“Mark my words, I will be his bride someday”, she always said it with such confidence. I was one of the few die hard romantics who believed her! I knew my friend sonam and also knew that how she always got what she wanted. Post college we barely kept in touch and forgot all about Jaideep, the handsome young turk, who lived in the mansion across the road from college.
Eight years later, I was having dinner with Sonam and it was like we were back in college. That’s what is wonderful about old friends, you can pick up the threads like the years in between didn’t happen. I told her all about my life in Bombay and how exciting my career was. She of course, didn’t need to fill me in on details as far as her work went, she was a successful model and had clearly done better than most of us. What was lovely was that she had developed no airs or fake accents. She was also as hyper and as much of a perfectionist as she had been in college. She asked all about my husband and our life together. She was genuinely interested in what I was saying and I could tell that she was happy for me. By the time we were half way through the second wine bottle she suddenly said she had something to tell me. She was keeping her word and marrying Jaideep. The money bags Jaideep, who was on the cover of the latest issue of Business Today. The guy she had a crush on ever since she was eighteen.
Maybe it was the wine that made me candid but I had to know all the juicy details. They had met a year ago at a yoga class and the chemistry was instant. She didn’t want a casual fling and that was what he had in mind. He couldn’t possibly marry a model. She fought back tears as she told me, how hard it was to stay away but she wasn’t willing to settle for just an affair. The small town girl came to the fore...
He also realised that she wasn’t a dumb bimbette like he had thought she was. She also wasn’t a gold digger like he feared. Yet they both knew how tough things were. She was just a girl wanting to be with the man she loved. Thankfully he understood that and after much deliberation popped the question. Of course, his family was horrified.
A month later, I got a call from Sonam. The wedding was in a week. His family had agreed and she was on tenterhooks. She needed me in Delhi.
Once I reached I realised how stressed she was. Everything had to be perfect and the in-laws had to see that their son wasn’t making a mistake. The project had to work. Everything was on a war footing and she was calling the shots. Each of us was assigned duties and we had meetings morning and evening to mark the progress. She was like a woman possessed and her focus was amazing. If she could, she would have ordered the weather for the day as well!
Her mother was upset at how this girl was driving around town all day and wouldn’t do anything brides to be did. Yet, we got it, as her friends. She told Jaideep, that she would only see him at the wedding. From the venue, to the menu, to the flowers, to the music, sonam was overseeing every detail. Her friends were wonderful. Designers, hoteliers, make up experts. Everyone knew and loved her. All of us wanted her dream to be just right.
She was physically tired and taking this project too seriously. Never had any bride scrutinised mehndi designs with such clinical precision. Finally two days before the wedding as she was yelling at her designer pal, he gave it off to her. Amidst tears and hugs we all yelled at her. Asked her to calm down and enjoy her wedding. Nothing would go wrong. She looked baffled and stopped in her tracks. She was marrying a man who loved her. Not going for the miss universe pageant. Someone had to say it and I did. She looked lost and vulnerable.
She looked radiant on the morning of her wedding. Jaideep sent her orchids and her favourite brownies. Yet, we could sense how tense she still was. While the ceremonies were on she was making sure we updated her on her blackberry. She would nod or smile to acknowledge each message. We joked about how she would make the perfect ceo for one of of Jaideep’s companies.
While her make up was being touched up and jewellery worn, we were all reporting in on the progress at every front. She finally said a silent prayer and left for the venue.
They made a lovely couple and he was clearly crazy about her. She was accepting the compliments graciously, yet her mind was racing at thousand thoughts a minute. She was anything but coy and finally I had to whisper in her ear that deep breathing is what was what needed. The guests couldn’t stop praising the arrangements and the food.
Her in-laws were suitably impressed. His grandmother blessed them saying she was the best bride her grandson could ever have got, sonam’s eyes moistened. She’s been proving dadi right for the last five years...