A Matter of Choice - Part 2

A Matter of Choice - Part 1

Nidhi felt a wet rush down her chin. She had been so caught up with her happy memories that she had accidentally bit her lip reliving the joyous moment. This caused her lip to erupt towards the left side. It wasn’t visible thanks to her lipstick but she felt the burning pain. So much for Nikhil and his memories, she thought. She rushed to the washroom and dabbed a wet towel on her lip. The burning sensation increased. Should she inform her mother? Since her parents were already busy tending to their thousand guests, she decided against it. The towel showed only stains of blood. She looked confused, and then thought about waterproof lipsticks. Oh yeah, how times had changed.

She neatly wiped off the blood and dabbed on some Vaseline. Since the beautician had left her kit here, she might as well as cover her lip with some more lipstick later. She looked out of the window, heavy clouds were forming. The weather had said rain and she prayed that the weather would not play spoil sport today or the next day when they flew for their honeymoon. The groom’s family had already arrived and Nidhi could hear the loud music of the band being played. She walked back to the mirror and re-did her lips carefully putting the lipstick back into the make up case. It was 10.20. The muhurat would start in 20 minutes. Having checked herself for one last time in the mirror, Nidhi sat back in her bed and waited to be called.

Mr. Murthy was very hyper. He ran like a small machine on fire all over the place, making sure the arrangements were all fine. He signaled to his nephew to check if all the guests had eaten their breakfast. When he received a positive reply he heaved a sigh of relief. He wasn’t very comfortable wearing the white lungi and walking around, but he had to wait until the first set of ceremonies were over. He dint seem to mind much though, today all that mattered to him was his daughter and her happiness. It reflected in his proud smile and his concern towards everyone.

Mr. Murthy was then called by the pundit. He came and bowed down, as per the Hindu custom. The pundit pointed his finger towards the big clock hanging towards the entrance and asked him to call in the bride. Mr. Murthy nodded and felt a tug of emotion inside. His only daughter would not be with him anymore. But he was content. The groom was of her choice and judging Nidhi by the past few weeks, it seemed like she couldn’t wait to get married. She had taken care of every detail herself. Right from the venue, to the menu, to the transport, to the music. And Mr. Murthy had made sure that his daughter’s dream wedding comes true. He called his wife aside and asked her to bring down their daughter.

Nidhi walked down the stairs with the coy grace of a new bride. She looked around and smiled at the familiar faces and looked intrigued by not so familiar ones. She stopped to hug Mili, her best friend who couldn’t hold back her emotions. She then extended her hand towards Diwakar, her neighbor and good friend. Both smiled and Nidhi walked on. She reached the wonderfully decorated mantap and sat down basking in all the attention. She looked pleased and showed thumbs up to her dad who was fighting hard to not break down. After a brief exchange of words with the pundit, Nidhi looked up and faced the crowd. There were a lot of people out there. 1200 was what the Murthys had expected. This definitely was more than that. Thank God they had ordered food for 1500, she thought and said a silent prayer.

The pundit then signaled for the groom to come in. He looked splendid in his silk dhoti and pale white shirt. He had trimmed the hair on his beard and smelt fresh. “The Dreamer” by Versace, Nidhi guessed. He walked towards the mantap and bent down to touch the feet of Mr and Mrs Kumar, his parents. They blessed him and his mother walked him into the mantap. Nidhi looked up at him and smiled. As always, he gleamed every time he saw her. He sat down next to her and asked her if she was doing okay. “I’m fine”, she said. He sat down cross legged and the pundit held their hands together and began his chant.

Diwakar’s parents were caught in the rain. They did not want to miss their neighbor’s daughter’s wedding. Mr. Purohit called his son to inform him that they would be late. Diwakar sighed and continued to make small talk with Mili. The rain poured outside the venue. Since the weather had said rain, most of the invitees had come prepared. The security guard at the venue stopped the grey Santro had that had just arrived at the gate. Mr. Purohit lowered down the window and said “The Murthy’s wedding”. The security guard shook his head and asked for the invite. Thank God Mrs. Purohit had insisted on carrying it. He shoved it at the guard. The guard looked pleased and directed them to an arch toward the left.

