When the last day comes, you put on your red party dress and get dolled up one last time. You put on your chandelier earrings, your gold bangles, and clip a flower in your hair. You walk into the Oberoi Grand a final time. In addition to the work-required benevolence of the hotel employees, you notice an additional warmth in their smiles that comes with their recognition of you. You like that you’ve stayed in Kolkata long enough to be familiar to people and long enough for the city to become familiar to you.
It’s the only time you’ve arrived fashionably late during the course of the four days, and a cocktail hour has already begun. You join in and smiles and anecdotes about the previous night are exchanged while waiters come by with hors d’oeuvres and bubbly.
You feel like the days have sped by and simultaneously feel like it’s all been longer than it really has been. Like summer camp, you’ve just shared a unique experience with with a new group, an experience that only the group knows, and you’re not sure if you’ll ever see these people again. You cannot fully grasp the experience, the spectacle of it all, the history of it all. It has left an indelible impression on your senses. You agree with the consensus that weddings will never be the same again.
There’s one last Bollywood routine, this time with just the newlyweds, their coupledom now official. Loved ones who have passed on are remembered and it makes you reflect on bittersweet celebrations without loved ones you’ve lost; celebrations you’ve already had and those that are yet to come. There are toasts, and you feel warm and fuzzy when San Francisco is one of the specially mentioned cities when the newlyweds thank those who came from a distance to join the festivities. There’s one last feast and one last surprise revealed in a colorfully lit dance floor in a separate room.
You’re still a bit tired from the previous night, but you dance because it’s the last celebration. You stay till the end, until the music stops. You say your farewells to the bride and groom and you’re one of the last to leave. And you walk out of the Oberoi Grand one last time, feeling satiated and maybe a little wistful. But most of all, you’re immensely glad to have taken part in four vivid days of joyfulness.