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It was a full scale grand Indian wedding. Madhav wanted to ensure every dream she had ever had of becoming a bride, came true. She was going to marry only once, he told her so she might as well go the whole hog. He was up for everything. She was living a dream.
She made a stunningly beautiful bride. Gorgeous and exotic in a heavy red lehnga. Her hands and feet were intricately adorned with henna. Her bridal nose ring glinted in the light. Her eyes, her kohl lined eyes shone luminously for him. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
Radhika was still a little dazed as to how everything had just rushed. Madhav’s mother had hugged her tight in an emotional hug that day when they had finally made it downstairs for lunch. And her first words were, “Welcome back my dear daughter,” even as her eyes glittered with tears of joy. The she had turned to her son, who looked happier and more relaxed than she had ever seen him and asked cheekily, “Was there ever any doubt?”
He had smiled, “No Ma.” And then he had dropped a kiss on her forehead and said, “Thank you, Ma.”
Aditya was beside himself with joy on seeing her and looked like all his birthdays had come together. Radhika lifted him up and hugged him tight.
Her father had had his reservations initially. Although her mother had already talked to him about it, he was still very reluctant.
“Of course I knew something was going on there as soon as you had told me about where she would be staying. But there didn’t seem to be any more news on that front so I said nothing. And now I hear she had been seeing him and you knew it all along!”
“Dev, nothing happened! But they have found each other now. I have seen them together. What they feel for each other is genuine. He is a wonderful person, comes from a good family, is very wealthy and has a name in corporate circles. And he adores our Radhika. What more could anyone want?”
For that she got a look from her husband. But she was irrepressible. “They love each other. At least meet him, his family, get to know him a little?”
“But think about it, Jaya”, he father told her mother, “Can you really give away our only daughter to a widower who already has a son? Is Radhika even sure she wants this? Does she even know the enormity of what this means? What about her dreams? What about what we wanted for her? How do we know, or how does she know if he hasn’t just charmed her with all this talk of love? He is somewhat older to her you know?”
He spoke to Radhika too, “All I want is for you to be happy, beta. You know you are my princess. Are you sure this is what you want? You have all the world in front of you and you are young.”
“It is what I want papa.” She said with utter conviction and her father no longer doubted her. “When you meet them you will know instantly what I am talking about.”
Her words were not in vain.
Her father thawed at the very first meeting. But it still took several meetings with Madhav over the next one month before he finally relented and happily gave his blessings. There was never any doubt but she had wanted everyone to go into this with full conviction and happiness.
Only then on their formal engagement ceremony did she reclaim the ring that she had given him back for safe keeping.
And then there was Madhav never letting her live her words down. He’d christened Ajay, ‘Ten’.
“Why ‘Ten’?” she asked him, feeling genuinely puzzled especially when she saw the laughter in his eyes. And when he answered her, “You did say he was ‘someone who is worth ten’ of me!” She roared with laughter till her insides hurt.
So now he was always saying something like, “Where’s Ten?” or he’d tease her wickedly, “How’s Ten doing?” And she’d rib him and double up with laughter again.
In the meantime there was a Caribbean honeymoon to prepare for. Yes prepare for she told him, as she dragged him from store to store.
“I didn’t sign up for this!” he said in mock protest.
“Yes you did. Who said marriage was all fun?” she teased as she dragged him into yet another store. He smiled behind her. She was wrong. Marriage to her was proving to be all fun already. And he wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
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Purva Mehta Books
by Purva Mehta
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