A Wedding In A Saptapadi
by Vaman Acharya
The day was Thursday August 24th. It was a memorable day in the life of Nayana and Abhinav. The lovers became life partners in the presence of their parents and large number of guests. The marriage rituals were being conducted as per Hindu traditions in Saptapadi Conventional Centre, Pavanpur town. The activities commenced right from 6 a m.
The guests began to arrive there to participate in the function. The marriage hall was packed. The Saptapadi Conventional Centre was the only unique marriage hall in the town. It was situated three kilometers away from the town in a quiet and calm surroundings. The tall trees and greenery added to its beauty. The marriage rituals were going on. The priest was chanting Sanskrit mantras loudly. The muhurtam was at 8 a m.
The entrance of the function hall was beautifully decorated with varieties of flowers and leaves by the skilled workers. ‘Nayana weds Abhinav’ written on a white cloth was placed on the prominent space. The stage, where the marriage rituals performed was also nicely decorated. The melodious popular film songs were an entertainment to the guests. Guests were feeling difficult to talk with another person due to the sound. They were putting extra energy to speak. Welcome drink was served to the guests. The teenage girls with silk sarees standing at the door to welcome the guests.
Just ten minutes after the marriage rituals, suddenly there was a tension. The bride Nayana felt giddy and fell on the ground. Her parents Venkat and Saraswati were unable to tolerate the grief. Among the guests, one gentleman was a doctor. He rushed to the stage for her checkup and reported that her health was normal. The doctor prescribed some medicines.
This incident however, took a serious turn. Abhinav’s dad Balayogi felt it as a bad omen. He was under the impression that Nayana might be suffering from some serious disease and it was not revealed earlier. He was upset and said in the presence of guests that he would like to cancel the marriage. He apologized to the guests for the unexpected development. Balayogi took an immediate decision by himself without consulting his wife Rukmini and the parents of the bride. It was really a shock to the parents of Nayana. Balayogi went to the stage and told his son to remove wedding dress and be ready to go back home. He was a retired Commander in the army.
The guests were about to leave the hall, the bride's father Venkat came and requested all the guests with the folded hands not to leave the hall. He was a retired teacher and a respectable person in the town. All the guests realizing his difficulty came back and occupied the seats. He went to Balayogi and requested him not to take such a drastic action without knowing the reality. Heated arguments took place between them.
Nayana became alright after some time. She asked why all the people were gathered there. She also observed her patents were in desperate situation. Nayana and Abhinav were in their wedding attires. She realized the reason for the tensed situation going on there. Abhinav was also most disappointed for the situation.
She asked Abhinav, “Why did your dad suddenly announce the cancellation of
marriage at this juncture? Is it not an insult to our family? What is your stand? Do you want to follow your dad’s wish? Or, refuse your dad’s wish and let the marriage rituals continue, come what may.”
“Nayana, you fell down due to giddiness. My father thought you may be having some serious illness. You told me in the morning that you are not well due to previous day’s exertion. I know you for the last three years. You don’t have any disease. My dad lost patience due to depression. I admit my mistake. You don’t worry. I will clear the doubt of my dad.”
Abhinav tried to convince his dad and mom. Ultimately, his parents agreed and the marriage rituals continued. Balayogi blessed daughter in law and apologized for the situation created by him. The guests enjoyed sumptuous food. The function was over at 5 p m.
Three years back, Nayana and Abhinav had met for the first time in a book fair at Bengaluru. They were unknown to each other. In Anugraha Book Stall, he selected a rare book for purchase. She wanted the same book. There was no stock of another copy. She requested him to spare the book for her. Abhinav was reluctant to give the book. He agreed and gave her the book. She expressed thanks and left the place.
In an another occasion after a month, these guys again met in a metro train. She was standing as there was no seat for her. He had already occupied a seat. Realizing her problem, he got up and gave her his seat. Both remembered the incident happened last month in the book fair. Luckily one passenger seated besides her got down in the next station. She asked him to sit on the vacant seat. They started conversation.
“Sir, we don't know each other. Let's have introduction."
“Madam, I'm Abhinav, a free lance journalist working for Vibrant India.”
“Glad to meet you sir, I am Nayana working with Sunshine Builders as a Receptionist.”
“Nayana, may I ask you since how long you are working with Sunshine builders?”
“Abhinav, I joined this company two years back."
“Are you happy in this company? “
“I'm not at all happy. The circumstances made me accept this job."
"If you don't think otherwise, I would like to help you in getting another suitable job for you in Vibrant India, where I am working."
"I will be most happy and thankful, if you get me another job."
They parted with a promise to meet shortly. While leaving both exchanged their mobile number. Their conversations continued in the mobile phone. Abhinav was successful in getting her a job in Vibrant India. She was happy and joined the new job. Both had developed intimacy and became lovers. But their marriage was not easy. Nayana was a divorcee and a mother of 5 year old daughter Pushpa. Her divorce case was pending in the court. The case was cleared after one year.
Abhinav accepted Pushpa as his daughter. Parents of Abhinav refused to accept Nayana as a daughter in law and Pushpa as a grand daughter. Ultimately, Abhinav was successful in convincing his parents.
The marriage of Nayana and Abhinav was performed in Saptapadi Conventional Hall, Pavanpur. ***