A traditional and beautiful home, where in the yard there’s a small boy of age about 10 is playing around. Dev, his father and Shikha, his mother, both were so happy looking him from the varandah. They had a very cute and happy family.

 After spending much time together looking their little boy, cooking food and eating together around a table. Dev looked so happy and Abhi joined him. Shikha came to them with an album and placed it on the table. Dev started showing his son the memories in those photographs. From childhood of Dev till that day, each and every moment were captured. But suddenly Dev’s eye locked on a picture. It wasn’t just a picture, it was special to him. That photo was of a marriage ceremony of his close friend. Looking deeply to the photo, he fell in thoughts about a day that changed his life in every way.

‘I reached the hotel a day before the marriage of my best friend. On that morning of wedding…I was standing in front of dressing table, holding a ‘shervaani’ in my hand. I was so confused in wearing that desi dress while I like to be trendy. So I ended up my confusion choosing a blue jeans and a white shirt. With all satisfaction about my look, I went to my friend’s wedding.

The mansion, where the marriage was going to be held was so beautiful. A red carpet welcomed me to the main entrance. There was a crowd of guests in front of the mansion. I stepped further, a beautifully decorated arch written ‘Shivani Weds Ravi’, the mansion walls, windows and the entrance was decorated with white and red roses. I saw many familiar faces around and shook my hands to them in pleasure of seeing them all, again. I entered to the big hall. The guests were here and there inside. I thought to adjust myself somewhere in a calm corner. So I chose to take my place besides the stair. Somehow I managed to come out from that rush and stood besides the steps. It was too hot inside there with the crowd and the ‘deepams’ decorated inside the hall. A moment then, there happened a flower shower on my head. I was covered with loads of yellow and orange petals. I felt too awkward, standing like a bawoon covering my body with flowers. So I looked up angrily. But my lips made a curve when I saw a beautiful face up there. Her browny eyes I see was sparkling, her curly hair was blowing on her face. She came running to me and I saw her being worried about what just happened and I said ‘It’s Okay’. Before she could respond to me, some girls, maybe her friends took her with them. She left without a word. I stood still, looking a pretty girl in Pink salwar, flying through the corridors like a bird. She faded away from my view. That day, that moment, I wanted to pause that forever, because I never thought of falling for a girl at first sight. I smiled clearing off the petals from my hair and shirt.

A while later, my friends came and I joined them for chitchat. Suddenly I noticed a pink dupatta in the crowd dancing in the wind. Don’t know why, but I felt that it’s her, the same girl I met a while before. I stepped into the crowd colliding with every next person and saying ‘Sorry’. Finally I reached but found no one I wished. My heart was beating fast, I was feeling uncomfortable. Unknowingly my eyes were searching for her. I moved further and saw few girls gathered around a corner. I took my steps a bit fast as I felt sure of meeting the girl there. But the very next moment I collide again and again the stupid flowers were after me. They started flying in the air. In that shower I saw the pretty face again. Now face to face she stood, yes I collided with her. Our eyes locked, that moment was paused. I was feeling like there was just me and her and the wind. Her eyes were shining, my body stood numb and just my heart was beating, beating for her.

Maybe she hasn’t felt the same as I did. That’s why she left without a single word, without a simple smile. I felt bad for a moment but didn’t lose my hope. I followed her path. The way she walked, the way she looked, the way she smiled mesmerized me. She stood near a table decorated with roses and candles. Her face was glowing in that dim light. She looked like an angel in heaven. Some girls came along to her and started murmuring. One of them said something in her ear and she laughed so cheerfully. I felt fainting on that beautiful smile.

Everyone around us moved towards the ‘mandap’, so do I. We entered to the mandap hall. The hall was decorated so beautifully and around me there were so many people. Most of them were sitting in the place that arranged for guests, some of them were moving in a rush; some were talking very seriously about some, where some other chicks were busy talking about who wore what and how ridiculous the girl with red hair on their right looked. Poojaari was doing some kind of mantras and there was my friend Ravi sitting so calm and in deep thoughts. Then I saw my girl, she made her seat along with her friends somewhere in the middle of the hall. I started searching for a seat where I could comfortably sit and keep looking at her. I ran here and there. Stood near every chair searching whether it is ok or not. Then I found a seat where I could possibly see her clearly. But there was a young man already seated on that. I requested him to shift to the next seat just beside him. But he ordered me to sit there. I requested again and again and his nose became rose in anger. I didn’t drop the spirit. We started arguing and that made a pretty crowd around us. From a small space in between, I saw that girl watching me having fight. I thought not to create a scene in front of her. So I sat on the next seat controlling myself. There was a big man sitting in front of me and I couldn’t see one glance of her. My patience was under pressure. I was feeling something that I haven’t felt ever. I started taping my fingers on the chair. Suddenly I stood up and walked out of the hall in temper. Stepping fast towards a table in the corridor, I gave a huge hit on it with my leg when I reached.  But the hit was painful. I held my leg, closed my eyes saying ‘Ouch!’… Then I heard a laugh behind. Widen my eyes with all excitement and turned around. I saw she was coming to me with a broad smile. I felt the happiest man ever. She came closer and closer and closer. But, just a few steps before, she deviated her way to someone else. All that happened felt like a dream and broke from the feeling I got. I stepped to her fast, grabbed her hand and walked out of the mansion. She tried to unlock my hands from her. But I didn’t give her a chance to go away just like that again. I brought her to the corridor where there was just me and her. She looked deeply to my eyes and they pleaded to leave her. I was speechless. Still taking a deep breath I said… “I love you”. But the answer was without words. She moved her hands and fingers. She tried to convey that she was dumb. My heart stopped beating, literally. The smile on my face was faded. I turned around. My eyes filled.’

