He sat in his room, in the dim light looking out of the window at the fairy lights twinkling around the marquee erected on the lawn. He could see people walking in and out and faint music being played by the sound system. Ram tugged at the sleeves of his heavily embroidered sherwani, brand new, chosen by his Maa for tonight'the night a year later when he would once again walk around the yagna kund, in which the fire would be lit. This time around he would know who he was taking the phera with'who he was making vows to.
A year ago he had done the same thing, who he had thought he was getting married to Priya Sharma He was ashamed of his behavior with her now.he had fight with her about touching his private things and she should always tease him as golu,polar bear,and wat not
Six month later things had began to change'change he had not been able to see coming. He was changing'she was changing him, her uncomplaining ways, her dedication to his family, who loved her dearly had been changing him. Ram had begun to notice small things about her, her shy smiles, her quick glances at him, her simple way of dressing, the way she cared for Natasha and Rishab and most of all the love and attention she gave to his Maa and dadi. His Maa had simply adored Priya, the moment she saw her. He had been jealous when all of a sudden, instead of Maa doting on him had started to dote on her bahu. Maa had instead of disappearing after three months had instead stayed put with them.
Ram was glad Maa had stayed as Maa had become instrumental in bringing them closer with the little things she had made both him and Priya do for each other. He smiled when he remembered Maa giving her khandani gold kangans. He had asked her what he was going to do with them, Maa had laughed and told him, "Silly golu'give them to your wife of course." Ram had slipped th kangans in his pocket, carried them around for a week, before finally mustering up enough courage to go up to her and give them to her. She had been surprised because she had smiled at him with genuine pleasure and asked, "For me?" and he had jokingly told her no, he was going to wear them.
He had asked her to wear those kangans today, along with some of his mother's favourite jewellery. Today he wanted to make a fresh start again with her. He no longer wanted uncertainty, mistrust and accusations left hanging around between them. They had promised each other that they would forget the past year and start new'yet how could he forget March 12th, the day when he had finally realized what she meant to him'the day when he had stopped Priya from leaving him'the day he had first made love to her. No, March 12th would forever be preserved in a special place in his heart.
A knock on the door sounded and Ram called out to enter. Vikram entered the room, "Ready Ram'they want you downstairs." Ram nodded, "Yes'let's go." Vikram smiled with pride, "you look great Ram'bhabhi is going to be bowled over." Ram became too emotional and just hugged his half-brother, who was with him, only because she had taught to forgive an accept him.
Ram sat in the mandap, waiting, his eyes fixed on the entranceway'waiting for Priya to walk in. She came few minutes later, walking with his Maa and her sister Ayesha. A perfect picture, in a bright red lengha, with a short choli which showed off her bare midriff. A gold chunri hung over her head, framing her beautiful face. Priya too was staring at him, her shy smile lighting up her face. She made his heart thump violently against his chest. His hands gripped tightly the side of the chair he was sitting on. The pandit asked him to stand up and handed him the fresh flower garland, a combination of roses and jasmine. The exotic scent filled his lungs as he stepped towards Priya and put the garland over her head. Priya did the same with the one she was given and they both sat down to complete the rituals.
Priya's hand trembled in his as held it to do the pheras, Ram smiled at her, his eyes giving her an adoring look. Finally the pandit asked him to put a mangalsutra around her neck. Ram took out the black beads strung in gold with a diamond pendant and put it around her neck. He took a pinch of bright red sindoor and filled her parting slowly, his eyes conveying his inner most emotions to hers, they were not filled with tears today but were shining with love for him.
When they stood up finally, everyone showered them with flower petals. Ram and Priya took ashirvaad from the elders and hugged all the family members. And then the party began. Priya was whisked away from him to change into something more comfortable. Ram was dragged into the another marquee set up with tables for guests to sit and enjoy the food and dancing.
Half an hour later Priya returned, dressed in the same pink sari she wore on March 12th. Ram looked stupefied'he had not expected this. Priya walked up and slipped her hand into his, "I hope you approve." Ram just nodded his head dumbly. They cut the large tiered cake, drank champagne and danced the night away. Tonight they stuck to each other's side like a glue. After midnight, Vikram shooed them away, telling them they were spoiling the party by sticking around. If they went away then some of them could really let their hair down. Ram glowered at Vikram, while Priya kissed Vikram on the cheek and told him to enjoy himself.
Once they were inside the house, Ram scooped Priya up in his arms, stifling her giggles by pressing her face close to him, "Shhh'do you want to wake up Maa and dadi?"
Priya shook her head. "You can put me down, I can walk." Ram shook his head, "Noo'I want to carry you up." Ram started up the stairs and then towards their bedroom. He used his feet to nudge the door open and stood for a moment, glancing at their room decorated with flowers and candles. Sheer silk tulle floated at the corners of the four poster bed. Ram walked towards the bed and then gently deposited Priya on the bed. He bend down and kissed her hard on her lips, "I will be back quick, " saying he disappeared into the bathroom, only to emerge two minutes later, out of his heavy sherwani and into black silk pyjama'just the bottoms. Priya stared at him as if she was looking at his bare chest for the first time, she blushed profusely, her cheeks turning bright red.
Ram sat down on the bed next to her, both of them sat quiet for a while until he took her hands in his and fingered the kangans on her wrist, "Remember the day when I gave you these?" Priya nodded and said in a whisper, "How could I forget?" He lifted her hand and kissed her palms, the brush of his warm lips making her shiver. "Happy anniversary Priya." Ram whispered in her palms. Priya pulled her hands away slowly and wrapped her arms around his neck and reached up to kiss him on the lips, "Happy anniversary Mr Kapoor."
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