There was not many relatives present in Arjun’s place. It was dadi’s instruction to invite only the close ones. First all the members of Arjun’s family suggested Registry marriage, but as Radhika is the only child of her parents and they have some expectation in their daughter marriage, so all agreed for traditional wedding. From morning , Arjun was sitting alone in his room closing the door from inside. He was never very comfortable around relatives plus he don’t want anybody come inside his room and talk useless. Neil was busy in arrangements. Dadi skipped almost all the rituals, but haldi ceremony was important. Aparna knocked on the door of Arjun’s room.
“Aru, Open the door.”
Hearing Aparna’s voice, Arjun opened the door and let her in.
“Yes, Choti Maa.”
Aparna put a small ‘tika’ of haldi on Arjun’s forehead and murmured “this ceremony is important Aru, we can’t skip. Now, go and take bath and take rest in your room, but no sleeping pills okay.”
Arjun nodded his head.
Arjun- Where is dadi?
Aparna- She is in her room.
Arjun ( in a low tone) – Is she not going to apply haldi on me?
Aparna ( with a smile)- No Aru, widows don’t take part in marriage rituals.
Arjun- But dadi never believes in these kinds of stupid society norms.
Aparna- She turn superstitious and extra cautious when it comes to you Aru.
Arjun sighed and took the bowl full of haldi and went towards dadi’s room. Aparna followed him. He entered into the room and sat infront of dadi. Kalpana was surprised to see Arjun in her room now, and that too with haldi.
Arjun- Dadi you don’t want to apply haldi on me ? Don’t worry about any inauspiciousness. Here nothing is more ominous than me.
Dadi closed his mouth with her hand. Both the ladies are in tears.
Dadi- I already warned you Aru, never say this kind of thing about yourself.
She took haldi from the bowl and lovingly applied it on his cheeks and at last pulled his nose. A small smile crept on Arjun’s lips seeing all of them happy.
Suddenly Neil came in the room and emptied the whole haldi on Arjun and gestured the photographer to take a picture. Arjun gave him an irritated look and the photographer clicked a pic.
Neil ( with a smile)- Now you can go Arjun and take bath.
Arjun gave him a look and left the room. Aparna came near Neil and pulled his ear playfully.
Arjun was busy in reading a book when he heard impatient knocking on his door. He got up and open the door. Neil came inside and rolled his eyes looking at Arjun, who was wearing reading glasses and wearing his black track pants and white tee.
Neil- let me remind you that today is your wedding . Now go and fresh up.
Neil almost pushed Arjun in washroom.
Arjun- Neil, give me the pajama.
Neil- pajama?? No no, today you are gonna to wear dhoti.
Arjun was horrified.
Arjun- what the hell, No Neil, I am not going to wear dhoti. I am not at all comfortable and most importantly, I don’t know how to wear it.
Neil- So, what?? You don’t know, but I know and don’t worry, I am always staying with you there. I will catch your dhoti if you feel it slipping away.
Neil draped a silk dhoti on Arjun, and made him wore a white designer silk Punjabi. Combed his hair with gel.
Neil- No, wait. Till not over.
A cousin of them came and handed over Neil sandalwood paste. Neil hold Arjun’s face tightly and put some plain white dots on his forehead just above his eyebrows with a small stick.
Neil gave a satisfied look and called dadi and his mom to look at his great work. Arjun only sighed.
Radhika Sanyal sat on her bed completely dressed up in bridal attire. Her all friends and relatives went downstairs to receive the bridegroom. She is feeling sad that after the rituals she has to leave her parents. But she was also very happy to start her new life. It’s an arrange marriage and she only saw her would be husband photograph and heard the tragic incident in his life. But still she agreed to get married to him. Yes, one reason is definitely, her parents. They were in hurry as her father is suffering from cancer. Except the tragic incident in Arjun’s life, he is a good man and the family is also nice. So, her parents agreed and the other secret is she liked Arjun just watching his picture.
She is a mature girl, love at first sight, that too seeing in picture is teenager stuff, but she can’t help herself.
Her all cousins came in her room and told her to sit in “Piri”. Radhika hold the betel leaves in her hand and hide her face. They all carried her to mandap. Arjun was standing in the middle and the cousins are carrying the bride and took seven rounds around the bridegroom. The mood was cheerful. Soon they were brought face to face. A cousin whispered in Radhika ears. “Remove the leaves and look at your husband.”There was shyness. She slowly removed the betel leaves and looked at Arjun.
“He looked more handsome than picture. Fair complexion. Majestic face.Thin Lips.” He was not smiling. He looked at her just for a second and she saw his eyes. She is dead. The lotus shaped black eyes. Mysterious and intense. But there was sadness in his eyes. Soon, they garlanded each other. The priest put both their hands together and chills ran through Radhika’s spins just the slightest touch of his. Both completed the rituals. At last, when Arjun slightly lean towards her and filled her hair parting with vermillion, and someone covers her face with a saree from behind, she tightly closed her eyes and her heart beating faster. That’s a completely different feelings. Now, they are tied together for life.
UPDATED, but no proof reading. Waiting for responses. Loads of Love.