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It’s been years since the day, everything changed but first love can never be forgotten. Abhi called Dev showing a photograph of his school day and his thoughts were broken. They both smiled on each other. Dev looked outside and saw Shikha standing near the gate. He called her waving his hands. She came so fast and He made her sit beside him. Showed her the photographs he was seeing. Now that she too had fallen in the dreams she lived years before, because Love has other side too.

“I was making Shivani get ready as fast as I can. Ravi, her fiancé was ready to knot the tie. I was running here and there. Was very busy working to make my friend’s wedding the best. I saw a vessel full of flowers were still on the table, as it should already be in the ‘mandap’ for decoration. I took them in hands and ran as fast as I can to make reach the thing at time. So crowd the place was and I collided with some chirpy children who were playing in that small space. The vessel in my hand, fall from the first floor, where I was standing. The flowers showered on to a guy who was standing down there. I felt like shit and ran to him. He looked handsome in those white shirt and blue jeans and looked funny with flowers all over his body. But I really felt sorry and he said ‘It’s okay’. Soon, my friends came and took me to the mandap for decoration. I turned and looked at him. He was smiling and clearing off the petals.

When I reached the mandap, there was a lot work left. Load of flower maala was lying on floor to get hanged on the walls. ’Deepams’ were yet to get lighten. I started decorating as soon as possible, but my mind was in thoughts about the incident happened a while before with a strange guy. I don’t know why but I was thinking about him, thinking about the way he said ‘It’s okay’, the way he smiled when I left. I was feeling happiness inside.

Decoration of mandap was almost over I went to the hall where the guest were gathered. In that crowd, I saw him again. He was talking to some men of almost his age. I joined my friends but couldn’t resist myself from looking at him in between. A while later I noticed him coming towards and I thought to leave the place cause I wasn’t feeling comfortable meeting him again. I made myself busy with work. Now again the stupid flowers were in my hand. This time I stepped carefully in that rush. But suddenly someone came and hit me badly and the whole flowers blow in the wind. I turned around. Shrinking my nose in anger and it was him again standing in front of me. Our eyes got locked and my heart was beating fast as it never happened before. He was smiling and I was falling for him, I realized.

But I wanted to ignore him. I left there, but I didn’t want to.  I walked away but he followed my every steps. I pretended as if I didn’t see him following me. I went into a group of girls who were decorating candles on the tables. But he still looked at me deeply and I couldn’t stop my heart from beating so fast.

As blessings, everyone in the hall left near to mandap, I too ran with my friends to make a seat in between the hall. So that he won’t find me again. Later I saw him in the other side moving from one seat to another. I was thinking what he was doing. But I sat straight and didn’t give my look to him again. A bit then, there was a crowd in between the hall and someone in between them was arguing angrily. From a small space I saw it was him again and was raising his voice to someone for a seat. I turned straight again and that incident made me laugh. I looked to the mandap where Shivani and Ravi were seated. I was thinking so badly about him, was thinking whether the argument was sort out, whether he was seated comfortably, what he might be doing and all. So many questions and my patience broke. I turned around to have a glance at him. But he was not there and that made me worried. Where would have he gone? I thought. I ran out from the hall. Searched here and there and found him walking fast. I followed him slowly. He went to a table near and hit his leg on that. I heard he said ‘Ouch’. And I busted into laugh seeing this. But suddenly he turned around and saw me there. Now I thought to go to him. My heart really wanted that.  I stepped towards him. Went closer and closer and closer but something stopped me from that and changed my mind. Just a few steps before I turned to someone else purposefully.

Suddenly, I felt my hand was grabbed and I saw it was him. He took me out of the mansion. I tried my best to unlock myself from his hand but he didn’t left me. He took me to the corridor and there was just us. I looked into his eyes, pleaded to leave me alone. But he just smiled and said “I Love You”. I realized he wasn’t serious about the situation. And I moved my hands and fingers to convey what I want to tell. Next moment, the smile he wore was faded and he was known that I wasn’t able to talk. I was dumb. We both were broken. He turned around and walked away. Something that was born in a day between us was drowned just like that. But I saw him stop there. He took something from his ears and threw it to the dustbin near him. He came back to me and I was standing without knowing why he’s back. He held my hand and told he can’t hear anything without that ear buds and now he have me in his life so don’t need them even. Happiness showered.”

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Shikha came back from her thoughts when she heard the phone ringing. Abhi stood up and took it.
“Hello” Abhi answered the call and started talking.
Dev and Shikha looked each other. They held their hands and both looked Abhi talking.

~UmA~

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