Hello, amazing reader,

I have always been a fan of open-ended stories, crisp enigmatic tales that keep the readers racking their brains until days after. Often such stories lead to long, engaging discussions and bring forth the many different facets of the story. Every word is picked, weighed, turned and scrutinised before moving to the next one. And in these discussions, we also learn a lot of the type of readers.

The Wedding is one such story that I wrote as an assignment for my Diploma in Creative Writing Course. Today, I wish to share it with you all. I hope to read your interpretation of Aditya and Aditi’s story in the comments below. I will read each one of your comments and reply what I think of it! Do feel free to share it with your friends and family!


The Wedding

At seven that evening, the bride made her entry into the Kalyana Mantapam, the wedding hall. She sat elegantly in the flower-bedecked wooden palanquin, carried by her brothers and maternal uncles. Draped in a traditional silk saree, neck and wrists adorned with ornate jewellery, she looked mesmerizingly beautiful.

Every single pair of eyes in the crowd of nearly eight hundred were on her. The handsome groom had a look of utter disbelief on his face; his tomboy princess had transformed into this gorgeous young woman. With a hint of tears in his eyes, he looked at her as though in trance. Blinking back my tears, I looked at them in awe and envy.

As the bride reached the dais, her maternal uncle led her by hand to the groom. Everyone clapped and whistled in glee as the groom held her hand – for now, for life.

Once the main ceremony concluded, the guests began to proceed towards the dais, to congratulate the newlywed couple and to pose for the mandatory pictures. I groaned in my mind. I hated posing for pictures. As the music grew louder, my migraine kicked in. When it seemed to take forever to reach the dais, I decided to take a quick walk outside and get some fresh air.

As I stepped outside, the cool breeze wafted across my face, making the hair at the back of my neck stand. It was mid-November and the winter in this place was unforgiving. However today, the cold did not bother me. The place was serene with a picturesque backdrop of snowcapped mountains meeting the inky blue sky peppered with a million stars and fresh grass that extended before me. The throbbing in my head seemed to go down.

As I walked towards the lake a few yards away from the hall, I pulled out a cigarette from the breast pocket of my suit.

“You are at a wedding, Adithya. Behave yourself.”Aditi’s words ringed in my ears. I smiled at the memory. She hated it when I smoked. I lit the cigarette anyway. There was no one, to stop me now.

Walking beside the lake, I imagined holding her hand. The warmth I felt on my palm was surreal. Sitting on the freshly cut grass beside the lake, I looked at my reflection. Chapped lips and lifeless orbs looked back at me and broke away in spirals as I tossed a pebble in it.

The bride’s face kept flashing before my eyes, gnawing at my already bruised mind. Pulling out the card from my pocket, I stared at it hard, desperately hoping for it to transform into reality. I read out the words aloud, as tears streamed down my face. Aditi weds Adithya.

Memories from the past came flooding to my mind, flashing images of the dreaded day. Aditi’s lifeless body in my arms, the pool of blood and the corpse of thousand dreams shattered, around us. I let the tears flow and then cried my heart out kneeling down.

“Adithya…” I heard her again. Taking a deep breath, I reminded myself of the promise I had made to her. Our last promise. To stay happy, if not for myself, for her.

A loud honk pulled me out of my train of thoughts. Shaking my head a little, I looked at my watch. It was now a quarter to eleven. Tossing the cigarette away, I quickly got up and straightened out my suit in haste. I had been out too long.

As I walked into the hall, I popped a mint in my mouth. Then I halted in my track. The place was dark. Not a sign of the wedding. The dais was vacant, chairs stacked, decorations gone. It was as though a wedding had never happened there. Turning around I decided to check the parking space. May be everyone had left. As I rushed out, my eyes momentarily landed on the welcome board above the entrance. And then everything came crashing down on me.

I stood rooted to the spot as my mind blanked out. Beads of cold sweat began to form on my forehead as reality struck hard. The world slowly began to spiral around me as I found it hard to take my eyes off the board that displayed in shimmering gold and read – Aditi weds Adithya.


Love,

Ashwini

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