The arch was beautifully decorated with white and red carnations, with a few sunflowers peeking in between. The rain sprayed on them causing them to look fresh with every drop. The red carpet paving the entire lane to the wedding hall was soaked now. Mr. Purohit nodded. Murthy had done a wonderful job, he thought, as he saw the figurines of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on both sides of the entrance. Mr. Purohit reached the entrance and stopped the car. He and his wife got down, and handed their keys to a chauffeur who politely drove down the car to the parking lot. Mrs. Purohit adjusted her saree and Mr. Purohit wiped of the water from his forehead with a white hand kerchief. When both were pleased, they walked through the entrance which had a huge white board perched on the top which read “Nidhi weds Vikram”.

To be continued..

~ Soumya

A Matter of Choice - Part 1

Nidhi looked at herself in the mirror. She knew she looked striking. Her red saree was bought from the best weaver in Banaras. Her choli was the perfect fit as it tugged onto her skin exposing the slim curve of her back. The bangles on her hands were the exact red of her saree. She had spent an entire day in Bangalore looking for them. She wore her mother’s antique jewels that carefully rested on her in three layers. She had thought that it was a bit too much, but her mother hadn’t. After hours of arguing, Nidhi had finally given up. The mehendi on her hands had turned almost a deep dark brown since the previous day she had gotten it done. She smiled. She knew what people would say. (They say that the darker the mehendi on the girls’ hands, the more her husband to be loves her). Yes, today she was the bride and she knew she looked her best today.

After glancing at the mirror for a while, Nidhi took a bite of the oatmeal cookies left on the table. She wasn’t allowed to eat anything, until the ceremonies were completed. For a minute she thought how would she manage that, and later consoled herself saying that it was only for a day. She’d fill herself up later with the guava juice she loved. She knew Nikhil liked it too. They had been in love for 10 years and today would be the most important day for both of them. She looked up at the mirror; she could see Nikhil behind her. She looked away knowing very well that she was imagining the scene. She was. This was not the first time.

Mrs. Murthy climbed up the stairs slowly holding the plate of fruits in her hand. Her green and maroon kanjeevaram silk saree tugged underneath her heels more than twice, but she elevated on. Practice they say makes man perfect. She entered Nidhi’s room and looked at her. Her daughter looked gorgeous and did total justice to her “coin” necklace that was given to her by her mother. Mrs. Murthy shed a silent tear as she took Nidhi’s hand and kissed it. They had already had their “talk”. She knew Nidhi would perform her duties well, of that of a wife and that of a daughter in law. After adjusting Nidhi’s nose ring, Mrs. Murthy left, wiping away her tears. The beautician would touch up her make up anyway.

Nidhi sat back on the bed and cringed, trying to figure out what to eat. The carefully separated pomegranate seeds might stain her lips or her saree. The orange segments might just ooze its juice all over her and the papaya looked a bit too raw. After what felt like eternity she slowly picked up a piece of apple and bit it. She looked around the room. She and her family had just moved into the hotel 2 days back. Since the preparations were still going on, they had decided to come in early and be around, since the wedding was taking place under the same roof. Although the room looked big as soon as they checked in, today it looked puny with all the bags, clothes and the beauticians’ kit strewn around it. Nidhi had liked the kohl the make up artist had used. She reminded herself to ask him about the brand. It opened up her eyes and the fish tail was smudge free and she wanted to use it for daily wear too.

She recalled how much Nikhil loved her eyes. The first words he had ever spoken to her were “Beautiful eyes that tell a story”. She thought he was ragging her, but it turned out he was a freshman too. With a smile their friendship had started. That was 12 years ago. When she had just gotten out of school and stepped into college. Her dad had been really apprehensive about her joining a co-ed college especially since his precious daughter had just passed out of a convent. But that was the best pre-university college in the state and he was proud that she had made it to the first name on the first list.

