As narrated by Aara:
By now we understood that we were expected to talk…right here..on stage..infront of ALL these people!
Speaking infront of a crowd has never been an issue but this was so unexpected!
Selvan motioned for us to say something and Ziyaad went first…
Ziyaad: (into the mike) Selvan is a great guy thank you
And he acted as though he was walking off the stage when something I didn’t anticipate happened…
Everyone started laughing!!
Ziyaad: (milking it) well he said I should say a few words so I did!
And again laughter!
Ziyaad: well anyway now that I am here…and since this is a wedding let me just voice my opinions about some things …
I put my hand to my head….oh boy
Ziyaad: firstly…ever since Selvan entered, that aunty over there (pointing at a lady sitting in the front) has been crying so much! Ok no scratch that, she hasn’t been crying…she’s been howling! I actually initially thought that maybe there was a wolf in the hall!
The entire hall echoed with the sound of laughter!
Nemo: (whispering to me) Aara…he’s going to get shoes thrown at him!
Ziyaad: (smiling from ear to ear) may I ask why you were crying please aunty?
This aunty was beyond ripped…she laughed so hard that all her jewellery on her body was shaking!
Ziyaad: no seriously…are you crying out of joy that wow Selvan actually got married orrrrr are you crying for Selvan’s wife that oh shit I feel sorry for you my child!
Again…everyone started laughing!
Ziyaad: now the wedding card…has Selvan and his wife’s picture on it..whoever convinced Selvan to do that I need to shake your hand please…because this guy for as long as I know him his profile picture has always ridiculously been ” no profile picture but I swear I’m hot!”
By now, along with everyone else…Nemo and I were laughing too!
Ziyaad: I’m sorry (looking at Selvan) I actually meant “ot” not hot :-p now Selvan’s picture is going to be in everyones glass cupboard in the lounge…you know the one where you keep all the wedding memorabilia still in its cellophane wrapping with all that china that you bought solely for display…
And roaring laughter again..
Ziyaad: I mean seriously what is it with us Indians…even my mother has one of those “display” cabinets that no one can touch until she’s dead and then too the daughter in law will take over
He didn’t even give the crowd to laugh properly when he continued…
Ziyaad: (turning to look at Selvan’s wife) now you know what you’re inheriting one day!
Me: (whispering to Nemo) Zee is like free entertainment Nemo!
Nemo: (laughing) well, let him do the talking it’ll save us both from doing so
Ziyaad was really just something else altogether. Nemo and I stood next to Selvan and watched Zee thrill everyone with his witty one liners until he decided that, thank you very much this was enough for tonight.
Ziyaad: well it’s been awesome the food was delicious, the company was insane and overall it’s turned out to be an amazing night
And with that, he walked off the stage to a standing ovation. I had a broad smile across my face…Ziyaad the Shooter. Well that’s what he was called on campus and he had outdone himself yet again.
But now we had bigger fish to fry as Ziyaad left the stage WITHOUT us.
Nemo: (coming forward and grinning) we aren’t as clever as Ziyaad so…all we are going to say is thank you Selvan for inviting us, this is definitely one of the most beautiful weddings we have ever been to and we wish you and your lovely wife a very happy married life
Selvan: (hugging Nemo) thanks Naheem….Haara aren’t you going to say something?
I smiled and shook my head.
Nemo: (winking) I spoke for both of us Selvan
And as we started to make our way off the stage…
Selvan: guys wait…you av (have) to join us for our couples dance I insist
And almost immediately a whole lot of people, a lot of them around our age group, our friends from school included, made their way to the large square platform infront of the stage.
Me: (shaking my head) I don’t want to dance Nemo
We were surrounded by all these people who kept forcing us into their group. I tried to make my way out of there with no luck.
Nemo: (holding my hand) we can push passed them..come
But we had gotten pushed right into the centre!
Selvan: (holding his wifes hand) come on you two…do this for me
My eyes frantically searched for Zoheb and when I finally spotted him, he smiled and nodded….
As narrated by Nemo:
She worriedly looked in the direction of where the others were sitting but she couldn’t see properly with the sudden crowd around us.
Her eyes searching…searching for his…
A pang of hurt and anger suddenly filled my heart. She needed permission?? She needed permission to be with me?
I watched her as she tried to move out from the crowd. I didn’t want her to go, but I held her hand in an attempt to force our way out of this big circle of people around us.
When we were forced back into the circle…the look on her face broke my heart.
After a few seconds…Aara found what she was looking for and stopped and stared at him.
Selvan: (holding Aara by her shoulders and making her stand infront of me) I don’t know when Hi (I) will see you guys again…let’s make a memory that will last a lifetime…
Her eyes glistened as she tried to compose herself.
Me: (swallowing hard) is it so bad to have to dance with me for a few minutes?
Aara: (shaking her head) no…it’s not like that
Me: (taking her hand in mine) so can we just forget everything for a few minutes….after it’s over everything goes back to the way it was
She looked at me for a few seconds and then nodded silently.
This is what I deserve after treating her the way I did. This is what I deserve after hurting her and breaking her heart over and over again…
The lights went out and a spotlight fell on the lot of us…and as the words of this song played, baring my heart and soul to the one I loved…I had wished that these moments would last forever…
It felt as though it was just us…just me and her…and I didn’t take my eyes off her. She never once looked up at me.
Why did we feel like strangers? We had years of memories behind us, years of togetherness, years of friendship. It’s not like we are dancers but Aara and me…we’ve done this before but tonight…it was different. She was a little uncomfortable…a little uneasy…a little tense. If it was Riza and not me, it wouldn’t be this way. If it were Arshad and not me…it wouldn’t be this way.