September 5th, 2006
If any of you were wondering where I've been for the past few days, I was in Cape Cod, delivering this:
I'd like to take a quick moment to express my thanks to the Fullers for their hospitality and this lovely reception. I'd also like to thank the Shahs for many years of love and support--the first time I met them, Nayan got us pizza and Shailendu offered me scotch, and their son hasn't stopped trying to get me to have both with some measure of regularity.
Some time ago, lillania and Nandu got me the book, The Best Man's Handbook, which goes into all sorts of detail about my responsibilities and duties. Most of you know that one of my key duties is the giving of this speech, and when I consulted the book about the speech, it told me that I should tell you a few stories--stories introducing me, how lillania and Nandu met, and so on and so forth. Well, unfortunately, I'm a rather poor storyteller, and if any of you know Nandu even peripherally, then most of you have heard those stories, as well as just about every other story Nandu knows--sometimes, depending on the state of his sobriety, you'll hear the exact same story delivered word-for-word not five minutes after he's already told it.
For those of you who don't know me, I am the Bill to Nandu's Ted, the Butt-Head to his Beavis, the Harold to his Kumar. One thing many of you might not know is that Nandu is also my Tai Chi teacher, a position which demands the utmost respect from the pupil. So let this be the first in a series of apologies to my friend and mentor. I'm sorry, Sifu, for what is to come.
Over the course of our eleven-year-long friendship, we have had quite a few misadventures. We spent enough time hanging out to the point where a great many of the people we regularly associated with took to calling me "Nandu's girlfriend." So let that be the first in a series of thank yous to lillania--thank you so very much for stopping this whole "James is Nandu's girlfriend" business. Nandu, sorry for letting even more people know about that.
Now, understand, when I say "misadventures," I'm usually implying something about late nights playing video games, rather than drunken tomfoolery. Prior to Nandu's relationship, however, we did have our moments replete with drinking, spending, and general stupidity. From my head and from my wallet, thank you, lillania, for making those evenings even more infrequent. Nandu, I'm sorry for not participating in long nights of drinking anymore.
Nowadays, like I said, most of the time we hang out, we devote to being puerile and playing video games. Yes, it's foolish, so once again, thank you, lillania, for being patient with our stupidity. Nandu, sorry for letting the world in on just how childish we can be.
My lovely girlfriend, in her infinite wisdom, told me that key in this speech should be a tribute to lillania. That this speech should really be about her. And since their engagement, lillania and I have grown quite close--so while there's really no limit to the amount of foolishness that we get into, sometimes, I need a break of sorts. And I call on lillania to reign Nandu in on his expectations of what we can or cannot do. So thank you, lillania, for keeping the boy in check. Sorry, Nandu, for going behind your back (and also for calling you "the boy").
I know most of you would like to get to eating, drinking, dancing, or (in Nandu's case) not dancing. So let us all take a moment to raise our glasses to lillania and Nandu.
To my best friends--to the love that will sustain you for your lifetime (just remember, I'll be there, too)--I love you both. To the bride and groom.