Their Beautiful Journey (Chapter 1)

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She was a loving, caring, bubbly girl who believed that love can change everyone.

He was a ruthless, arrogant, cold- hearted man who did not know that love could bring light into his lonely soul.

What will happen when these two extremely opposite personalities are bound together by a special bond, which is none other than an Arranged Marriage???

This is their story, and how they, together, create a beautiful journey;

“THEIR BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY”

CHAPTER 1

‘The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed’ – Eminem

Never in her life, did Azalea think, that her life, would take a complete turn, and take her in a new direction, so soon and so suddenly. But the decisions have been taken from both parties concerned and Azalea being the obedient girl that she always was, has no option but to go along with life, and the sudden changes that follow.

Another dawn breaks, giving rise to new hopes, and a new beginning. But Azalea being the lazy girl she was, is still sound asleep, covered from head to foot, blocking the early morning sun rays, that were penetrating through the gap between the window curtains. Azalea in her mind, was blaming her sister, Anushka or Anu for short, for forgetting to close the curtains properly before going to bed.

Azalea has no mood to wake up this morning, it being a Saturday, where she had her lectures in the afternoon.

“Didi…. Didi… wake up” she hears her 15 year old sister screaming at the top of her lungs trying her best to wake her up.

Azalea, who could be the perfect drama queen, when she wanted to, pretended to be asleep, even though she was wide awake by now due to the devil’s screaming and shaking.

“What’s up? Why are you up so early and why don’t you let me get my beauty sleep…” mumbles Azalea, who is still groggy and sleepy, after studying till 4.00 a.m. and it was barely 8.00 a.m. Azalea being a 21 year old, who is just about to complete her studies, and pursue her dreams loves to sleep in late when she gets the chance.

The two sisters, were very close, and almost inseparable. They stood up for each other, in times of need. But even then, Azalea hates it when Anu gets excited over something, specially if its not really important. She loves her little sister, not that she will ever tell her that, but today she was desperate to get more sleep .

“Didi… mama and papa wants you to come down for breakfast right now and papa told me that he had something important to tell you” said Anushka a bit calmly now.

Hearing this, Azalea jolts awake and shoots up from her bed. She practically runs into the bathroom, to finish her daily routine and get ready to go downstairs. From her childhood she hates to keep her Papa waiting.

“Good morning Papa… Good morning Mama” greets Azalea as she descends down the stairs.

“Good morning beta” replies her parents together as usual, but today, their tones are quite different and had strain and tension in them.

Since Azalea know her parents very well, one look at their faces, told her, that they are trying to tell her something that she might not like.

She saw her papa, shifting uncomfortably in his chair at the dining table, trying his best to act normal and read the newspaper, and her mama who was always beside her every morning trying to feed her a lot of fatty foods is suddenly very busy in the kitchen today.

Azalea decides to get it over and done with and approaches the matter directly.

“What is it Papa? Anu told me that you wanted to discuss something important with me” she asks quite nervously.

“Haan beta have a seat” says her papa, gesturing towards the seat beside him, which was her usual spot, since she has always been a daddy’s girl even though she was the elder child of two girls.

“I met one of my best friends yesterday, and he asked me, for your hand in marriage, for his son Rahul” starts Mr. Sharma, finally dropping the bomb.

‘Marriage! oh Lord’, thought Azalea, as she never thought of it, or saw it coming. But at the same time Azalea realizes that it was her mistake, for not being mentally prepared for marriage, at this age. She now blames herself for spending all her time reading books and studying, living in her own world. In fact she is grateful to her papa and mama for giving her this much time to be free and do what ever she wanted. Coming back to the present from her own musings, Azalea makes desperate attempts to postpone the marriage giving various excuses.

“But papa I’m still at college and you know that it was always my dream to become a professor in the Foreign Languages Division or find a job in a reputed company. I still have to gain proficiency in Italian, Greek, Russian and Spanish languages…” she starts to blabber, mainly due to her nerves.

“I know beta and my friend Punkaj and his wife Madhavi is ready to allow you to continue your studies and achieve your dreams even after your marriage with Rahul” replies Mr. Sharma.

“But papa… all the duties and responsibilities as a wife and daughter-in-law… will I be able to fulfill them” she whines petulantly like a child.

At this point Mrs. Sharma decides to enter the dining room. She keeps her hand on Azalea’s shoulder with a light squeeze as if assuring her that she can do it.

“I know my sweet Lea, is not only brilliant in her academic work, but also in managing household affairs. Beta you can do it. My Lea can manage her family life along with her higher studies.” says Mrs. Sharma lovingly, calling Azalea by the nickname, which was given by Anu when she was small as she could not say Azalea at once and called her Lea instead.

“Beta we won’t force you. After all it is your life and your future. Its your decision to take. But I would like it if you think thoroughly before coming into any conclusions” said Mr. Sharma quietly as if sensing Azalea’s displeasure and Mrs. Sharma only nodded her head agreeing without any words.

“Thank you Papa and Mama for not forcing me. I love you both” says Azalea while giving them both a hug.

But deep down Azalea knew that they would be disappointed in her if she refuses. She can’t avoid it forever can she? Also she could never disappoint her parents since they have done a lot for her and she loves them and respects them for it. So now its time for some serious thinking for Azalea.

‘How did the simple me end up in such a mess.’ she thought. Right now she can’t even think straight, and she knows that studying is totally out of question until she relaxes her mind.

As she wondered where Anu was, she realized that the traitor must have known what was to come of this talk. Wanting to soothe her mind and form more coherent thoughts Azalea decides to go out.

“Mama, I’m going out. Might take a few hours since I plan to visit college to collect my notes” she shouts from the living room, to which Mrs. Sharma replies with ” Okay Beta, but be safe and come back before it gets dark.”

With that she escapes into the park, which was in the heart of the city, but just a few blocks away from her home. Since she badly needed therapy, to untangle the knots and confusions in her brain, think clearly and arrive at a decision. In her world, marriage was not something to be taken lightly and she believed that it needed a lot of mental preparation.

Those were Azalea’s thoughts, as she wandered aimlessly towards her safe haven, ‘the park’ with a mind full of things to seriously ponder on.

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