Everyone looked enthusiastic. The house was decorated in a mesmerizing way. The aroma of flowers filled the air, sending positive vibes to everyone. Anaya’s face was glowing as bright as the sun. She was blushing like there is no tomorrow as she was getting engaged that day. Relatives thronged around her and made fun of her, making her blush even more.
Not only Anaya, but there was yet another person who kept blushing all the while and she was none other than Seathal. She was so excited, not because her sister was getting engaged, but because she was going to meet her cousin, Karan, very soon.
Seathal always had a secret crush on her cousin and she even felt he too echoed his feelings. Whenever they had met during a family get-together, they both would share a secret glance and smile at each other. But nothing more than that. They hadn’t even talked a few words. The meet during a family get-together once a year was all Seathal had wished.
But, it had been three years since she saw Karan as he and his parents had moved to states citing business reasons. Even though Karan’s parents stayed in touch all these years, she didn’t dare to enquire anything about Karan to them. She would often flip over the old albums and keep looking at Karan for hours together. She was not sure whether she loved him, but she was sure that his presence did something to her.
When she was informed that Karan and his parents were coming for Anaya's engagement, her joy knew no bound. She was on cloud nine counting the days, waiting for his arrival.
A car halted in front of her home and Seathal held her breath for a second. She knew that Karan had arrived, but she sat inside a room with Anaya. She didn’t want to make her eagerness obvious to everyone, so she controlled her desire to go out and see Karan. She waited until her mother stormed into the room.
“Seathal! Your aunt and uncle had arrived. They want to see you,” said my mom.
She nodded like an obedient girl and stepped out of the room. There, she saw Karan sitting on a chair, with his back towards her. He showed a little attention to the ones who were talking to him and his eyes kept wandering around the hall. Seathal felt an intuition that Karan was searching for her and that thought sent a chill through her spine. Before Karan could spot her, his mother spotted Seathal.
“Hey, Seathal! How are you, my dear girl! Look how beautiful she has turned up,” said her aunt to Karan’s father who was seated beside her.
Karan swiftly turned and looked at Seathal without blinking his eyes. Seathal’s body trembled as she felt Karan’s gaze on her and she chose not to look at his side. Karan’s mother grabbed Seathal’s arm and made her sit on a chair beside Karan. A lengthy conversation took place between her aunt and Seathal.
Though she didn’t even care to look at Karan, she felt happy for being seated beside him. But, her happiness didn’t last long. Her mother approached Seathal and said, “Seathal! Looks like Anaya has left her earring in her room upstairs. Please go and get it soon for her,”
She cursed her bad luck but she had no other way but to leave. She excused herself and climbed upstairs as fast as she could. She stormed into the room and walked straight towards the drawer where she believed she could find the earring.
She opened the drawer and peered in it, hoping to find the earring of her sister. Oh my God! Why can’t she wear something else, she thought.
Just then, she heard a voice saying ‘hi’ from behind her. She froze for a moment or two. She knew that it was Karan. She turned around in a jerk and saw Karan standing at the entrance of the room posing a warm smile.
Seathal couldn’t believe her eyes. She couldn’t understand how he managed to sneak into the room where she was all alone. When she was still in shock, he again said, “Hi…,”
That was the first time he had talked to Seathal. She felt that something special was going to happen, but she shivered badly.
With great difficulty, she replied, “Hi…,”
Karan smiled and took a step forward. Seathal’s heart raced. Karan stood a few feet away from Seathal and asked, “How are you?”
Seathal too smiled and said, “Fine. How are… you…?” Her lips shook and she was extremely nervous.
Instead of replying to her question, Karan kept looking at Seathal for a while and said, “You look too beautiful,”
And those words made Seathal’s heart soar in Pride. She wanted to jump in joy, yet she let out a slight smile and said, “Thanks. But… what are you... doing here?”
Though she was ecstatic inwards, she pretended as if his presence meant nothing to her.
Karan frowned and asked, “Shouldn’t I come here?”
There was another chill that ran down her spine as Seathal felt a hidden meaning behind his words. Seathal shook her head. “No! I didn’t mean that way. Okay! You carry on,” said Seathal and prepared to move.
“Wait! Hmm…. I want to ask you something,” said Karan.
And then there was an awkward silence. Seathal’s heart pondered. She had already thought of all the possibilities of what was going to happen there.
Seathal meekly nodded and asked, “What do you need to ask?”
“Hmm… Can I… can I… kiss you?”
“What?” Seathal was stunned, but not Karan.
“Yes! I want to kiss you… not only once… but infinite times… all through my life because… I love you…,” said Karan.
Seathal’s eyes welled up. Her heart was racing and she gave some time for the words of Karan to sink in herself.
She turned around not facing Karan and she didn’t know how to react. Tears flowed down her cheeks, but a smile danced on her lips. She felt tensed and timid. After taking as much time she needed, she wiped her tears and turned around.
Karan was still standing there. She sighed and said, “You know… I don’t know how my parents will react… but… I don’t care. Actually, I want to tell you something…,”
Karan narrowed his eyes and waited for her to speak up.
Seathal said, “Actually, I want to be the only woman… you will kiss henceforth because… I too…,” and then she lowered her eyes before saying, “love you…,”
Karan burst out laughing. And Seathal too.
And then... they kissed.
Posted: 27 Feb 2021
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Waiting for the right opportunity to excel in writing. A blogger and an avid reader. I have translated and precised a Tamil historic novel 'Ponniyin Slevan'.
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