“And, the award for the most active journalist goes to Miss Aarti Sahota.”
She couldn’t believe it! She wanted to make sure she heard right and her doubt was cleared when the audience erupted into a huge round of applause and shouted, “Aarti! Aarti! Aarti! ”
“Aarti, Aarti baby wake up!” I was jolted awake from my peaceful slumber by none other than my mom.
“Maa, you woke me up in the middle of a beautiful dream!” I groaned.
“Well, Aarti, you can dream later, now get up and go take a quick shower!” She huffed, clearly frustrated as I had already buried my face in the pillow preparing to doze off.
I stared at my bed longingly and reluctantly, got up and dragged myself to the washroom. I was sitting on the toilet seat when my mom yelled, “Aarti! What’s taking you so long? You’re not sleeping again are you!?”
She knew me too well, I sighed. “Geez Mom, it’s been what, like, five minutes and you’re already getting restless!”
After taking a fast shower I walked out with a towel wrapped around myself to see a blue sari on the bed. “Not again!” I whined.
Mom entered the room with jewelry boxes, my eyes widened at the sight of big bangles and heavy rings, “Mom. I’m so not wearing those!” I said, horrified.
“Oh, hush. Stop complaining like a five year old,” She answered, putting those ‘things’ on the dresser; “Go get dressed and I’ll take out matching accessories for you”
“Um, Mom, what’s the occasion?” I asked, baffled by her answer.
“Oh! I’m so sorry Honey, did I forget to tell you that Dev is coming to give the engagement card and even wants to meet you.” She said, casually, as if it was not a big deal.
“What!?” I exclaimed, Oh god! What’s the rush? When did they decide the engagement date? Why didn’t Mom tell me before hand?
“Aarti!” My questions were cut short by Mom. “Go wear the sari and I’ll do your make-up and hair.”
Not wanting to annoy her more, I hurried to the washroom to change. I came out and Mom made me sit in front of the mirror and started working on me, applying all kind of colored powders and fake junk on my face. She finished with my hair after what looked like days but was actually a few hours. Just as she did the final touch up or whatever they call it, the bell rang.
Mom started pacing around, muttering all kind of curses. “Oh god, he’s here.”
She was getting worried as if Dev was here to see her. I snorted in a manner that couldn’t be called ladylike.
She rushed downstairs to prepare lunch.
There was a knot in my stomach, I saw myself in the mirror, A girl with long black hair stared back, my long hair was now tied up in an elegant bun with two thick locks of hair falling on either side of my face, my friends had always fancied my hair but, my round eyes that were coated with a thick layer of mascara and eye shadow were the best part of my face. My lips looked edible with the strawberry colored gloss applied on them. Hmm, I don’t look so bad. I was a simple girl, with an hour glass body and flawless white skin and sharp features.
All the boys in high school and college lusted after me.
“Whoa! I never thought you’d look this pretty.” Joked Arjun Bhai.
I snapped out from my thoughts and smiled at Bhai who was now looking at me with glossy eyes.
“My sister’s all grown up, huh? He said, his voice crackling in the end.
“Hey now, don’t start crying like a girl” I said in a flat voice, he chuckled.
He hugged me tightly and scoffed, “Who’s crying?”
Tsk, typical boys, I shake my head at that thought.
“Dev is in the living room waiting for you.”
“Oh no,” I said, thinking about all the relatives that would be downstairs. “I’m nervous Bhai.”
“Aarti, you’re never nervous, it’s just a guy, stop stressing so much.”
Right, it’s just a guy, I reassured myself.
I climbed down the stairs, being careful of my sari and 4” heels. Damn you Mom, I thought.
When I reached the bottom I saw a guy sitting on the couch surrounded by my friends and cousins. Shit! He was probably getting picked on or teased. My cousins had arrived here shortly after Mom gave them the news. When they saw me they started fake coughing and saying ‘Look who’s here’ and all.
|Freida Pinto||as Aarti Sahota|
|Camilla Belle||as Simran Sahota|
|Vinay Virmani||as Arjun Sahota|
|Jimi Mistry||as Ayushman Sahi|
|Dev Patel||as Dev Desai|