and all our dreams of being there for each other, forever, in all good times and bad.

My mind goes back to 2012, when a classmate of ours invited us to her brother’s marriage. We were beyond excited. I remember how we walked in, dressed up and draped in colorful saris, as if it was one of us getting married. We danced, all of us, not knowing how to handle saris, but we danced and we were happy. Little did we know, that 5 years from now, we would crave to attend each other’s weddings, leave alone dance in one.

As I wipe my tears, I realize that this online world didn’t connect me to my friends, but made me feel guilty and disconnected. I feel guilty that I was helpless and couldn’t make up for not being there by their side on their special day. I am so ashamed, that the distance to their house, which was just a bicycle ride away, now grew so much that I couldn’t meet them even if I wanted to swim across. When you grow up with your girl friends in a convent school, you don’t believe in any fairy tales shit, because your friends become your world. Today, as I sit down to think what all have I missed so far, I wish I could have magical powers for once, that would let me hug my friends and tell them how miserable I feel for not being physically present on their special day. I wish I had super powers for once, to let them know how desperate I was, to attend each one of my friend’s marriage with band, baaja and baraat.

To all my girlfriends, who are now married and going to be soon married, I just want you to know that it is heartbreaking to watch you all getting hitched on some flat screens and not be there to share your happiness. It feels horrible to know that I cannot hug you when you walk down the aisle or cry when you walk away after your bidaai. I miss you all and I know, no words and hashtags can replace it, but all I know is that I love you all and I miss you. Sorry for not being able to be a part of your fairy tale wedding.

InExAcT as always.

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