As narrated by Zainab :
“And that should just about round it up “, Rumaykia said as she closed her diary and took another look at the setup
“It’s breathtakingly beautiful “, I whispered ,still busy smiling to myself . I couldn’t believe that this was all real! It looked like something out of a fairytale! Because it sort of was….
When I was a little girl, and on one of our family trips to Rajasthan, I was so mesmerized by everything that I had seen at a wedding there, that it had stayed with me for life.
And today, Rumaykia and Fatima , as promised , had blended my Rajasthani and Arabian dream mix into just the way that I had envisioned it.
“Wow”…A voice said behind me
“Are you just as speechless Zoheb? ” ,Rums smiled
“Speechless would be an understatement ” ,Zoheb smiled , “you guys are fantastic!…has Aara spoken to you yet? ”
“Well we’re doing a beach wedding in two weeks time, that should answer your question ” , Rums grinned
Zoheb smiled from ear to ear!
“Right…Zainab, Fati has arranged for the mehndi ladies to be here by 5pm so you ladies need to start getting ready by then, because they can do everyone else first so yeah…anyway, I need to finalise a few things I’ll catch up with you shortly ”
And Rums was off. Fati was already supervising the kitchen crew because she was a perfectionist just like Rums. Which made the perfectionist in me, perfectly happy.
“So…Zoheb, you know that you guys are not welcome here tonight sooo….” , I grinned
“I knowwww and I still don’t understand why. .but Zai, I needed to ask…” ,Zoheb said as scratched his chin nervously
“Are you sure that it’s okay for all of my family to be here tonight and until the wedding? ”
“Don’t be silly Zoheb, of course it’s fine ” , I laughed
“Ok great..errrr please can I contribute something…I mean there’s like 20 people from my side coming for the festivities and it’s a huge add on so please…..”
“Are you mad!!!how can you ask me that!” , I said, cutting him off
“Dadddddyyyyyyyy! !!!” , I shouted as I marched off to where my father was standing…and Zoheb reluctantly and nervously followed
So I told my father what Zoheb had said and my father cutely reprimanded him. Good! We didn’t just take him as family from the tip of our tongues and he must get it in his head once and for all!
As narrated by Aara :
We had barely stepped out of Arshad’s house when one of our oldest friends from campus entered.
“Momo! ” ,I screamed in delight
“Hey Aara “, he smiled
“Nemo it’s Momo! ” , I said to Nemo who was standing silently next to me
“Errr yeah I can see ” , he chuckled, ” Momo my man good to see you! ”
“Good to see you too Nemo ” ,Momo said as he shook Nemo’s hand
Momo aka Muhammed Ismail, was with us throughout campus, and then he just disappeared.
“This Arshoo is like a magician, pulling people out of a hat! ” , I laughed watching Arshad hugging Momo
Momo was closer to Nemo than any one of us for a period of time at campus, and I always wondered what happened to him. As Momo went ahead and hugged Riza and made conversation with the rest of them, I got my chance to quiz Nemo.
“I know, you know ”
“What is that you know “, he asked softly
This has hurt him much more than he was letting on…
“Laeeka told me. ..”
Nemo sighed and slumped against the wall. The lines across his forehead spoke the words from his heart that would never make it to his lips. In a moment, I could see the scared six year old little boy all over again , and in a moment, a strange feeling gripped my heart. What if he goes back? What if this loneliness draws him back? What if we lose him again?
“I won’t ” , he said, looking right at me
I took in a deep breath and let it out again.
“You know, it doesn’t matter if she didn’t forgive you. You tried and forgiveness ultimately comes from Allah ”
“I know ” , he answered without looking up at me
“You’ll be okay Nemo ” , I said reassuringly
“I know ” , he smiled
“Good. Button up your waistcoat properly “, I smiled as I wiped away a stray tear that fell off my cheek
“Yes Mrs. Patel “, Nemo said as he straightened himself, “and please don’t go thinking too hard about all of this, smile and enjoy yourself okay ”
“You too ” , I said hopefully
We rejoined the group conversation , laughing at Arshad’s cousins giving him tips…because one thing that we knew was certain…With Zainab, no amount of tips was ever going to work!
As narrated by Zoheb :
Yazeed and Zaeem made themselves right at home at Arshad’s, mingling with everyone as though they had known them for ages!
But I still hadn’t introduced them to Aara and I had no idea where she was in this huge crowd. “Where are you ” , I whispered aloud. And like a ray of sparkling sunlight that breaks through the blanket of dawn…I saw her. Looking as radiant as a newly bloomed flower, draped in a beautiful mint green eastern outfit, her long hair flowing like rivers of velvet across her back, smiling her smile that makes my heart melt every single time and I was instantly drawn towards her as my feet moved without hesitation. Yazeed and Zaeem were stunned as I zoned out of our conversation and walked towards my heart.
“There you are”, I whispered into her ear . And she didn’t turn around, nor did I say anything else for that few seconds, as we allowed ourselves to be swept up into that feeling that has no name. It just electrifies your heart with every breath of anticipation….
“Were you looking for me?”, she smiled as she turned around to face me
At that moment, there was nothing more than I wanted than to to just stand there looking at her…and stay in this moment forever.
“I would have loved to scoop you up and fulfill that promise of mine, but for now my friends from the US really want to meet you”
“Yazeed and Zaeem?”
“You remembered”, I smiled
“Yes, and only because you haven’t stopped talking about them”, she laughed
But as I finally moved my eyes off her to look for these two, I realised that they were grinning away at me, having been there all along!
