A tiny tale of bangles!
Updated: Sep 4, 2020
The bench in the park was wet, so they decided to take a walk.
Palms clamped. He grazed his fingers over hers as they stroll. The earth smelled nice. The leaves beneath didn't make any sound though. The air was fresh.
She put her locks behind her ears. The silver danglers shone bright. And he noticed the mole at the edge too.
"Where do you get these ear stuffs from? Doesn't it hurt?"
"Fab India. Nah! I like wearing them you know.."
"I know.." he smiled.
"You have to wear those red and white bangles when we get married. No problem na? Bong brides...."
"No no...." she smiled back. "I am okay with everything."
He looked at her with riveting eyes. "Your hands would look prettiest that day I am sure."
She bit her lips, smiled and looked away.
Shanti had taken leave just to be with him for a week. Something that she held closer to her heart than anything else.
The day before his leave ended, Udit came with a gift box and met Shanti.
"What's this now?"
"I will be here just the day before the wedding. Might not get time to shop. So here.. wear it that day."
Shanti nodded. A glint of tear in her eyes. Departures were always difficult. Udit's job kept them away more than they ever wanted. But she knew. She understood the perils of being the partner of someone from the forces. But she was a proud partner of an Air Force officer.
"Wear it, I will see you then." He said and they hugged. And left.
And she did what he had said.
That night clad in a shimmering Kanjeevaram, she sat in her room. All decked up. Among all the bangles, she slipped in these two. The red and the white one. Someone quipped, "it doesn't match." She ignored. She could see Udit smiling at her. And then coming from behind, resting his chin on her shoulder and saying, "didn't I say, you would look the prettiest!"
She smiled faintly. An awkward silence engulfed the room.
Her mother, then came and held her tight and ushered her to the mandap. People were waiting for her. Shanti stood up. Her feet refused to move, but she had to. She fleetingly remembered how that day too she was held like this. The day her dreams crashed mid air. That day when people waited for her for a final goodbye.
Shanti gathered herself and walked along with her mom. The open air felt welcoming.
Just before getting to the mandap, she stopped, and looked up in the sky. And then at her bangles.
She finally stepped into a new life, with Udit on her arms. Quite literally.
Rahe na rahe hum...!
- Maitabi Banerjee