Kalyana Samayal Saadham

Flash Fiction #15:

The most anticipated marriage of the 1997 NIT-T batch was performing in Madurai. Inside the hall, every body smelt of rose water and every forehead of cool sandal (except Mary’s). Festoons of red and yellow patterned every wall and silks of all colours parcelled every woman. Shankar, Ravi, Prem, Hema and other classmates entered the hall as one cheerful group.

‘Poovalan’ Pavan soon started sighting the young ladies of the occasion, as though reliving his college days, and Latha was already sharing recent gossips with Malini and sister Shalini. Gradually everyone melted in the cacophony of music and chatter, but Chandran, in an aisle seat, looked like he didn’t belong there, like tomato soup placed at the corner of a pure non-vegetarian buffet.

A strong yellow glow filled the stage where the bride was posing with her soon-to-be husband. A photographer was clicking endlessly as family and friends from a long line spent brief moments onstage. Hema waved her hand at the couple until Vidhya noticed and waved back. She then nudged Karthik to see their classmates. The group stood up, waved and cheered at the couple. Vidhya and Karthik teethfully welcomed them all. The hall, many guests and Vidhya standing at a distance were but only a confluence of colours to Chandran; like objects seen through a glass of water.

Cups of Badam Kheer with soaked saffron were being served to all guests. Chandran received his and kept staring at it. Prem, sitting beside, swigged his and inferred that the distributing ladies were not as kind as to serve him another cup. Noticing one full in Chandran’s hands, he plucked it for himself. Chandran loved Badam Kheer, but what could he do! it was his friend’s now.

As time passed, the chairs in the hall were rearranged to form batches of circles. Some joined in at the middle of conversations, some excused themselves out for early dinner. Vidhya and Karthik could no more naturally smile; their cheeks were aching from continuous stretching. All through, Chandran alone stayed stiff.

Malini felt it was time they all went upstage to meet Vidhya and Karthik. So the group got up, adjusted shirt sleeves and sari ends, and approached the stage with Chandran at its tail. With Prem’s urging measure on the ladies to march quickly (he feared dinner would fast get over) the group was soon onstage. Embraces and handshakes were conducted. The photographer had a hard time fitting everyone in his frame. Some had to go behind the couple and some bend knees at the front. Their collective gift – a blue velvet case containing a silvery pearl necklace – was proudly displayed before the camera. After a couple of flashes, Vidhya received it with a natural smile.

‘Chandran, put it on!’ Vidhya sounded and Karthik, pure-heartedly, seconded. After all, Vidhya and Chandran had been thick friends in college. He was pulled to the front and handed the jewel. As his hands neared Vidhya’s neck, they seemed to go out of control and shake obviously. While knotting at her nape, the necklace slipped and beads came unstrung. The wire fell dead at Vidhya’s feet while the beads bounced and settled all over the stage.

17 thoughts on “Kalyana Samayal Saadham

  1. Alagar Rajagopalan says:

    A scene in Mahabharatha –

    Karna and Banumathi (Duriyothana’s wife) were playing dice. Banumathi was sitting, facing entrance of that room and Karna was sitting opposite to Banumathi. Banumathi was losing the game. On seeing Duriyothana entering the room Banumathi was rising. Karna thought that since she is losing she is trying to leave the game in between and pulling her waist ornament (Mekalai) to make her sit. The mekala slipped and the pearls came unstrung and spread all over the room. On seeing Duriyothana, Karna felt awkward and shivered. But Duriyothana was not disturbed and did’nt have an iota of doubt. Instead he asked Karna – ‘O! friend! shall I collect the pearls and string them ? Nothing to worry and I know you well’ (எடுக்கவோ கோக்கவோ?) That was the friendship between him and Karna.

    Just remembered this .episode by Villiputurar in his Villibharatham. This is not in original Mahabharatha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Siddarth says:

    Well, I loved the `tomato soup’ line and the events taking place in the marriage.. Good use of words bro! The last paragraph was very touching, I read it twice to get a clear interpretation of what you had visualized! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tamizh says:

    Fantastic portrayal of what Chandran is going through! The soup boy, Vidhya at a distance, he viewing through his moist eyes, his helplessness when someone snatches away his love and the climactic string that fells dead on her feet while the beads bounce. Excellent narration!

    I also liked the minute details you captured, the ones we can see and experience in a marriage hall (could relate almost everything, especially after attending the marriage last week, including the episode of the badam kheer:)). Superb writing, Ayyappan!

    Liked by 1 person

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