“Anu.. Dress up fast. They will reach in any time”.
“What is there to dress up amma? . I think this is fine. I will just comb and adjust my hair. Rahul will be impeccably okay with this.”
“Show some decency Anu. Regardless of whether Rahul is okay or not, it’s a tradition.Take this. Now wear this and come out soon.”
She handed me a golden circumscribed whitish blouse and a white saree skirt. With a glowing face I took it from her and before long came out wearing it. The blouse is little tight. I think I have put on more weight.
To be frank, even I got a little excited because I have never experienced something like this before.
Being a pure malayali, I still don’t how to drape settu-mundu/Mundum Neriyathum.
With amma’s assistance, somehow Mundu is worn. Now the next part is wearing ‘Neriyathu’, an upper garment. It can be worn in two ways, either tucking it inside the blouse; That’s in a way too traditional. Wearing it on the left shoulder is the standard cum present day style. I preferred it.
Being in Settu mundu with golden ornaments, jasmine flowers in hair and black bindi makes me look like an ideal desi malayali manga.
Looking at the mirror, I couldn’t stop laughing at myself. I don’t even feel like moving away from own reflection.
“Anu.. Hold this and now go and give it to them. Don’t fall on the way. Walk properly.” Amma knows how I walk.
She handed me a tray loaded with espressos. I carried and served them all. Well, this is my first pennu kanal/ bride seeing. A traditional bride seeing ceremony by groom to be and his family.
Now there is some kind of hot discussion going on between both families. Between a voice interrupted. “I would like to talk to Avantika”.
“Permission granted” Said Achan(Dad). Within minutes he reached in front of me.
“How do I look?”. I asked him raising my one eyebrow. Being a specialist in facial expressions this is my typical way of correspondence.
Without uttering a word, he carried me in his arms and said “Anu, let’s get married”. It was a warm stun for me. I didn’t envision this. My pack of expressions neutralised with his startling toss of words. And then he dropped me down and by bending down in one knee like a western proposal.
Damn! This is not what I expected. I thought he was about to put a ring on my finger. Keeping my eyes shocked he gave me a letter.
Coming out of the room, we realised our folks had already fixed our engagement date. To be exact 28 days more. That was unexpectedly early.
I was in a static state where I couldn’t digest anymore facts.
1 year and 25 days had passed, however everything just appears as yesterday. The incense is so fresh. Finally, 3 days left for me to become Mrs Rahul Raghav.
Still, I do not know much about Rahul, neither he and we never felt like asking each other. This may sound really weird. But yeah, that’s the truth.
I closed the book when the autorickshaw reached the hospital.
Settling the fare, I walked straight to the reception counter.
“Excuse me, I have an appointment with Psychologist Dhruv Devraj”
“Ma’am, your name please?”
“First floor, Psychology OPD( Out Patient Department)”
” My pleasure”. She said with an affiliative smile.
Finally, I saw a board written as ‘Dhruv Devraj, Clinical Psychologist’.
“May I come in?”
“Yes, come in!”
“Hello, I am Avantika”
“Oh yeah! Avantika TV”
“Yes!” I said with a smile
“Mm..Oh its 4.20 PM..Avantika. Do you have any urgency?”
“No sir, Anything?”
“Okay then! Let’s go for a coffee break”
“No thanks sir”
“Oh.. C’mon don’t be formal”
“Dr Ali had told about you”
“Come let’s go”
I went along with him to the hospital canteen.
“Waiter two coffee”, ordered Dhruv
“How is your story going?”
“Yeah, I am writing it”
In between the waiter brought the coffee.
“Sorry..I didn’t get you?” I asked with a befuddled look.
“I mean your initial what does it mean?”
“Oh..that Thekkumpurath Veetil, Genetic family name sir”
Dhruv couldn’t control laughing over my awful comical inclination.
“Oh! Avantika I would prefer calling me Dhruv rather than Sir. You can simply call me Dhruv”
“Okay, Mr Dhruv. You can likewise call me Anu instead of Avantika TV”
“Alright!” And then we both chuckled.
“If you don’t mind, will you narrate your written story? . I am a decent pundit. I can assist you with the feedback” And then he winked at me.
Was he really a psychologist? I doubted for a while.
“I think it will be better if you read it your own. I am a bad orator” I said in my formal tone.”
We dispersed in the wake of having the coffee and giving over my journal to him.
To be continued in chapter 5.
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