“Guys…my fiance Aara, Aara..Yazeed and Zaeem”
And before Aara could say anything, Yazeed came forward and hugged her!! “It’s so nice to finally meet the infamous Aara!”
“Woah…err it’s nice to meet you too”, Aara said, wide eyed
I opened my mouth to explain to them that this hugging thing wasn’t allowed, but Zaeem had already taken her hand and kissed it! “Aah beautiful Madame you got here Zoheb”, he said in a thick fake french accent
Aara was clearly too shocked to react, and in no way am I justifying their actions, but….this was normal for them, they are very modern, born and bred in the US. They have no idea that they shouldn’t be doing this, else they wouldn’t, and that I can say with all the faith that I possessed within me. I just hoped that Aara would forgive them, they were genuinely good guys and I was very close to them..
“You guys!’, she said cheekily, and I thought that she was going to give them a tongue lashing..” no offence, but here…no kissing hands and hugging ladies who you don’t know because you guys will end up with a lot of enemies!”.
“What say? No more kissing beautiful girls hands??Shux!”, Zaeem said slightly shocked
“Didn’t realise that Aara…we’re really sorry”, Yazeed said apologetically
“It’s my fault actually…I should have told them, I forgot..sorry..for this “situation” ”, I said, looking down
“It’s fine man relax..so, Yazeed and Zaeem, have I heard things about you!”, Aara chuckled, “actually now it just makes sense”
“All good I hope?”, Yazeed smiled
“Aah if it were all good, then it wouldn’t be worth talking about now would it?” , Aara laughed
“Well I’m sure all the bad you’ve heard is Zaeem then, as I’m all good”, Yazeed answered, and now I was sure that they were going to get along just fine
“I’m the good kind of bad”, Zaeem winked
“You were so on the dot about these two..I like them already!”, she said as she leaned against me, “how did you guys befriend Mr over here? He was as blunt as a butter knife when I met him”
“As blunt as a butter knife??”, I said, tickling her
“There are some secrets we just can’t tell and damn…that’s one of them”, Zaeem whispered with a playful evil look on his face
“Aww man, I would have paid good money to hear that Zaeem”
“I’ll tell you for free”, I whispered
“Not that it would change anything”, she smiled, pinching my cheeks
‘You’ve clearly got this guy whipped! “, Yazeed said with shock written across his face
Aara and I laughed at that, and I closed my fingers over hers..
” Thanks for being here though, I really appreciate it. I mean I don’t know you but I know what you are to Zoheb and it means the world to both of us”, she smiled
” We would never have missed the opportunity to meet the girl that Zoheb can’t stop talking about so the pleasure is all ours”, Zaeem smiled back
And in those moments, our family just became two notches bigger and two notches more beautiful and the mehndi night had become two notches more colourful…
As narrated by Laeeka:
I love mehndi and the ambiance surrounding this perfectly themed mehndi night took that feeling to a whole new height. The men were only allowed to drop their better halves at the venue, for this was a ladies only gathering. An elaborate supper had been prepared for them at Aunty Sawleha’s. Tonight,Aara ,Maariah and I abandoned Zainab and played Team Groom. We had the fabulous company of Aisha,Nasley,Sabeeha, Shakirah, Haaj, Sakeena, Amierah and Shaista and Zainab had her own troop in the form of Rezana, Farah (Zainabs cousin , Humairah (Farah’s friend , Rizwana and Farzana (Another cousin of Zainab’s who had arrived this afternoon ) ,Sameera and Faatima (Zainabs cousins ). As it turns out, Zainab has lots of cousins 😉
With everyone dressed to the nines, and eager to dash inside after seeing the pictures that Zainab uploaded onto our group, I was suddenly stopped….
“Babe….before you go”, Riza said as he held my hand
“I just wanted to tell you that you look really beautiful today, and I just wanted to remind you that in exactly seven days from now..it will be our mehndi”
“Seven more days of freedom then”, I grinned
“Laeeka!”, Riza said as his mouth hung open in surprise
“Whaaaat…just saying it like it is” , I winked
“You had better enjoy it while it lasts..because before you know it, you’ll be picking up dirty socks from NEXT to the laundry basket”, Maariah chuckled as she walked towards us with Immy in tow
“I do not leave my socks next to the laundry basket”, Immy said as convincingly as he could
“No you don’t, those are after all my huge size 10 feet socks isn’t it?”, she grinned
“Don’t tell everyone your secrets now”, Immy winked
Maariah rolled her eyes at him as Immy placed a kiss on her cheek
“Who knows, maybe you will just see us here very soon”
“No…you guys are NOT breaking in, this is a ladies only function”, Laeeka chided
“Who said anything about breaking in” Ziyaad winked, as he too joined us, “we’re going to come through the front door itself”
So sorry for not posting this weekend…actually not so much ..lol..because we were busy cooking up a few awesome posts which ends with a ROYAL TREAT at the end of this week:)) You are going to be blown away with the cherry-on-the-top post which is a bang smash co written post but i will shut my mouth for now;)
Welcome Momo, Sam, Zana, Faatima…we’ll see more of you in the next post:)
Welcome to Farah and Humairah of Bad boy Billionaire to the LLD Wedding Special! So good to have you on board Shy:)
Thank you to the imagination behind Yazeed and Zaeem– u rock!
Please follow the currently joined blogs to get more out of the Wedding Special..and if you’re on Instagram and have any ideas that you would like to share please hashtag it so that we can all have a look #arshadzainabwedding
Do remember to log onto http://www.lifelovedestiny.wordpress.com for the second part of this post, which is the Mehndi (Part 1) in pictures.
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