Nidhi and Nikhil were in the same class. He seemed smitten by her since day one, but Nidhi was always skeptical. She liked him no doubt, but all her strengths and energies were focused on only one thing. Scoring a free engineering seat. But he seemed determined. He wooed her in all possible ways and stuck by her side through out those crucial two years. She trusted and confided in him. Once the results were out and Nidhi had successfully reached her goal, she gave in to his charms. Every day thinking what took her so long. The big fat physics books and the nauseous chemistry labs had distracted her from him. Yet, better late than never. She had it all in her life now and she would never regret her choices ever, she knew that.

Nikhil also had found a seat in her same college, albeit in a different branch. But they managed to meet everyday, studying together preparing for the upcoming placements. In the third year both for them managed to secure a job with a top MNC in Bangalore and Nidhi decided that things in her life couldn’t get better. She also decided to break the news about her and Nikhil to her parents once she was done with her last year and when she had joined her job. Nikhil disagreed. He asked her to wait for a while and get used to the job first. And then later when they were both settled with sufficient amount of savings, they would break the news. Nidhi nodded, thinking that the surety of a secure future would be a big catalyst that would help in receiving an approval from her parents.

After working for 3 years in the same company, Nikhil moved to another big firm. His pay package doubled and together they were bringing in more money than what was needed to run a household. She decided it was time to let the parents know. Nikhil too was in favor of it. They decided to inform hers first and then his. Nidhi was only too happy to let her parents know of her choice. Her parents had met Nikhil during their graduation and they had liked him. Sure of their daughter’s choice, they happily agreed. They asked her to inform Nikhil to bring his parents home to have the “formal” talk. Nidhi was overjoyed and thanked God for making all her dreams come true. She then picked her phone to dial Nikhil.

Nidhi’s thoughts were jolted back to the present by a sharp sting. And then she felt the blood ooze.

To be continued..

~ Soumya

Happy Lust in August

Well well well, its my favorite month of the year. No, I don't intend to be silly and say so only because its my birthday month. August for me has always meant hope and peace. It sure marks a new beginning in my life, as I completed 26 years of my existence on the 8th and stepped into my 27th. And I have achieved all that I wanted to by the time I completed 26. A decent pay package, a concrete idea of an independent business, self security and at last but not the least a man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life. Feels good. Also, this was my last birthday that I spent as a singleton. I'll be a wife next year. Woohoo, still can't believe this is happening. Until last month I've been resting/rusting at home, without any interesting projects available. On August 1st, I joined an awesome project. I changed my stream again and got into something that I exactly wanted. Now you know that the month started off with a bang.

I took a passion to the next level during my break. Cooking and baking. Tarts, cookies, pies, eclairs, pastries, muffins, cakes, chocolates etc. My best till date was the date and walnut muffins, lemon and meringue tart and the red velvet cup cakes. Oh yeah, I'm extremely proud of myself. And chocolate making has already turned into a business which has been giving me some good money. So something good did come out of the break. And 'Masterchef Australia' has been a big inspiration. What's the irony is that I'm not a dessert person at all. As in, I don't have a sweet tooth and do not like to eat sweets. But I do love cooking them for the people around me and nothing satiates my inner self than to see their happy faces with every bite. And Cal's look of appreciation with a proud glint in his eye. That's the added bonus. So yeah, a new alter ego of that of a chef exists in the Lioness.

Having said that about cooking, lets talk about gossip. Oh yeah, the vicious cycle where in you hear something from someone about someone else and then go on to tell that to everyone else. Honestly, not my cup of tea. After thinking for a while I realized why I am not a gossip monger.

~ My life is adventurous enough and it takes most of my time to live it. I don't have the time to ponder into others life. Trust me, I don't even know who my neighbors are.

~ I'm not a bored housewife who has to turn towards the Internet for entertainment. Chatting with random strangers and checking out what who has put on Facebook has never been entertainment for me.

