The wedding was supposed to happen tomorrow. It was all similar to Anandi. Her hennaed hands this time adorned with Shiv’s name. The dholak and music was all the same. She felt a pang of sadness Shiv deserved to be the first. He was the first and only man one for her but he didn’t deserve the tag of a second husband. He loved her too much to care about these details but she was having this fear in her heart.
Her phone beeped and seeing Shiv’s name she clicked on her Bluetooth.
“Hi dear one more day to go” he said from the other side.
The wedding venue was Delhi. She wanted her bidai from her parents’ home. Both of them wanted a simple wedding rather than a grand affair but seeing their parent’s enthusiasm they had agreed for a moderate sized wedding with arnd 500 guests.It was to be held in a farmhouse.
She replied “Yes ! but are you happy shiv?”
“what sort of question is that? I have never been happier. I mean yeah I was when I was with you but this is completely different. You sound upset everything alright?”
“Yeah I was just thinking you should have been my first. You don’t deserve the tag of a second husband”
He laughed “U mean I am not ? Not that it matters but I was under the impression that I am the first”.
She blushed crimson “I am not talking about virginity Shiv. I am talking about marriage. People think that Jagadish was my first husband and you are my second I don’t like this second husband tag for you”.
“Hmmm you know wats your problem Anandi you think too much about irrelevant things. You are not some object or a trophy. It’s not a race to be the first… second or a third. All that matters is that we love each other and want to be together.Yeah sometimes people mistakes in choosing wrong relationship that doesn’t mean they would suffer for it their whole life.These society tags don’t matter to me. We don’t need to give any explanations to the world. You want to marry me right?”
She replied “Yes”
“So do I. You only taught me to forget the past and move on. I want you to do the same. Just forget whatever happened and look at the future. Our future”
“I love you Shiv” She said almost chocking on her tears
“I love you too Anandi. And I can’t wait till tomm !!”
She laughed “Shiv you are behaving like a desperate dulha”
“Yes I am a despo dulha so wats wrong in that ?”
“Nothing” She laughed
“Ok send me your mehendi pictures”
“You are not supposed to see that before the wedding “
“So that means meeting you is also out of scope?”
“And why is that so?”
“To keep you desperation and curiosity level high” She said laughing
“Darn it !! So that why these customs are made ? to torture the groom”
“exactly see it’s so easy to figure out these things” She was laughing so hard that she was afraid of spoiling her mehendi.
“Alright have fun. My time will definitely come” He said
Bhaago called for Anandi to come out for some rituals.
“Shiv Mom’s calling me see you tomm and don’t be late”
“Bye Anandi.Never !! I will reach there before you”.
She cut the call and giggled to herself. Even she couldn’t wait for tomorrow.
Finally after series of rituals the wedding day arrived. Dressed in all fineries of a bride she was happy as well as nervous.With the place buzzing with people she sat in her room waiting for the Barat. One of her cousins came running to inform that the barat had arrived. Looking out from the balcony she finally saw Shiv mounted on a horse. Dressed in a beautiful cream and gold Shrewani he looked every bit of a prince.
Anandi was breathless he looked too handsome to be real. She had never seen a better looking bridegroom ever. All the girls Oohed and aaahhd …some went into fit of giggles.
One girl said “Anandi Didi Jiju is so handsome”.
While the Barat was being welcomed Anandi went back to her bed waiting for people to take her down.
After sometime Swati came gushing “God!! It’s illegal to be so good looking. That applies to both of you !! Should have arranged for some ambulances”
Anandi Laughed “So did you meet him? what did he say?”
Swati replied “He is desperate enough to carry you off without the rituals now come let’s go your prince is waiting for u”
Anandi got up and with a giddy heart she proceeded out.Shiv was sitting impatiently on the stage. He was greeting and meeting people but his eyes were constantly on the red carpet waiting for Anandi. He heard a commotion and looked ahead. A group of girls were coming holding a veil like a curtain .He saw glimpse of Anandi behind the sheer veil.
When they reached the stage her Swati removed the veil.
Anandi stood there in red wedding lehenga and lowered eyes.
With thumping heart she looked up.Shiv had stopped breathing and was staring at her like a statue. She was indeed the most beautiful bride he had ever seen. Her beauty had stumped him out of his senses.
She blushed then walked towards him to stand beside him.
It was impossible to stop staring at each other. It was simply unreal and overwhelming.
Shiv whispered to Anandi “Ur looking absolutely gorgeous. It was worth the wait”.
After a while they stood up for the vermala.Somebody thrust vermalas in their hands. Finally she looked up at Shiv holding her mala.She just looked in his eyes and Shiv bent forward. Anandi placed the varmala and then Shiv followed.
Everybody congratulated them and posed for photographs.
After sometime they proceeded towards the mandap for marriage rituals. It was a beautiful mandap decorated with flowers.Shiv and Anandi took their respective seats for the rituals. After hours of mantrajaap and kanyadaan it was time for the pheras. He had remained unusually quite throughput the process though that didn’t prevent him from stealing glances at her.
Their dupattas tied in gathbandhan they did their pheras.All this while Anandi was in a daze. Unblinking she simply followed the instructions.She and Shiv were finally getting married !!
After the pheras on the instruction of the priest Shiv took a pinch of sindoor turned towards her. Moved aside her maagtika and applied the sindoor in her parted maang.
Anandi looked at him. His face was beaming with happiness. Anandi smiled back and they had an eyelock.The pundit declared that from now onwards they were husband and wife..
Anandi repeated the word “Husband !!”
Shiv was now her husband !!
It all seemed very surreal and unbelievable. She wanted to pinch herself for reality check.
“Come on wife lets take the blessings” His voice broke her thoughts. He had a huge grin on his face. She smiled back and followed him.