We reached our home. It was so big. It has a big lawn and lots of space around the house. The house stands in between the big fence and is surrounded by lawn and garden on all the sides. We entered the home with our right foot first after aarathi(a ritual to do when the bride and groom come in for the first time). He went in straight and went upstairs. I was guided by some aunties to the pooja room. I did what they told me.
My dad and mom came to me and gave me a hug and patted my head lovingly. I saw a lone tear escape from my dad's eyes. I know how much it is hurting for him to see me like this. I can't do this to him. Afterall I made this decision. Not him. I looked them in the eye and nodded my head. That was all they needed. My mom broke into tears followed by my sisters. I had a brief moment of grief! I talked them out of it. They all knew it was going to be hard for me. So, they don't want to burden me with their grief. I am lucky!
After they all went, my maternal aunt was with me to prepare me for the night. I am not going into a room alone with him. Not today at least. I reasoned with my aunt and she said it's the auspicious day and everything should be done as it's their responsibility. Me and my aunt were in a room downstairs. I am still in my silk saree. Obviously, I don’t have anything to change. My mom is yet to give me some change of clothes for today.
We heard a knock and aunt went to open the door. Ravi came in with a wide smile.
"Hey hi Ravi!" I greeted him.
"Hi anni! I have some t-shirt and track pants if you want to change. I mean we donated all our mom's things to the orphanage and we all are men here, so we don’t have anything to offer you." he said with a goofy smile. I so like this guy. I nodded my head in agreement and he gave me a new set of t-shirt and pants.
I took it from him and went to the restroom to get myself changed. I could hear Ravi and my aunt talking. These men are so alien. The shirt came to my mid-thigh and I had to fold the pants in half. I don't know who these were, but all 3 men in this house should be sharing their clothes. They are all the same height and muscled up.
I came out and Ravi instantly started laughing at me. My aunt had a mild smile erupting at the corner of her lips. I glared at him playfully and he said "Sorry anni, you look so funny in this. You are so small” , still laughing.
"Oh! stop it Ravi. I actually have a favor to ask you from."
"What is it anni? You just have to tell me what you want and I will do it." he said.
I smiled at him lovingly. This boy is sure going to be my support, friend and everything in this house until I tame my hubby.
"Can you talk to Shekar uncle and stop tonight's preparations? You know your brother is angry and I am not ready to face his wrath yet." I said, a little frightened.
"You like my brother. Don't you anni?"
"My brother wanted you to say no but you said yes for this marriage! You like him!" I was taken aback! How can I let this slip my mind? As far as our parents are concerned, this marriage happened with both of our consent. I can't ruin this on the very first day.
Great D! You should start taking medicines to boost your memory power!
"What? No! It’s not like that, Ravi. You are mistaken. I mean we have no problem with this night." I said sheepishly.
Though intrigued by my answer he didn't push me. I eyed my aunt to him and he nodded his head just to ensure he got me. See, I knew he would make a great friend. He then showed me around the home. It's a huge home. Our home was big with 6 bedrooms. But this is huge. It had 3 bedrooms with attached bathrooms, pooja room,family room, drawing hall, kitchen and dining on the ground floor. 5 bedrooms with a loft on the first floor. My favorite so far is the wooden swing in the loft!
We went in every room except for the first room upstairs that is straight across the swing. You are right, that’s where my husband resides..!
After the home tour, we had our tea and snacks. It's 5.30pm! We didn't eat our lunch since we had our breakfast at 12pm at the wedding hall. Shekar uncle calls me "kanna". I like that endearment! It makes me feel like I'm not new here.
"I'm so sorry for what you've been put through, kanna! But I'm so glad that you are my daughter-in-law now. My son’s wedding with you has lifted that burden that has been sitting on my heart since it all started." he said.
For some reasons, I feel like Ravi and Shekar uncle don't like Smirthi. Should I feel happy about that? At Least they are not disappointed with my arrival. And for the same, I totally don't know why Smirthi's family left the wedding hall all of a sudden. I don't know if it's a good time to talk about that.
As if reading my mind, Ravi said, "You must be thinking why that girl who claimed to love my brother left all of a sudden. Right anni? I have a very good answer for that but I would rather wait and let you discover. But I can say for sure she never loved my brother for what he is but for what he has."
"I don’t want to talk ill about a girl whom I never saw Ravi. I think you say Smirthi was with your brother for money. Even if it is so, why would she leave your brother when he has the same money even now? It doesn’t add up, Ravi".
He gave me a knowing smile and said "There is some missing information anni. I'm sure when those missing pieces are revealed, you can see how right I am!"
All the while my uncle said nothing. He just kept looking at Ravi and me. We wound up our chit chat session when my anni came. My anni came with my baggage. I hope I have my everything in there. I literally ran to the room we were in and changed to my pajamas. Ha how comfy!
It had everything, a load of new dresses, my body wash, shampoo, paste, brush etc., and a load of new underwear. That's amazing how my mom managed to bring all these together in such a short notice of time. It also had all my jewels, a pass book, and my credit card. Wow! How thoughtful..!
When I came out with my pjs, my aunt and anni gave me disapproving looks. But uncle said, "Ha now you look better!" That closed the upcoming advice from my aunt and anni.
All the while that man who tied the sacred knots to me never came out of his room or should I say our room..?!
At 7.30pm my aunt and anni draped me with a pink silk saree and did my hair. I just applied some nude lip gloss and stopped them from caking me up. They took me to the pooja room again and asked me to do some pooja and rituals.
At 8.30, we all sat to have dinner. The dinner was light and tasty. Everyone was quiet but Ravi was giving me looks of sympathy. No Ravi, not Helping!
At 9pm I was left at the doorstep of the lion's den all alone with loads of advice. Huh! As if my husband is going to make love to me tonight. Do they actually think we are going to do some dirty stuff tonight? Impossible.
I could hear my heart and feel the somersaults my stomach was making. It’s no time to fear D! You made this decision and you have to face what's coming. Gather all your courage, you can do this!
I gently knocked on the door and waited for a reply. After a minute or so I knocked again and pushed the door. It was not locked. I plugged my head inside and scanned the room. It was by far the biggest room in this house. It has a three-seater couch on the left side with a tea table in front of it, a huge king bed in the middle, a big mirror on the wall on the right side, a door near that mirror, a restroom may be, a dresser opposite to the bed. Neat and clean.
No sign of my GEM (Ginger Eaten Monkey) husband. After scanning the room twice to make sure he is not in there, I stepped in the room and closed the door behind me. I put the glass of milk on the side table, near the bed and sat on the bed. I was shivering for what was to come. I have no idea how he is going to behave. Will he shout at me..? or will he throw me out..?