It was time for the most painful and the very purpose of a wedding, the bidai.
Lavanya thought it better to let the family have their privacy at this emotional moment, besides she wasn’t keen on ruining her makeup. NK stood by her side watching the unfolding rasam of bidai from afar and said musingly, “I wonder who first thought of the concept of marriage and that the girl should leave her own home with the aim of making another’s home, a place of love, joy, laughter, peace and comfort,” even though NK had chosen to avoid the scene of the rona dhona, clearly he too was in the grip of strong emotions revealing inadvertently perhaps the other, more serious side of his character. “The entire responsibility rests on her frail shoulders; if a marriage doesn’t work it is to her discredit but if it does work, how often is it to her credit? I find it even stranger that as we move into the 21st Century, instead of her burden decreasing, the new age woman has the added charge of making her mark in the workplace as well”, NK shook his head, must be tough being a woman,” he suddenly realized that Lavanya, was looking strangely at him, as if seeing him for the first time.
NK brushed off his reflective maudlin mood and said in his usual NK-manner, “But you know, I got a good feeling about this wedding. I am sure that Di will be very happy in her new home. What do you think?”
Lavanya nodded her head and said, “Yes even I think so, Anya is such a darling and Kshitij is Chamkili’s brother, nothing more needs to be said.”
They smiled at each other.
Lavanya looked straight ahead and said, “Umm..you had a crush on Ch…I mean Khushi didn’t you?
NK shrugged, “Yeah sure I did, in fact I still like her, and she is an amazing person, but unfortunately totally besotted with Nannav. Besides, if I even dared to ‘think’ about Khushiji, Nannav would think nothing of murdering me, so nothing there,” he sighed. Then, “What about your feelings for ASR?”
Lavanya too shrugged, “Yeah we are a pair aren’t we? I am or rather was worse off than you ever were I think; I really had this huge crush on him and I thought I would never ever get over him. In fact, I would have never come for the wedding if it weren’t for Chamkili, she insisted so much I didn’t have the heart to refuse. But now I am glad I came; it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, in fact, I finally realized fully how totally unsuited we were; and it is probably a blessing in disguise that we didn’t get married as it would have definitely not worked out for us.
NK cleared his throat and said, “Did you know weddings held in this family have their own peculiar customs and traditions?”
Lavanya looked at NK surprised, “No. What?”
“Well there is this tradition of carrying the new bride over the threshold,” NK explained, “and…” he hesitated.
“And?” Lavanya queried, her curiosity piqued by NK’s expression.
“And,” he cleared his throat, “A new custom, that of ek shaadi ke saath ek shaadi muft.”
Lavanya stared at NK.
NK spread his hands and shrugged, “Yeh sach hai aur mooch bhi! You ask anybody, when Aakash got married, Nannav too got married; the question is as Di is getting married, who is the lucky couple who will also be getting married today?” NK tapped his chin thoughtfully.
Lavanya looked at him, her eyes wide, “Really! And we can’t allow customs and traditions to be broken, can we?”
NK nodded his head enthusiastically, stars in his eyes (wedding bells in his ears).
Lavanya too tapped her chin, “I know we can’t break it but we can twist it a bit can’t we? Aaj toh shaadi nahi ho sakti, but maybe we can fix up a wedding.”
NK felt dizzy, did that mean…did she mean…ooh la la ooh laa his heart sang.
“I think,” Lavanya continued, “We should fix up that new girl, Khushi has hired to help around the house, what’s her name? Ah yes Shakuntala as a bride for HP.”
NK’s castle of cards came crashing down, heartbroken he turned to leave.
“Oh by the way NK,” called Lavanya, “I was planning to visit the temples of Khajurao after the wedding, do you think you could help me with the bookings? You see I been wanting to go there for a long time now, and this time, even though I don’t have any company, I am determined to visit Khajurao,” she looked at him demurely.
NK revived like a man sighting an oasis in a desert, “Sure,” he said studied nonchalance, “if it is ok with you maybe I could come along?” he asked, though not too hopefully.
“Sure,” came the unexpected response and before he had recovered from this shock, “And NK,” Lavanya admired her painted and hennaed hands, “Don’t bother with booking separate rooms.”
Rumor has it that mouth to mouth resuscitation was required to revive NK (and make him swoon all over again). 😀
As is the custom, the bidai was an emotional, sad and tearful event. Anjali sobbed inconsolably, as did, Khushi, Payal, Mamiji and Naniji. Payal as was her nature was more controlled in her display of emotions while Khushi forcibly cheered herself by telling herself she would be accompanying Di to her new home as her ‘nanad’ but mostly because she caught sight of her LG looking like a lost little boy, sad, lonely and oh so unhappy; Khushi’s heart nearly broke, but she steeled herself because she knew that if she too fell apart now Arnav wouldn’t be able to even maintain the façade that he was holding on to so determinedly. He had refused to come near the gate and was standing further off; and by mutual understanding, nobody urged Chotte to come and bid his sister adieu.
Mamiji of course went off into paroxysms of tears interspersed with loud wails and emotional nautankis. Yet Naniji was the hardest hit but after a brief breakdown she recovered enough to pull up Mamiji and bless Anjali with a happy and long wedded life.
Kshitij looked on helplessly while Anya observed everyone with a very sad expression, especially CSR as he stood at one side with a grim expression, his fists tightly clenched as if physically holding in his emotions.
I am traveling hence the untimely shower 😀 When I began writing Silver Streaks I had no idea what fan fiction was and when I began blogging I had no idea about flash fiction (100 to 200 word stories). You’ve been/going through my fan fiction, how about trying some flash fiction as well? Here are a couple of links to my latest posts, do try them out – thanks and have a great weekend
Click here for Chapter 59