The Last Goodbye
The house was bustling with guests and family members running around. Brothers and sisters dancing on the latest bollywood songs preparing for the sangeet. Everyone showing each other their hands saying how beautiful the design and colour of the mehandi applied last night has come out to be. A typical Indian household preparing for the big fat Indian wedding.
The bride to be Naina was in her room trying to catch the beauty of sleep. No one in the house allowed her to do any work and was just telling her to rest. Today was the day before the D day. Tonight was the sangeet and sagai ceremony followed by the wedding tomorrow.
As evening approached, everyone was putting all the things together. Naina’s two childhood friends were also coming for the occasion. She was very excited to see them after a long time. Although they have been friends since childhood, life had taken them to different paths. Due to hectic schedule keeping in touch was difficult limited to a catch up email once in every few months.
Naina goes to the nearby beauty parlour to get ready. The parlour was a recommended one. She had decided to wear a green and blue salwaar suit. She had a tough time searching for the perfect outfit. In the heat of summer, Naina and her mother had practically searched each and every store of South Delhi where they could probably find something nice but within the range. Finally after searching for weeks they zeroed down to this suit which was beautiful but expensive. Naina finally gave in and bought it. She was remembering all this while on her way to the venue. She is among the first ones to reach there and finds only her grandfather to be present there. She looks at time and its 8pm. Where is everyone she thought and looked at her grandfather who had the same question on his face. They both joked that everyone must be still getting ready and will not come before 9pm.
Finally people start coming in. But still no sign of the guests from the groom side. Arjun, the groom was smart and dashing young man. Naina and Arjun were both qualified chartered accountants and had met on training. Arjun had fallen for Naina the moment he laid his eyes on her and Naina also didn’t take much time falling for his charm. The love between them soon blossomed and after 3 years of dating each other they were finally tying the knot.
Around 9.30pm guests, from Arjun's side start coming in. It’s all hustle bustles after that. Greetings are exchanged followed by laughter and teasing around. Naina finally get to meet her friends Sanya and Tanisha. They hug each other and tell how happy they are to meet each other after such a long time. After general chit chatting they ask who all from their friend circle is invited. She told almost everybody from their friendliest was invited including Naina's ex boyfriend Vishal. Both Sanya and Tanisha were shocked to hear that Naina had invited Vishal. But Naina explained that whatever happened between them was water under the bridge and now they both are mature enough to handle things. And it was a happy moment for her so she wanted him to be a part of it.
Naina and Vishal way go long back. They met each other in school and had fallen in crazy love. They thought like every love story in movies they will live happily ever after. Everyone in school thought they were the perfect pair. Vishal was the best boyfriend any girl could ask for. Although he was not good looking or tall but he was a very devotional and caring boyfriend. Naina
on the other hand was this beautiful girl who was proposed by many guys over the years but finally said yes to vishal. Every guy was envious of Vishal and wondered what he had that they didn’t. School got over, and they both went to different colleges. Life became different and soon they started to drift apart. This led to numerous fights between them and finally Vishal broke up with Naina saying that he didn’t love her anymore. He had found someone else in his college and wanted to be with her. Naina took a long time to get over Vishal. But she could never get over him completely. She always had a soft corner for him, a fact that everyone including Vishal was aware of. So when Naina told her friends that she had invited Vishal to the wedding they were not happy with this. They thought with Arjun in Naina’s life, the Vishal episode was over. But Naina could never forget Vishal. And she just wanted to say the last goodbye to him before she surrenders herself to Arjun.
The sangeet and sagai went on till 12 am. Every one danced and a great time. Tired everyone came back home and crashed. After all tomorrow was the big day.
The next day again there was a lot of running around and the day passed by quickly. Came the evening and everyone had reached the venue. The bride was looking spectacular and everyone could not stop complimenting about her beauty and the lavish arrangements that Naina's father had done. Arjun also came in a grand way with friends and family dancing and rejoicing in enjoyment.
It was the time for the warmala and customary photo session. Everybody came on stage and gave their blessing and a got a picture clicked with the bride and groom. But Naina's eyes were searching for someone specific. Someone who still hasn’t come in. She met Raj,one of her other friends from school. She casually asked him if he knew who else would be attending. Her hint was for Vishal. Raj told Naina that Vishal won't be able to make it as he was busy with work. Naina pretended to take the news well. But actually she wasn’t okay. She wanted Vishal to come. She kept on wondering why it is affecting her that he hasn’t come. Is it because, she wanted him to see that it could be him instead of Arjun? Did she want to him feel sad that he had lost her forever? They are plenty of other guests who care more about her than Vishal. Then why is his absence affecting her so much?
As Naina was walking towards the mandap for the pheras, the sadness on her face was getting evident. Sanya asked her what was wrong. She told her that Visahl has not come and it is bothering her. Sanya scolded her mildly and told her she should stop acting stupid. Today is her wedding day and someone's absence should not matter to her. Naina nodded and flashed a smile. The wedding went on for another 2 hours. It was time for the vidayi. As she sat in the car, she said goodbye to everyone. And a mental goodbye to Vishal and decided to bury the episode of Vishal finally.
As her car moved out of the venue, there was someone sitting in his car just about 100m outside the Venue. It was Vishal, he wanted to catch a glimpse of the girl who he knew loved him unconditionally. He wanted to meet her but the thought of loosing her for life stopped him from going inside. As a tear dropped he said his last goodbye to Naina and wished her all the best. *****