~ I'm not fighting a battle within my beliefs, so that I need to look elsewhere for some news to distract me and the world from the rock bottom I'm hitting.

~ I'm not a lazy person. I'd rather clean my yard instead of checking out the dirt on others.

~ I'm a truly happy person myself and I do not need to see the plight of other people to make myself feel good.

~ My life revolves around me, my work, my cooking, my family, my friends and my boyfriend. That's all that can affect me and that's all that I would let affect me.

Quite some reasons there. And all so true. Seriously, why care about the rest of the world?

August also marks a new chapter in my life. A chapter called 'size small/medium'. I can confidently walk into any fashion store today and pick up a dress of size small/medium knowing that one of it will surely fit me. Good bye to shopping in the kid's section. No kidding, seriously. I have done that for 25 years of my life. I was a size 0 until then, but now I'm a proud size 2. I like the curvier me and I intend to retain the weight and tone my body down to distribute it. No one in my life would have thought that I'd put on weight. I dint either. Today, people say that its because of the peace and the happiness inside me. I cannot disagree. Happiness is all I've known since 2012 started and the lust increases. May the streak continue.

*Fingers Crossed* 
~ Soumya

Can't erase, Can't rewind

If you don't have a past, then you don't have a present. Show me one person who hasn't had a past and I'll bow to you. Isn't this what life is all about. The past, the present and the future. So why make a big deal about having a past or dreaming about the future. This is how life is. This is how life is meant to be.

Its after ages that I'm thinking about my past or writing about it. People who have been following my blog right from the start know that I have also been a victim of living in the past. But I don't regret it now. After a colorful past(not my choice of words) I chose what colors I need in my present. The past has been very kind and unkind to me. But yeah, I survived all that didn't I? People around me think that I have an enviable life because of all the men I have around. They might just be friends, but again, you cannot control what others think. Others think that maybe my present is not good enough, just because they have had limited information about my past. For those keeping count, I've had 94,769,321 boyfriends. Don't wait, just pick the phone and spread the word. I haven't cared about what you say or do for the 9490 days I've been on this earth, what makes you think that now I will. And if you think that my past is limited only to this aspect, then you will  be shocked. There is a reason why I do what I do and why I am the way I am today. 

Situations affect a person the most, be it from the past or the present. If you don't know the reason then please don't judge. 

Its my life, my past, my present, my boyfriend and my marriage. Life is seriously funny at times. The title of this post comes from the song 'Erase & Rewind', which was introduced to me by a then good friend. Today, I no longer know if he is actually alive or not. Not that I care, but still. Another close friend turned into a foe after a brief relationship, and today he does not exist for me. People come, people leave. 3 years ago, I wasn't happy at all at my work front. I just did the job because I was getting paid. When I decided that this is not what I want, I just plunged into something else and I'm the happiest today. Life is life, everyone has a past, present and a future. Its up to us to decide what and who you want to carry from the past to the present or to the future. Even the normal life we live apart from boy/girlfriends and work is a life. There is a past and a future to it too. I don't understand why past is only considered to be in the love life front? Very unfair.

A good friend of mine, just came into the city. His parents have found him a suitable girl to get married to. He likes her too. But he wants me to help him do a background check on her. I out rightly denied. This is one more weird quality about the male species. They can have as many affairs as they want to, but yet prefer a homely, pristine clear, virgin girl. 'Cocktail' is an example of this. The man can lay anything that looks like a girl but if the girl does the same its a loud "No" for marriage. Poor Deepika, though I loved the way she has played her role. It would have been better if she fought for her love without trying to change herself. But why? The Indian audience is not wired to accept such characters. Will gawk at her flawless body in a bikini, but will not think of her as marriage material. Strange.

Life cannot be lived on as a bias. Every soul comes with a history. When we can accept something that happened eons ago, why not the recent past. Make peace with what has happened and you make peace with what comes your way later. Everybody makes mistakes, very few learn from them. Its up to us to decide what we want to be. But no matter what you can't undo them or try to go back into the past to change it. Accept life, and then you start living.

~ Soumya