She looked delightful, draped in an exquisite maroon sequin saree. After an exhaustive search in three cities, I had selected it from the limited edition Romana bridal wear collection. It was her dream to wear one of these and so was mine. The silver beads shimmered in the bright halogen light, but appeared pale when compared to the electrifying appearance of my sister. Receiving gifts on the podium, she was happy and in love.
The marriage reception was thrown at our home. It was my Dad’s desire to host the big day on the grounds of her childhood. Relieved to have finally obtained the approving nod from Dad, my brother in law was more than happy to fulfill his wish.
I could see Mom animatedly talking with my aunts, bragging about her son-in-law’s profession. She was at peace now, to finally have one of her daughters settled.
“So what did that old witch say, that you are hiding here”, I almost jumped in fright by the sudden intervention by my cousin.
“Not like that. I came here to adjust my make up.”
“As if you are going to woo someone!! Don’t you lie to me.”
“I am not lying. Take this tray and serve the guests.” I handed him the tray and pushed him out of the room.
Yeah, I was lying. Meeta Mami was back with her bickering on how girls bring shame to the family if you let them work in big cities, citing me as the perfect example. My parents never started the topic after I threatened them that I would leave forever. My sister though cried buckets. But I couldn’t stop the waggling tongue of my relatives. And the neighbors loved spicing up the topic of younger daughter being married before the eldest, who has sworn to bachelorhood after her romantic escapades in the big city.
My fairy tale ended 5 years back when after dating for 4 years, it dawned on my beau that I wasn’t the perfect life partner. I left him the day he asked me to leave. Time couldn’t subside the pain. Life never went back on the same track again.
I heard he married a year after our break up. I wasn’t happy for him. I could never be.
I saw my sister coming towards me. Hiding the tears that had unknowingly appeared, I looked away.
“This is a family function and I have pictures with Sonu Monu and Kaku but not with you.”
“I don’t like to be clicked.”
“Whom are you kidding?” and with that she dragged me towards the stage where a horde of relatives and my parents were waiting.
After a series of say cheese and smile please, I pulled myself from the clamor.
But, I was happy today, to see my little sister make the big move.
It was past midnight when the hub hub had slowed down. My sister had left for her new home, while Dad and I were trying in vain to arrange the chaos that was left behind.
“I wanted it to be a small affair, but your sister invited the whole city.” He said jokingly.
“It’s her day Dad.”
“Yeah I know. If only I will be alive to see your big day.” He whispered to himself.
“Oh look your mom is serving paan, I hope she lets me have one.” With that he rushed towards her.
Dad was like me or maybe it was the other way. Hiding emotions was not one of the traits we possessed. He could never camouflage the pain and I couldn’t do anything to alleviate it.
Or rather, I didn’t want to. Pain wasn’t the souvenir of love, but my bundle of joy, sleeping in the next room.