Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Saheli ki shaadi

A fictitious sequel to 'Shaadi ka laddoo'

The SUV is booked. The outifts bought. The jewellery co-ordinated. The card recieved.

The dates? All but one.


Jia is still date-less! Sigh. 

Raina has Ritesh, Priyanka has Priyansh and Jia does not even have a Jignesh. What a disappointment. It was the perfect chance to show-off at the shaadi of the decade, the shaadi of the brat, the shaadi of the saheli from hell. Alas, opportunity lost.

Jia was the quintessential dork in school, weird, fat, pimple-faced, burried in books or forever with the lanky art teacher. All that was history now. A smart and successful illustrator for a well-known ad agency, but still single. Hence no date for the saheli's shaadi.

"Don't tell me you are not going to the grand mela babes". Priyanka shrieked in her signature awe-struck tone.
"Of course I am going, this is not to be missed at all. I really want to see what this brat is marrying".
"Must be loaded" Raina spoke while filing her nails .
"Yes, and we can get the details only at the wedding. But I do wish I had a date".
"Why don't u ask that Khanna in your office?"
"Rishabh Khanna? My boss Rishabh Khanna? The one who hates me?"
"Yeah, the same dude, seems cute, ask him out" said Raina as she admired the job she had done with her nails.
There was no reply, just a flick on Raina's head. She got the hint.

On the balcony of her rented appartment in the cruel Delhi winter as Jia had her rawa idlis, she looked at the stars and wondered if there really is something like 'made for each other'.
"Soulmates! Bah!".
*  *  *  *  *

Things were a tad chaotic on D day. Ritesh was stuck in a jam, Priyanka's hair stylist was getting the dose of a lifetime somewhere in G.K. and Raina had forgotten where the terribly expensive gift for the saheli had been stashed. Jia, picture perfect and ready waited patiently with a rather sleepy looking Priyansh. (Good thing he wasn't driving)

Though a little late, but everything came together at last and the journey to the outskirts of the city began. Apparently a lot of people were tying the knot on that very day. The city's streets were maddening. Jia eyed the cosy companions and looked heavenwards, rolling her eyes. It was a beautiful night and she recalled (of all the things) Saheli's heavy voice on the phone while she was doing the honours of inviting her fellow school friend to her wedding.

"Make sure you come yaar, it means a lot to me and you can get a date along too. Oh, I forgot, you are not seeing anybody. Oops".
"Its ok Saheli, I will come nonetheless. Wouldn't miss it for the world". Jia replied and hung up.
"Phew! Good save".

Her flow of thoughts was interrupted by an abrupt brake. Some lunatic on the middle of the road was waving his hands in the air. 
"What's this clown's problem?" Rishi asked the driver from the rear seat.
"Saahab ji, I think he needs some help with his car".
"Drive right past, this secluded area has a lot of theives running loose". Raina opined.
"A thief with a Toyota Corolla" Priyansh smirked.
"Vo bhi churayi hogi" Raina replied.

By then the 'clown' had almost reached where their car had stopped. Jia let out a gasp and tried to hide her face but it was too late.
"Hey Jia, hehehe, what a coincidence".
It was Rishabh Khanna.
"Hi sir, is there a problem with your car?" Jia feigned a smile.
"Yes, but I cant figure out what is wrong with it, everything seems to be in place. I am supposed to attend a wedding at celebration gardens. Could you drop me there on your way?"
"Oh that's not a problem, that is where we are going" Priyanka butted in.
"Ya, hop on" Jia offered half-heartedly.
"Thanks a ton". Rishabh sounded extremely grateful, like never before. Which made Jia wonder for a while if he was the groom. Probably not.
"So Jia, do you know the bride or  groom?"

Great! Jia thought, he wants to chat!

"I went to school with the bride, how about you" she said with disinterest.
"Oh, I used to play squash with the groom sometime back. I was quite surprised to know that he wanted to invite me".
"Hmmm, I see. The groom plays squash". Priyanka wondered out loud.

*  *  *  *  *

The venue was a firmament of wedding bling and glitter. Lavish, luxurious, rich and overdone. The bride wore a combination of pink and peaches and the groom took to fawn.  As the evening progressed Rishabh grew bewildered and curious about Jia's distant and cold attitude.

"Great food, isn't it?" Rishabh eyed the scrumptious spread.
"Ya".
"You're looking nice".
"Thanks".

Finally, sick of monosyllables, he decided to ask her.

"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, am fine".
"You don't look fine. Do you not like the bride? Hehehe, you can tell me, am not fond of the groom either".
"Ok, so you laugh like a hyena and FYI, if you must know, I am not exactly enjoying your company". Jia finally blurted out unable to bear the small talk.
"Ok, I wasn't expecting this. Please sit down".
"We are not in office sir, and you cannot order me around at a wedding".
"Then stop calling me sir, Rishabh is fine. But do sit down". He gestured towards a chair and Jia duly obliged.
"When I ask you to re-do something, as I did today, it is because I feel you can do better. You should take it in the right spirit. I push all my employees who have potential according to me".
"That's so not true, you are always on my case and being snubbed everytime just makes me feel worthless".
"I didn't realise that. I think you are a wonderful artist Jia, perhaps the best we have. But just because we are at loggerheads on some professional issues does not mean we can't be friends. In fact, I... I really like you". And then it happened. He smiled and it became infectious soon enough.
"So you don't hate me?"
"Not even close. Now, if you are convinced, lets go together and wish the soulmates, it feels weird to do it alone".
"You beleive in soulmates?" Jia asked as they inched closer to the couple.
"Yes I do".

Perhaps she did too.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

nicely written kiddo...so you've plunged into the world of short story writing...the story had a nice undercurrent of happy humour...trust u to write about shaadi-romance-soulmates! - geeko

Hansa said...

i wrote abt wat i'm seeing geeko. and these are the taxing times am seeing everyday! yikes! so i thot might as well put d experience 2 sum use. hehehe. n fyi, been writing short stories since a long time!

tanu said...

hey babes sexy read ya u simply nailed it keep up the gud wrk doll

Anonymous said...

Reality bites. he he
good job. Mills and Boon meets real life sob stories :)

आरती said...

I really liked it Hansa.. I think you could utilise this bed rest to write up short stories.. or novella keeping Jia as the central charecter.. and publish it when you are all fine.. If someone as trashy as Ira Trivedi can make it.. you are wayyyyy better!!! way to go love!

आरती said...

I really liked it Hansa.. I think you could utilise this bed rest to write up short stories.. or novella keeping Jia as the central charecter.. and publish it when you are all fine.. If someone as trashy as Ira Trivedi can make it.. you are wayyyyy better!!! way to go love!

crackfire said...

coolio bansa you are growing as a short story writer and wads more your writing has the right blend of humour and reality

i like em keep em coming :)