‘The footwear don’t go with your dress. Wear my blue ones. They are in my closet.’ – Sheena instructed me while the parlour lady was fixing up her make up for her sangeet ceremony.
‘I hate you! I so liked these footwear’ I faintly protested though I knew that now she has rejected these pair of footwear, I will never even touch them again.
‘Wear them at your own wedding then, not at mine.’ She said, not being able to express her emotions properly as she was a prisoner to the parlour lady at that moment.
I silently grabbed the blue footwear from her closet and changed, obsessing about the fact that 2 days down the line, she will not be around to validate my footwear choices.
I met Sheena 10 years ago, when she moved to my neighbourhood. Teenager, pretty and smart, she had her own lively and interesting persona. Though we were totally different in a lot ways, we were also just alike in many other. I remember the first time we went for a walk to bond and stuff and we talked about life in depth and detail and yes, it was friendship at first walk!
‘Don’t I look hot?’ She asked me.
‘Not at all.’ I said and then she we just hugged, feeling the emotions we generally don’t curate in words. And then we just left her house to celebrate her last night of bachelorette-hood in full Punjabi style.
When we reached the venue, everyone’s eye was on the-bride-to-be, who by the way, looked absolutely stunning!
Everyone rushed towards, hugging and congratulating Sheena and I stepped back from right by her side so that she could enjoy and cherish all the attention.
‘Dhara, come here! Help me with my lehnga.’ Sheena called me and extended her hand for me to grab it. As soon as I reached her, Sameer came rushing down and grabbed her hand and hugged her. And the room was full of cheers for the most adorable, cute couple!
I have never seen any guy making Sheena as happy as Sameer did. Not that she had been with a lot of them, but whatever 20-30 were there, no one was ever close to the loving and caring gentleman Sameer is.
Being the big fat Punjabi wedding it was, everyone from the Groom’s and Bride’s family was dancing, drinking and eating. Sheena’s and Sameer’s cousins prepared dance performances and Sheena’s parents had the biggest smiles in the place.
And there I was, standing in the corner, looking at the happy couple and also fiddling through faces to find some handsome guy. Meanwhile, I had a brief eye contact with the pretty bride and I knew that in that moment, all she was looking was were a few shots of vodka. And being the good friend as always, I took two of them, headed to her and gave her one.
‘On three’ I said. And she smiled
‘One, two, three’ I said and we both emptied the Vodka shots down our throats.
Throughout these years, we have been friends in need. We have shared endless laughters, soul soothing silences and pieces of a little wisdom and knowledge we both posses. We have talked about guys, clothes, world politics, cricket and everything that one can think of and never got bored of each other. We might have never expressed as much as we should, but we have felt extremely lucky to have found each other. I still do!
After an exhausting but ultimate fun sangeet ceremony, we came home, all exhausted and tired and all we still wanted to do was grab and a couple of beers and talk! And so we did. We talked about Sameer. We talked about her honeymoon. We decided her sex clothes also her regular clothes. We talked about everything but none of us mentioned about how much we were gonna miss each other because we were sure and determined to stay in touch like always, till the end of time.
Around 4 am, Sameer called her, may to flirt. I can’t forget the huge smile she had while she was on the call.
‘Now get off the phone and let me talk to my friend’ she said few minutes into the call and our chit-chat continued till the dusk. It was a I guess the shortest night ever for me!
It was finally my best friend’s wedding day!
Oh I can’t explain the cocktail of emotions I had that day. But certainly, excitement and happiness were the main ingredients.
With all the ceremonies and events lined up, it was the longest day for her but with the sense of her not being next door from tomorrow, it was the shortest day for me!
After all the typical Punjabi wedding ceremonies, we went to the parlour for her to get all dolled up.
Her wedding lehnga was this yellow and blue dress with golden embroidery all over it and a pinch of pink on the borders. Unconventional as always, she chose the most stunning wedding dress ever for herself! She changed into the wedding dress and once again sat down to glue up her ass on the chair for next couple of hours. If it was at our disposal, we would just fix out eyeliner and lipstick ourselves and get married.
While the makeup was in process, she started talking
‘You know, I will miss everyone a lot’ she said
‘I know. But that life yrr. And things will get better from here.’ I made sure to keep her moral and spirits high.
‘Yeah! I am sure. Visit my mom often. She will get lonely.’ I knew this has been on the top of her mind since a long time.
‘Goes without saying.’ And I just didn’t say this to say it. I meant it.
‘I will miss you also, FYI!’ And as she said that, I felt a lump in throat.
‘Have you gone mad or what?’ I said in the highest pitch possible and we started laughing.
‘Shhhh!!! Makeup will get ruined. Please don’t laugh madam.’ The makeup artist would definitely kick me out of the place if she could.
And the moment was finally here. The most charming bride of the century was standing with her prince and now he will be her best friend, stylist, shopping buddy, psychiatrist and her best friend for life.
They had the most wonderful wedding and the vadai scene was already on. Everyone was crying, bidding her a fair well and wishing her the best for the new innings of her life. Uncle was crying the most. Seeing him being so weak and vulnerable gave me chills down my spine.
‘I don’t want to get married’ was all I was thinking.
Everyone, all her relatives and her friends were crying thinking that now she will have a different life, a different family and may be some different friends. Everyone was sure that she will get busy with her new life and their importance will fade away eventually. That’s is actually the story of every bride, at every wedding!
But I stood in the corner, making sure that not even a single drop of tear rolls down my cheek, because I was sure that nothing will ever change for us. I was determined to make every effort to be as we always have been. I was sure that she will make every effort to be as she has been. And I was just too happy for my best friend and her new life to shed a tear.
I hugged her just before she was going to sit in the car.
‘Sameer’s has a hot cousin. He has a beard too. I will fix you two up soon.’ She whispered in my ear.
And all I could do was hug her tighter. And then she was going. With moist eyes and a wide smile. Peeking out of the window and waving everyone goodbye. She looked at me and I gave her a thumpsup with the naughtiest smile ever, thinking ‘Yes, you are having sex soon.’
As always, she understood everything without me having saying a word and laughed. I laughed too. I laughed until I could see her vanishing into the light of dusk!