Pursuing happiness is a part of human nature. Ultimately, everyone wants to be happy, unless ofcourse you’re born and bred evil and find comfort in being miserable!
And in happiness, resides a lifetime of memories. Big memories and small memories. The smaller ones are our day to day things that we do or say..and they can sometimes become big memories. The big memories though are the ones we plan and think about, to purposefully create something for someone special, because all the planning that goes into it is in itself a series of smaller memories. And irrespective of whatever life throws at you, irrespective of whether your life is long or short, that memory will remain and will stay etched in the heart of both the giver and the receiver for as long as that heart continues to beat…
I was very grateful to Aara for sharing this with me, and to all of them as well,because each of them helped in creating this spectacular moment in mine and Zainab’s life. I was truly blessed to have them as friends. Not brothers or sisters…but friends…unrelated by blood…joined in life by destiny. And that’s what made the relationship that all of us shared, so unique.
I blindfolded Zainab from the minute we left the house. She was a little concerned because it was way before sunrise!
Zai: where are we going?? (Her voice filled with excitement)
I stared at her…her beautiful smile spread across her porcelain like face, her pink cheeks which were now almost red..
Me: you will know soon enough my love…
And I held her hand the entire way. How blessed I was, to have her, to have her love me…
We arrived in Paarl in Zoheb’s purple BMW while the rest of them had gone ahead in the RV. I untied Zainab’s blindfold but asked her to close her eyes until I said so…
Me: (whispering )you can open your eyes now…(As she took her first step forward)
Zainab: (opening her eyes)…Arshad…(And she was stunned)…
Infront of us lay a walkway of rose petals…in every colour you can think of…a 500m walkway and the rose petals were so “thick” that it felt like a carpet under our bare feet.
Me: shall we? (Taking her hand in mine)
Zainab’s eyes were filled with tears.
Riza had chosen the most beautiful vineyard for my surprise and the owners were sweet enough to tie their dogs for the duration of our visit!
At the end of our walkway of roses…
Maariah : (dressed in a waitors uniform ℓ☺ℓ with a tray in her hands.) Please Sir,Madam (offering us the cappucinos which she so cutely stencilled with hearts and sprinkled some red thing on it)
Zai: Mari! Awesome!
Maariah: pleasure madame (and she nodded her head and walked away)
Then we were ushered to a cute little gazebo in the middle of the vineyard…(the gazebo was covered in red roses and fairy lights)… by Nemo and Zoheb dressed as butlers! They pulled out our chairs, handed us napkins and then…Laeeka and Riza…also dressed as waiters…served us delicious hot malva pudding….and it was such a chilly morning that this went down all too well! The malva pudding was heart shaped can you believe! And everyone behaved as though they didn’t know us at all…perfectly in character…ℓ☺ℓ they played their parts to the T!
Zainab: ( catching on that all of them were acting out something) here please take this (and she handed them a TIP!)
I was so ripped!
Nemo: (raising his eyebrow and about to open his mouth when Zoheb nudged him) thank you mam
Zainab: Arshad….what is all this…
Me: you’ll see…(And I couldn’t stop smiling)
I really never pictured myself doing something like this EVER!
Once we were done with our malva pudding and cappuccinos…Aara appeared…dressed in some kind of “conductors” uniform.
Aara: Good morning Sir, Good morning Mam…if you will follow me please..
And Zainab completely suppressed her smile at Aara’s dressing and we walked through the grape trees…out onto a huge clearing…and infront of us stood a magnificently huge….HEART SHAPED HOT AIR BALLOON!
Zainab was gobsmacked! The balloon was surrounded by and decorated with roses and lillies and daffodils….damn Zoheb was good with this flower thing!
Aara ushered us into the hot air balloon and closed the hatch.
Aara: enjoy the ride:)
And she untied the balloon and once I fired it up it slowly started rising into the Cape Town sky.
As we were ascending and totally on que…the plane I had hired could be seen in the distance….1….2…3…
And in white….”I love you Zainab”…adorned the sky…with a heart around it….tears rolled down Zainab’s face as she hugged me tight…
Zai: I love you too…more than you know
I held her back and smiled..
Me: there’s more….
And the little plane continued to paint the words of my heart onto the sky’s canvas….
“Will you marry me?”
Zainab stared at the sky…and I stared at her…our hearts in deep conversation with each other…when I dropped to my knees infront of her…
Me: Zainab…my friend, my love, my soulmate…will you make me the happiest man alive and do me the honour of being my wife…please?
Zainab had no words…her face was covered with tears and she dropped to her knees infront of me…and kissed me!
Tears filled my eyes as I hugged her and made so much of dua for her to always remain in my life…until I was old and grey…I made dua to love her till my last breath and be with her in Jannah…
When my phone rang…
Nemo: dude we’re kinda waiting you know!
Me: she said yes! She said yes! Nemo I’m going to get married!
And I heard everyone cheering in the background and once again on que…fireworks filled the sky…not close to our balloon at all…but I marvelled at what a piece of perfection this entire thing turned out to be.
I slipped a diamond ring onto Zainab’s finger..
Zai: WOW! This is gorgeous (and she hugged me again)I love it! excellent choice:)
Me: my parents helped me choose it..
Zainab’s eyes opened wide..
Me: (smilingggggg) I told them yesterday…and they are over the moon!
Zainab was ecstatic!
For the first time in my life…I had felt a happiness I had never known before…it was as though time had stood still as we floated just below the clouds…and all this beauty around us…stood as witnesses to the purity of the love that we shared between us.
As streaks of sunlight cracked through the cloak of night…I knew that it wasn’t just a new morning…but a new morning to the rest of my life…