The beauty of the night is unparalleled today. Lightning of the house cannot be even matched to the festival of Diwali! The house is full of glittering lights and bedecked with flowers of all colors; red, yellow, orange and pink. The environment is filled with the music of wedding songs and chatter of the gathering who have perhaps not met each other lately. The Aunts are busy around gossiping about the new daughter-in-law who is modern and not ready to keep a dupata on her head “even in front of elders”! Girls are running about to fix their last minute make-up and get ready to welcome the Baraat!
In the background, hums and chants of Panditji can be heard who is continuously pouring ghee in the “Havan Kund”. The aroma of sweets made in pure desi ghee is wafting in the pandal; making each one present hungry to gobble them up! Though caterers are roaming around the house offering snacks and cold drinks to everyone; children make it a point to rush to the waiter as soon as he appears from behind the curtain. There is only one gloomy heart in this festive season………
Donned in beautiful flowing dress, maroon in color just as her freshly polished lips, she sits in front of the mirror. Her jewelry shimmers in the low light of her room and she looks at herself; being transformed into a lovely bride from the girl next door. The delicately crafted jewels do not grasp her attention, for she is fiddling with a ring on her finger. It is a plain ring made of steel, which looks out of place with her stunning attire that night.
The scene of the fair that she went with him last year, doesn’t leave her memories. The giant wheel where she clutched him with all her force; and later winced in pain when she realized that she had hurt him so much……The Golgappa stall, where she had up to her heart’s fill! Stares of the onlookers hardly touched her for she was free as a bird in the sky, without a care in the world! Then unexpectedly, he had popped up a ‘beautiful ring’, which had delicately settled on her ring finger from then on.
She slowly removes it from her finger; opens her bedside drawer and keeps it in it, with all the treasure she has gathered in her childhood. There is a vast collection of small pebbles and shells which she had collected during her trip to the lonesome beach with her brothers and sisters. The visit to her Nani’s place last summer had been painful as well as memorable for her. Painful because she had stayed about 10 long days away from him; without any communication; but memorable yes, because she had done anything she had wished to in her childhood! There had been a drama where she had been decked as bride and danced to her heart’s desire…..
A soft knock at the door brings her back from her reverie and she finds herself being the bride once again, but for real this time………….
It is her first Deepavali after marriage and she is sitting in front of the mirror in her room. It is a small room but carefully done up; painted in soft pink colour. Beautiful curtains from Gujarat hang on all the windows that her husband brought her during one of his trips there. Matching bedsheet, pillow covers and cushions adorn the sitting of the room. A small teddy sits by her bedside, pink in colour with a cute ribbon, which her young niece bought for her on her birthday! She has become familiar to so many titles now; she’s a Chachi to the cute Pari, Mami to the naughty Amit and the list goes on and on………..
There is a separate dressing room attached to the bathroom where she has spent many intimate moments with her husband. He likes her best just after bath, when her wet open hair give him a teasing feeling! A deep growl makes her remember that she has to wake up her husband to get ready for Puja in the house. She gets up and gently shakes him; he opens his eyes and smiles at her! For a fraction of second, she feels that there is nothing better in Life than the satisfaction that he is glad to see her; even after being woken up by her after the tiring journey he has had since last week! Is that Love????