He sat there looking at her. She looked so pretty in the bridal attire. The Henna laced palms, her full lips in scarlet red, the bindi on her forehead shining like a star, her silky long beautiful neck adorned¬†with diamonds. But, most of all, his attention was hogged by her eyes. He had never seen such intense eyes, like fire. There was more to the eyes, her lips sealed in a quiet smile…but her eyes were talking.

He moved the gaze to where her eyes were fixed and saw another guy, not very comfortable, he had a look of constant concern on his face and anyone could tell by the look on his face, that he was the girl’s dad. Now, to understand this statement, you will have to understand Indian weddings. See, its not enough to give your beloved daughter to a complete stranger (who could be a maniac, for all you know) for just as long as life, you also have to make them more than comfortable all the time and well, we have stopped taking dowry here, but who can say no to a few expensive gifts!? Oh, and if something goes wrong, it will be a question you might just have to answer not just to your daughter’s in laws, but also, to your own brotherhood. Strange but that’s family, eh? Nothing beats blood.

He knew she was worried about her dad, he was a heart patient and he hadn’t slept in a long time. Earlier this morning, he was found unconscious on the floor of the bathroom. Nothing serious, everybody blamed the pressure and lack of sleep. She was worried.

He saw the anger in her eyes when they asked her to pose for a picture and she could see her father literally going on his knees for some relative on the groom side.

He felt a pang of pain in his chest. He had lived for 32 years and loved her for 15 years of that wretched life. He had lived next doors to her for 15 years, and 15 years, he had ached for her. But this pain was different, it was more than a longing, it was as if she had decided to die and he was looking at her putting gasoline on herself.

His concentration was broken when his wife called out for dinner. He wasn’t hungry. She asked him again, before giving up on her ever-so-silent husband and joining the line of the snacks-hogging Janta.

He felt relieved to have gotten his bubble back. This time when he looked at her, he saw her looking directly at him. Their gazes were locked for a second and then broken off by the guests who had come on stage to congratulate them. But somehow, they were connected. He knew she was looking at him, if not with her eyes.

“I love you”

“I know, you never said it”

“I couldn’t, m sorry. But why are you doing this”

“Isin’t this exactly what was expected of me”

“But you were more than this” “you are more than this”

“It’s okay, maybe that is how it had to be. Vishal might just be a very nice partner.”

“He might just be the best. Do you want it? Do you want to have somebody else’s identity imposed on you before you even start making your own?”

“It might just be for the best”

“It might just be”

Suddenly, there was a loud thud, and the connection broke. The blaring music came back in his ears and he got up to see what had happened.

Her father had hit the ground again, he was unconscious. I looked at her. Her face was ashen with panic, Her to be husband, Vishal, sat there unperturbed telling her, its probably pressure and lack of sleep. He hated his gut at that time. She looked at him, and he looked back. Then he saw something, he had seen a long time ago. A time,which skipped his memory at that time. A time, he couldn’t recall, yet, remembered vividly. He saw, in her eyes, the girl he had fallen in love with.

She stood up and walked down the stage. clicking tongues and sighs. She didn’t look back. She went up to her father and sat beside him on the ground. Clicking tongues and sighs. She didn’t look back. She said something to him in his ears.Clicking tongues and sighs. She didn’t look back. She stood up from there, and started walking not towards the stage, away from it. Clicking tongues and sighs. She looked back and looked at him. For only a second, but it was enough for him. She turned around and left the ground and nobody had any clue what was happening.

He saw her again, 3 years later, in her own boutique entertaining a customer. Her father was sitting at the counter calling her out for lunch. She looked at him through the window. He waved. She smiled, through her eyes. He knew at that moment, that the point of his entire life was this moment. He had had to come to this moment, to see her smile like that. He turned around and never looked back.