Nidhi looked at herself in the mirror. She knew she looked striking. Her red saree was bought from the best weaver in
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
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..