All That Matters - I

“I never knew you were so beautiful …”
Occasion: My best friend’s wedding
Said by: The person I loved the most

It was my best friend’s and his friend’s wedding and on the special request of the bride I had left my hair open and was wearing light make up that is if you call applying lipstick as wearing make up. I was never in favor of artificial beautification of my face.

One day prior to the wedding day the bride, my best friend requested me to leave my hair open instead of wearing it in the regular ponytail that I preferred. I agreed. Apart from fulfilling her wish there was something more to the decision. I wanted to impress someone. This someone happened to be the groom’s friend and I had met him more than a year ago when everything had started.

The engagement was done within a week but the marriage was fixed at much later date. The reason that was told was astonishing. It seemed that the couple wanted time to know each other before getting married.
It was at this point that Shekhar had commented that it did not make any sense because they were already engaged and if they wanted time to know each other they should have not got engaged in first place because if after knowing each other they found themselves incompatible it would mean calling off the engagement, which would not be good for the girl and her parent’s reputation.
We had a long discussion on this. Just him and I!
It was not a big deal anyways because the decision was already made and though we were good friends we did not have much say in this matter.

Of course, all of this was in the past and as it was now evident the couple had finally come to know that they were compatible with one another. The time they had taken to know each other was enough for me to fall in love with Shekhar. I seriously do not remember how it started, what it was that impressed me. Perhaps it was the stand that he took at the time of the engagement. In spite of being Sudhir’s friend he was concerned about my friend and her family or may be it had something to do with the way he treated me. He always made me feel special. I enjoyed being with him and the best part was that we met whenever Priya and Sudhir met to spend some time together. Priya’s parents suggested that we four meet so that the purpose of meeting is served as well as people do not get the chance to talk about them.

Though we walked out of the house as four, at a particular spot, which was always Shekhar’s favorite coffee shop, we used to separate … Priya and Sudhir went their way and we both went our way. There was no way to go actually, most of the time we spent sitting at the coffee shop sipping over more than one cup of cappuccino and then we walked a few distance to reach the seashore. Shekhar believed in walking. It served two purposes, he said. One, he was able to maintain his physique and secondly he got more time to spend with me.
Yes, you guessed it right …
I blushed when he said that.
Because I had assumed that the second reason for walking had everything to do with money. Perhaps it was but he never mentioned. Even after taking a cab to the seashore we had to spend time till we were sure Priya and Sudhir would be back at the coffee shop. This meant that the time spent walking did not have much significance.
Anyways! It would be a lie if I say that I did not enjoy walking with him. In spite of being the lazy kind who preferred taking the cab to reach any place I wanted to go and in spite of all the stress that fell on my poor legs, I enjoyed walking with him. I liked when people looked at us and I knew they saw us as a couple. Also, I liked the way his arm brushed against mine as we walked. More than that, I liked how he held my hand while crossing the road and always made sure that I was away from the running vehicles.

He cared for me and was protective towards me and I got used to being treated like that whenever I was with him. He was a good person, I knew that in the first meeting itself but as days went by I learned more about him and found out that he was strong, from outside as well as from the inside. Only male in the family after his father’s death Shekhar had taken the entire responsibility on his shoulders at a very younger age. He worked in night shifts and completed his education. I liked him, I loved him and I respected him. Somehow, I knew that I had a secure future with him.
He cared for me, he felt protective towards me, he liked me. My appearance did not matter much during those days. Almost always I was in jeans and kurta with my hair tied in a ponytail, in a bun at times when it was hot. I wore simple sandals without heels and I never wore make up. No earrings, no necklace or even a chain, no finger rings and only a simple leather wrist watch to keep me updated about the fleeing hours. That is all and he never commented anything about it.

Part 2