It was 10.30pm and she sat on the couch, making mental calculations of what all she has packed up. Nisha was over particular about timings, arrangements and planning- in short, she was a kind of an orderly-freak!
The Haldi ceremony was over that day itself and the crowd of relatives surrounding and advising her had dispersed. She could finally breathe! Or perhaps not!
As she was just mentally taking stock of her packing once again, she heard mom and dad talking. She went to their room to find them both over different phone calls with family friends, confirming that the arrangements for the Baraatis soon to arrive, are in place.
She smiled and got back to her room. Nisha could lie down and be at ease for the first time since the time she was up. She stared at her luggage bags – all packed and neatly placed in the corner.
She stood up and opened her wardrobe. The shelves were empty. She gave a blank gaze.
It felt as if the most priceless of her memories have been packed up into those bags.
Nostalgia was back.
Nervousness hit again.
Butterflies were suddenly born their normal size in her tummy and they flew all across.
“D-Day!” She thought to herself!
Nisha came back on the bed and made some failed attempts to get sleep.
Irritated, she took her phone, checked for missed calls, SMS, Chats – No updates!
“How the hell do people forget the bride, a night before her wedding..!! The groom too..?? Urgh!”
She punched in the digits on her phone and dialed his number, anxiously waiting for him to answer.
“Hi Darling!” Alan said. It was nearing midnight and he had been travelling. Yet, his voice was sound as a bell and the tone, fresh as a daisy; as if he was eager for a phone call!
“Hi!” She replied. Her voice reflected the relief! Anxiety took a backseat for a while.
“What’s up? All done?” He asked.
“Can you not ask a less complicated question?” said Nisha. She laughed.
“Ah! Well! For a brief moment, I forgot you’re a woman!” said Alan.
“Ya right! Where have you reached?”
“Somewhere at a stage of life where I might soon get married!”
“Oh really! You ‘might’ get married right!” Nisha threw back a stern voice.
“No! Actually! Well, let’s run away man! This is killing me!” said Alan.
“Cool! So the plan is: when I come to the hotel along with mom and dad in an hour or so, just let everyone disperse and we walk out!”
“Deal,” said Alan.
“Shut up Queenie! Stop Dreaming and Go to Sleep! Get some real sleep man! It’s going to get real late for us to reach, you better don’t come with mom-dad and get rested instead..!! Besides, people will make terrible fuss out of us meeting,” he added.
Alan tried but he himself thought why did he even attempt for it!
When Nisha is nervous, she is nervous! Anyone could seldom put sense into her.
“Why does he still try!” She thought to herself!
“Well, that’s exactly the point – I feel like getting away too!! People here have scared the hell out of me!” said Nisha.
“COULDN’T THIS BE ANY EASIER?” she yelled..!!
Nisha and Alan, being surrounded by irritating relatives since a week of their respective leaves from work, were freaked out and frustrated to the core. People came in and offered to help, and in the process began advising!
The argument could go on forever but they both knew nobody wins. Some bitter sweet conversation went on for a while and ended.
Nisha put away the phone thinking, “Why doesn’t sleep just come to me in a flash and doesn’t choose to leave till morning 5.30am!
It was just past midnight and all she could think of, was a tiring next day ahead! Somehow she managed to get her eyelids rested.
The sun rose, the birds chirped and the misty winter sunlight let a beautiful dawn blossom afresh! Everything spoke of the day being beautiful, pleasant and serene – as Nisha thought of her wedding day to be!
The main road near to her house was silent and isolated. There was no major movement or sound except for that of a state transport bus or two. There she stood, dressed up as a beautiful bride, at the roadside, desperately looking at the clock on her phone.
It was sharp 8.30am of a relaxed Sunday morning.
But nothing on Nisha’s face seemed relaxed! She stood still by the roadside and turned her attention to the right with every remote vehicular sound, as if waiting for someone.
Her eyes were vigilantly scanning through each distant movement she saw.
Tired, she sat on the bench nearby. A minute later, a car stopped before her.
She looked up. The front passenger seat’s door opened.
“I’m sorry I’m a bit late like usual. Hop in and We drive away!” said Alan leaning forward and extending his hand.
Nisha smiled and immediately got into the car. Their eyes met, they breathed easy and they exchanged smiles.
“Phew! Thank Goodness!” they said to themselves.
Suddenly there was a screeching sound that almost deafened everything else!
Nisha felt as if her head was spinning and so was everything around her.
“Was it dizziness? Was it an Earthquake?” she thought as she realized Alan’s image getting blurry.
Nisha jumped out of the bed and silenced her alarm clock! It was 5.30am!
She stared in disbelief at the phone clock, to recover from the shock of a ruthless alarm clock ruining her pleasant dream!
She smiled and laughed at the silliness of her dream! She decided to avail ten fifteen minutes extra of that much needed sleep and sunk into the bed, back again.
She punched in Alan’s number, lying lazily on the bed, waiting for him to answer.
“Hmmmm..!!” said his drowsy voice coming from a far away slumberland.
“Morning Sweetheart! You up?” She said in a soft yet drowsy voice.
“Ten mins more, please darling! If I get late, come to pick me up and we’ll run away!”
“Deal. Good night then! See ya soon!”