You know when the camera is out of focus, how the night lights blur, leaving glowing dots in your vision? That’s how the wedding hall looked. Blurred and out of focus; something like a surreal dream. The only thing glaringly clear was him.
He sat there cross-legged beside his bride-to-be. But, she didn’t see the bride, couldn’t see the bride. She saw just him, dressed in shimmering white; an attempt perhaps to erase the past and leave the slate to be filled up by an unpredictable future. He looked every bit of the him she knew. Caring, sensitive and gifted with a capacity to love with abandon.
Would he learn to love his bride?
This was a marriage of choice. Not his, but his parents, whom he so loved. The bride was beautiful. But she didn’t see the bride. She just heard rustled whispers of the bridal saree as it rustled with every movement. Every time she looked at the bride, she saw the same face, which stared at her out of her mirror everyday. She saw herself. But, she was not the bride.
Like he was not the groom. It was just his body pledging alliance to a stranger. She knew his heart was not in the marriage. His heart was in the past. It was still tied with invisible bonds to a relationship, which still hadn’t died. She couldn’t remember her name, nor did she have a face to place with this anonymity. She just knew that he had loved this anonymous entity so passionately, that he had blinded himself to love from anybody else.
She knew he was capable of love beyond reason. She wished he had at least for a moment, loved her with the same madness. But he hadn’t.
While she had…
She still did…
Yes, she loved him. And yet, she sat amidst the celebrating crowd, watching him get married to somebody he didn’t love. Why? With every ticking minute, her heart seemed to grow heavier. The world was closing in and she was too numb to run. She wished she would die, but she wished she could live a moment longer, just so that she could see him. She closed her eyes and once again felt the imaginary pleasure of his warm embrace. With every breath came the tantalizing reminder of his heady scent. With her eyes closed, she could feel him with her, as one. When she opened her eyes, he disappeared in to the distance. Why didn’t she ever tell him, how much she loved him?
Maybe because she was too scared of not being able to give him the happiness he deserved. He deserved so much more. He deserved someone who could reciprocate his passion with a madness of her own. She was madly in love with him. She could be the one. She should be the one. But she was not the one.
He was getting married to someone he did not love. He was in love with someone who could not love him back. She was in love with him. But, he would not love her back.
Was love unfair?