Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Best Man

Today we are reminded that we did not only lose a brother and friend in Anuj but Neal lost his best man. Countless stories come to mind of Anuj's multifaceted role during Neal and Hema's wedding.
For example, in the days leading up to the event, Anuj carefully crafted a best man speech for his brother. In the hectic hours before the actual wedding and reception however, he misplaced the speech and could not find it despite some frantic searching. When the time for delivering his address actually came, Anuj did not break a sweat. He simply got up on stage and delivered an incredibly eloquent, personal, and gracious speech that was at times funny, and at others extremely moving. Amazingly, with no written notes, most of his remarks were from memory, others completely extemporaneous and none of the guests could tell until he admitted to family afterwards that he had lost his speech earlier that day!

Throughout the days of festivities, Anuj played the role of an extremely happy, proud and supportive brother. Days beforehand, he helped print out hundreds of wedding programs. He also planned Neal's bachelor party in New York City which occurred the night before the wedding. When the big day came he danced ceaselessly in celebration. In fact he danced so much during the Baraat that his turban came off! In his usual selfless way, he made the day infinitely brighter, happier and richer because of his presence throughout the wedding week. Whether it was calmly carrying out a last minute errand or leading the celebration with his warm, wide smile, Anuj was there.

Anuj we are forever indebted to you for making that day special for us. If an Indian wedding can be described as a stained glass mosaic of vibrant colors, then today those colors are shards of glass shattered on the floor in the deafening silence created by your absence.

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