The mehendi function was a colorful event. All Raizada family members were equally involved in making this marriage a memorable event hence they had seen to each and every minute details; made everything perfect to the core for the first wedding of the current new generation. Even though Pavan and Arnav were age wise senior to Akash, there wasn’t any disagreement for Akash being married earlier. The wedding and associated rituals will be taking place at Raizada farmhouse away from the city. It’s a huge place, which is capable of accommodating the whole families and friends and guests. The mehendi function was open to all and was being conducted in the gardens with music and dance.
The ladies sat surrounding the bride, commenting on mehendi designs and funny jokes. Nani chose Payal’s mehendi design. Anu, Adhiti, Payal and Khushi has fallen easily into a strong friendship bond; an outsider would have difficulty in accepting the fact that these 4 became close friends within a time frame of two weeks. All the young ladies including Anjali was busy teasing the bride and applying mehendi hence they failed to notice the our dear Sunny, Alexy, NK, Viren and La have come to the center of the garden along with the bandbajas and they pulled Khushi, Anu, Adhiti, Anjali, Mami towards the center to dance. Though Arnav was on his Bluetooth talking to Aman for arranging the evening Sangeet stage decoration, his eyes darted towards Khushi who was in full enjoyment mood dancing her heart off with her dear brothers, family and friends.
Pavan and Akash was also dragged to join the dance and soon Payal also was pulled into the dance. He could see his Dadi, Mami-Mama, Di- jeeju and his cousins dancing to the music beats, enjoying the fun of dancing together. He saw NK coming towards him and knew it was to drag him to the dance hence he suddenly turned to escape but suddenly all the music stopped. Arnav in surprise turned back to see what went wrong and could see all looking at him.
“This is not fair Nannav! Tum hamesha escape hota hai, We all are here dancing including our darling Naniji and you are standing there aloof with your I don’t care attitude. Come on dude its wedding time”
“NK, Chup raho, all are staring at me and you know I don’t dance. Please don’t make a scene here” Arnav said in a mild irritated voice due to the unwanted attention towards him. He saw Akash and Pavan striding towards him along with his Jeejaji from his corner of his eyes and knew he was doomed. “Come on Saleb sahib, its Akash’s wedding and he would be very happy if you too join in all celebrations” Viren urged Arnav. “Jeeju sahi keha raha rai Arnav, Kitne saalom ke baad we all are gathering together, come on mere bhai, shake a leg!” Pavan said with a side hug to Arnav. Khushi even though couldn’t hear what her Bhai said to Arnav, seeing them standing together in an affectionate way made her heart soar high. Sunny who was standing next to her squeezed her shoulders understanding her feeling and she smiled at him happily. It was Akash’s turn to motivate Arnav into dancing “Bhai, I know you don’t dance, lekin this is not a competition, or no one would judging your dancing skills, its just for fun. Come on Bhai for me please”Akash pleaded suddenly NK got a brain wave. Due to everyone’s compulsion he too joined the dance crowd; he saw Khushi giving him one of her radiant smiles while she continued her dance with Anu. He saw La suddenly moving back and disappearing through the crowd, he wondered where she went but Di had caught hold of him so that he doesn’t escape hence he couldn’t go and check where La went.
NK was waiting with Alexy near the garden gates behind the dancing crowd. He saw Sunny and La coming across the lawn.
“Whats the matter? Why you messaged for an urgent meeting? La questioned while she turned back to look to see whether anyone was watching them.
“You got some idea?” Sunny asked hopefully.
“Yes he got and its brilliant” Alexy commented.
NK with his confident smile explained his plan in conspirator style to his team and they cheered him and set out to begin the action.
Everyone settled at the big lawn table with their lunch.
Pavan said a toast to the newly married couple “On the behalf of my dear family and friends who is gathered here today, I welcome Payal to our family. Payal! Our Akash is a very sweet hearted soul, we are entrusting him to you for a lifetime and Akash my Bhai, I wish you lifelong happiness with your love! Cheers!” Everyone joined in the toast.
While serving the desert, Nk cleared his throat and stood up and requested for everyone’s attention. “ My dear Bhai behanom, my dear friends and elders, I would like to bring your attention to today’s evening Sangeet program’s highlight. Actually we youngsters are presenting various programs along with our sweethearts Dadiji and Mamiji” he turned towards Anjali and Viren and continued “Di and Jeeju, you are among youngsters. But the highlight of the sangeet would be a competition to which our Dadiji agreed. Mamaji, Mamiji and Payal Bhahi’s parents are going to be the judges. In this competition youngsters’s participation is compulsory, no excuses”.
NK looked at his brother and Nannav and could see them going to protest to his this statement. But he continued easily “ Why its compulsory is because we have partners for this dance whom we chose by selecting this chits” Alexy passed him two bowls. “one bowl has the ladies name and the other bowl has gentlemen names, ofcourse the married couple and going to marry couple don’t have to chose. The main attraction of this competition is you don’t have to practice any dance steps or act, its instantaneous play; ie when your turn comes during the competition, you got to walk with your partner to the stage, the judges will play a random song and you got to enact instantly anything which would suit the song. The best performance wins the prize. Simple! So now its time to pick your partners” NK extended the bowl.
As expected Arnav was the first one to protest before Khushi could applaud the idea. “This is crazy, am not there for this stupid game”. Even Pavan expressed his disinterest “yea, its silly game, kids play”. “Come on Bhaiya! Its not silly or crazy, its wonderful and fun” Khushi encouraged the idea and she was seconded by all at the table. Finally Pavan gave in and picked the chit. Dadi snatched the chit from Pavan before he could open and read out “Adhiti” NK was confused but Dadi winked at him making him wonder, “did he miss something?” NK looked at Adhiti who was looking as if she hit head somewhere and she was looking at…NK followed her gaze to Pavan and saw his Bhai’s surprised face but that look held a subtle happiness and there was a sparkle in his eyes.
NK looked back at Dadi; Dadi came near NK and whispered “I overheard your plan, don’t worry I support your mission” Sunny who was near NK nearly choked on his water. Alexy looked stunned while La’s mouth hanged open and for the first time she saw Arnav’s Nani smiling at her, a warm smile unlike the fake ones she used to give La. La smiled back wholeheartedly knowing that finally she was accepted as a good girl by Nani. Alexy took the bowl to Anu for picking her partner since she sat next to Pavan. Here also Nani took the chit before Anu could read the name; Nani announced the partner for Anu as “NK”. Khushi wanted to whistle but that would call attention hence she patted her brother on shoulder and whispered to him “Kya luck hai Bhai!” NK was in shock, “How come Dadi ….” He wondered. Nk saw Anu look at him with a surprised shock.
Anjali sensed the motive behind this game hence she told she is going to pick the partner for her Chotte since he is being rebellious; she came to Nani who was holding the bowl, sharing a secretive smile with Nani, she picked one chit and opened it and found the name which she was looking for “Khushi” she said which made her Chotte stop in his steps.
Arnav was angry for this silly game fearing that he would have to see Khushi being paired with someone because he was sure the guys would have set up this game in such a manner where he would be paired with La. But his Di, what did she say now? That he was paired with Khushi?. Khushi who stood near NK, caught her breath when Di announced that it was she who was Arnav’s partner. Sunny’s and NK’s comment brought her back to reality “As destined” NK commented silently so that only Khushi hears while Sunny said in a whisper “See, I told you!” Khushi immediately knew it was their plan and she being stupid agreed and supported this game and now she was caught. She dared a glance towards Arnav and saw him equally surprised and he looked up, met her gaze and held it.