“Your complexion has gone dark, come I will apply instant mask. Get your skin beautiful before we go to Meenie’s.”
The entire sputter was not because Meenie was getting married. Her chapter was closed. She was slaughtered. My Mom and my Aunts had a new goat to slaughter-Me. She checked my dresses for the event and made sure I wear enough accessories to impress the prospective groom families. I reached late and missed Ganpati Sthapana which did not bother my mom as there were only family members. My exhibition was in the evening-at Sangeet.
My father and Chinu had already left to help my fufa (Meenie’s father) with the Sangeet preparations.
Next function after Ganpathi Sthapana was Mehendi. I wore blue Kota doria suit paired with gold polish metal ear jhumka, 4 bangles in one hand and quartz golden watch in other. I hardly get moments to wear traditional attire. I dressed to make myself happy and not mom. I was never comfortable with the heels and would prefer flats. Today I chose to wear my favorite pair of golden flats from Inc. 5.
“Mom I am ok.”-my mom tried to put a ‘Bindi’ on my forehead while we were sitting in the car heading towards the venue. I stopped her. She gave me a mother look and scanned me from bottom to top.
“Where is the nail paint? Wait I have one in my purse, let me apply. Believe me red goes with every color.”
“Mom you stop behaving silly, or I will jump from the car and leave for Delhi from the first flight I get.”-I stopped her hands that almost reached to the purse.
She gave me other angry mother look and turned her face towards the car window and started looking outside. She did not want to fall into an argument with me until the marriage is over, at least.
I took a sigh of relief and turned my face into opposite direction.
“Why did you miss Ganapati Sthapana? I thought you will not come.”-Meenie hugged me as I reached.
My Fufa has a big old fashioned house with a huge garden to occupy approximately 200 people at one time. All the marriage ceremonies were to be held there.
“Well, not too late, Mehendi ceremony still to be started.”-I saw her mother making the space for the ladies to sit down and adjusting Pooja Samagri from the Ganapati.
She nodded and dragged me towards her room where I met remaining cousins. Of course not boys, they were partying somewhere in the nook of the house. We, all the girls jumped in happiness and hugged in a circle.
Shashi, one of my cousins, pointed towards the corner of the room where they too had arranged Vodka with sprite for all of us, accompanied with ice in one thick Polystyrene box.
“Have you gone insane? Fufa will beat us if they know about this.”
“Nothing will happen; he too is busy with his circle.”-Shashi winked and looked at Meenie. Meenie waved her hands in the air and passed a worriless smile.
Two professional Mehendi girls were booked separately who sat with us in bride’s room and started applying henna on our hands.
After 4 pegs we started giving our views on life.
“You know what? Roam the world before you get married, because once you are hitched, your world overturns.”-Shashi put her forehead on the wall and talked.
“God, she is gone. Watch her.”-Meenie asked me while professional girls were applying henna on her hand.
“Come, let’s eat something and sleep”-I pulled her towards the bed.
“Watch, Dollu?”-Meenie screamed as I unbalanced and fell on the bed.
Everybody in the room laughed loudly. I looked up and joined them in the laughter.
My phone rang. A wave of happiness ran on my face as I saw his name on the phone.
“Hello? Reyansh?”
“Dollu? I have something important….”
“You know what? Roam the world before you get married, because once you are hitched, your world overturns.”-I laughed.
“Angie? Are you Okay?”
“I am okay, but you are not. Who eats bun like coarseness?”-I said it in a loud voice while waving my hands in the air.
“Okay….and?”-he guessed easily that I was drunk.
“But your eyes tell different story. Do not mind if I behave like a shameless creature.”-my voice went softer as I remembered his eyes from the Irani café.
“I will not, but where are you right now? Are you okay?”-there was a worry in his voice.
“I am fine..fine…you know what? I have an exhibition of myself tonight. I need to get dressed very beautiful in the evening, or else my mother’s dream will shatter. I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders.”
“Ohhkay…”-I heard a laugh at the other side of the phone.
“What makes you laugh? Huh…What makes you laugh? Are you forced to wear fancy clothes to impress the party? Are you forced to apply beauty face masks? Have you ever been scanned head to toe by the people in the wedding? I get to face all these?”-as I finished last line I found myself on the floor due to foot fall in Saree lying on the ground. I remembered the last sentence I spoke before fainting, “You know? Red nail paint goes with every dress.”
“Dollu? Watch? Are you hurt?” My girl gang came towards me screaming. I could hear the voice of Reyansh from the distance, “Hello, Dollu? Are you okay?”
My eyes opened in the evening. My head was heavy and eyes did not want to open. Meenie was shaking me and Shashi had lemonade in her hand.
“Drink this immediately and get ready we have only one hour left. Groom side can arrive anytime now.”-Meenie took lemonade from Shashi’s hand, offered me and rushed towards the dressing table.
Shashi handed me my suitcase and too left to get ready.
It was not easy to finish the lemonade with the heavy head, so I stopped drinking it after a few sips and opened the suitcase.
The stage was decorated with Tagetes (Genda) flowers and a screen was right in front where some of Meenie’s childhood memories were to be shown. A DJ was set at the left hand side of the stage. The right side space was occupied by the anchors, properties to be used while performing and obviously performers. Few were busy rehearsing their lines and a few were busy guiding the DJ about their dance number. As I came closer to the stage, my mom came rushing towards me and checked if I have missed wearing anything. She immediately took Kajal on her ring finger from her eyes and applied behind my neck. I looked at her surprisingly.
“Yeah, like everybody has come here to see me.”-I joked.
“Huh”-she left.
I looked around for food and saw a long queued stall of south Indian items. My mother had told me about the cuisine earlier this morning.
My phone rang. It was Angie.
“Hope she is fine.”-I talked in my mind and immediately took it.
“Hello Angie, are you okay?”
“I am absolutely fine. What has happened to you? Are you drunk?”
How the hell she came to know about all this? None of my cousins are close to Angie. Then who could have told her?
“How do you know that?”
“Reyansh told me that. He found me on FB, sent friend request and told about your behavior over the phone.”
That man was getting on to my nerves. I had told him once that Angie is my roommate and best friend and he remembered it. How dare he talked to Angie and started interfering into my personal life?
“There is something else I want to say…”
Before Angie could say anything I hung. Every single word I said to Reyansh over the phone started coming to my mind.
“Nail paint, overturn, eyes, bun…what did I do? How could I ever see him face to face? He must be laughing at my behavior? I made fool of myself. Oh God.”-I thought as I walked slowly towards the row of chairs set up in front of the stage and set on one of them. I kept recalling my sentences and hit my head with both the hands cursing each word I said.
“Are not you wearing red nail paint?”
I turned thinking why my mom’s voice is sounding manly and got shocked seeing…
“Reyansh????”

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