She had always liked coloring within the lines. She had never wanted to rebel, to do something different for the sake of doing something different. In her late twenties now, she had begun to feel doubts creep in. Had she really missed out on something? Was she insane for being so completely boring? There was only one way to find out.
She decided to have an adventure. She had no idea whatsoever about she meant to do. But instead of letting this tiny detail ruin her plans, she boarded the next bus that stopped at her stop and bought a ticket to the last station, a place she had never been to before.
The rain had fizzled out into a slight romantic drizzle and she gazed aimlessly out of her window, her mind wandered off and when it returned, she found the bus idling at some stop. She focused on the scene outside. It seemed to be a sequel to her daydream. A shamiana in peach and white decorated with flowers of all colors imaginable stood on a grassy bank behind the bus stop. People milled about the grounds and there were more inside. The slight drizzled was a nuisance to no one. In fact it seemed to envelop the whole tableau in a happy mist. It was a dream and she wanted to live it, to touch it, to feel it.
Just before the conductor rang the bell, she hopped off ignoring the calls of the conductor who feared she may have got off at the wrong stop.
She walked towards the huge canopy of flowing fabric. The flowers were being kissed by the rain and the droplets of water lingered on the petals and folds like the lips of a lover so far gone that physical separation was death. She could not help touching, the flowers, the satin bows inside, she caressed the carpet with her feet, her sandals kicked to the side. Her finger tips lingered on the backs of the chairs as she walked down some random aisle. She was oblivious to everything around her except the texture caressing her fingertips. Her whole existence at that point was concentrated on the tips of her fingers.
And then she had to stop. The scene in front of her brought her back to her senses as effectively as a dip in the Arctic would have. A ceremony was about to take place. And from the looks of it, it was going to be a wedding. The crowd milling outside had started to trickle in. With them came attention and she felt the inquiring glances like needles all over her inappropriately clad body. She turned about and was about to make a quick getaway when the shehnais started to serenade. Half turned away, she halted as if arrested by a spell she saw the bride enter. A vision in red and gold. Had she ever seen anything prettier…. she could not tell.
The needles were forgotten as the angel walked to the hawan kund in the centre, her groom in white seated there already awaiting his princess.
He looked up and the bride looked down. Eyes met, smiles escaped and hearts fluttered, all witnessed and understood by the wedding crasher.
Every gesture, every touch, every look between the couple in the center of dream bubble was now what held her there. She was seeing love, was feeling it like she had felt the flowers, was caressing it, like she had caressed the seats.
The crowd forgotten, she wept unabashedly as the couple took their vows, circling the hawan kund. She prayed as the sindoor colored the parting of the bride’s hair, she was awestruck as the ring encircled the fingers and sighed when the mangalsutra embraced the swan like fair neck.
The applause was thunderous and burst the bubble of ecstasy that had formed itself around her. Soon murmers started trickling into her consciousness.
“It must be her…”
“I never would have thought that she would dare to turn up.”
“She was invited of course….”
“Look at her….shamelessly crying, right where he can see her…”
“I wonder he didn’t falter….as if he had seen nothing…”
“And her…no reaction at all…today’s generation…so insensitive…like the robots they create.”
“I almost feel sorry for her.”
“I pity her parents….and a nice looking girl too, would have made a nice match for some nice boy.”
“She looks half mad, turning up here with her hair all wild and the clothes….wet and shabby. She means to create a scene. It will be fun to watch. These weddings can be incredibly boring. Diversions such as her are rare. I am glad I didn’t stay home like Mrs. B.”
“You mean Mrs. B lied about her mother in law, wait till Mrs. C hears about it…hey look, she’s leaving….what, no drama…”
“She cannot have come all this way just to see the guy marry her lover….I hate these sentimental fools….She dared to love…I mean love a woman(I can hardly imagine) and now she doesn’t dare interrupt the wedding. She did create a big scene however the other day at Mrs. C’s house.”
“Imagine poor Mrs. C coming back all thrilled after shopping for her daughter’s wedding lehenga and walking right into her daughter’s torrid tryst with this homo here. It’s a miracle she is in her senses now, even three days later. Although I did hear that she was at the psychiatrist’s for the rest of the day. I am sure if she were to see this girl here, the nervous breakdown averted that day would be right upon us.”
“Poor thing….who can blame her…for liking a girl….with the guys all turning girly these days, with their clean shaven faces and long hair….And with test tubes and all, they don’t need a man even for a baby nowadays…”
She was in the bus when she finally dared to think and thinking giggled helplessly, causing another set of murmurs, this time suggesting asylums…and psychiatrists...