“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”- Marilyn Monroe

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And the moment she walked in, the world seemed to light up. The world had turned so colourful. The grim-faced uncles looked cheerful, the bored kids sitting in a corner started smiling at him, and I, myself started enjoying the dance number that was playing presently. She resembled a goddess in her emerald green sari, yet that playful look never leaving her for a single moment. Clutching her purse and a bouquet in one hand, and the other to lift her sari slightly to keep herself from tripping, eyes that ran through the entire hall, searching for a familiar face, she looked just perfect to me. It was the first time I’d seen her, and this memory of hers would be mine, forever. It wasn’t the first time I noticed someone so closely, but the adrenaline rush I felt at that moment, was something I’d never experienced. Her eyes, more beautified with the kajal, the gold jhumka, the waistband …and her smile, I just could go on and on about her beauty, or what I felt, divinity.

While I was so deep lost in thoughts, she had seated herself beside the bride, I noticed. I had to talk to her somehow, I decided. Now, or never. C’mon Samrat, you can do it, I reassured myself. “Samrat bhaiyya, will you come over here, please?” I turned around to see the bride, my sister-in-law, calling me. Just what I needed. I almost rushed to the stage where they were seated. I tried to act as if I was busy, but when I looked at her face, so calm and serene, all thoughts vanished suddenly, and all I could do was smile. “Ahem!”, Bhabi mocked with a smile, ”Samrat bhaiyya, meet Aparna, my cousin from Lucknow. Please see to it that she helps herself.” “Yeah sure” was all I could utter. Did I feel shy? Maybe.

Aparna smiled slightly, and oh! I felt as if in seventh heaven. We walked slowly, she a step ahead, whereas I was the one supposed to show her the way. Nevertheless, I tried to start a conversation. “Aparna, um, so Lucknow’s a beautiful place, right?”, I said, and immediately started cursing myself for being so dumb. “Yeah, it is. You should visit it sometime.” “I will, someday. By the way, you look beautiful. Ama…amazing actually.” “Hahaha, thankyou Samrat. You know, it’s the first time a guy has found me beautiful. I’m flattered, really.” “You must be kidding, right? I mean, just look at you. You define perfection, Aparna. Trust me.” “You don’t know how much that means to me. Every man I come across just tells me how hot or sexy I look. You’re the first one who said the word “beautiful”.” “The pleasure’s absolutely mine”, I winked at her. We both laughed. The place seemed wonderful. I was in love.

After dinner, as I walked her to her hotel, she suddenly said, “Samrat, today was one of the best days of my life. I’ve never enjoyed so much. Thank you”, with a smile I swear I could live on for the rest of my life. “Aparna, you’re a lovely person, and I enjoyed even more. Thanks to you too”, and with a pause added, “So, Miss Aparna Rathore, will you give me the pleasure of making you smile in the days ahead of us. Will you?”

And the air was filled with smiles…

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