My first memory of Sweety is always getting a testimonial from her on Orkut.
We’d been friends online for a while, never seen each other in person, never even seen more than 2 outdated school pictures of each other, but shared so many life stories over scraps and g-talk. One afternoon, when many things were not going great in life, I had ranted to her about everything and logged out. Later the same time, I go online and login to my account to see a testimonial from her, sitting for my approval. It read: ‘If you feel like running away, run away to this address,’ followed by her home address.
For the next 5 years or so, I would go on to drop by her place every other day, sometimes unannounced, ask to be fed, sleep in her bed, speak for hours or roll into a wordless cocoon, share heartbreaks, insecurities, plan birthday surprises when I was still young enough to plan them, and get inaugurated into Bengali cuisine. It’s almost a decade of knowing her now, and witnessing her wedding was such a crucial part of seeing a part of my childhood grow. I had to be there, even though it meant travelling all the way to the tiny town of Habra, a good 50 kilometre from Kolkatta, days ahead, and planting myself amongst people whose languages I did not understand at all. I had to be there, because many, many years ago, when she owed me nothing at all, she did not flinch once to open the gates of her home for a girl who felt extremely lost in life. And that is Sweety for you. :)
I got to shoot a few pre-wedding rituals of the Bengali culture as well. She told me the names of them all, explained what they were for, and everything, but for now, I am just going to let the pictures do the talking. :)
I think this song suits best for this mad, mad girl. Hit play and check out the pictures. :)