As narrated by Aara :
We were seated around a large round table that had been especially reserved for all 18 of us…and I was sitting in between Laeeka and Rezana… as still as a statue. Ok almost as still as a statue. On my best behavior..trying desperately to stay in character of the bride to be.
“What are you doing? “, Laeeka whispered, “or what are you not doing rather? ”
“Trying “, I smiled, “to behave like a girl who’s getting married in two weeks ”
Laeeka burst out laughing at what I had said!
“Let me guess…Aunty Salma? ”
I nodded in acknowledgement ,still staying very much in character, and then I turned towards my mother seated at the table next to ours and fluttered my eyelashes at her. My mother in turn rolled her eyes at me and made me want to laugh out aloud, except before I could do that, those rolling eyes became the “big eyes” that every child, no matter how old, is terrified of!
I had told Zoheb about my mother’s request, or demand rather, but as my mum had already introduced him to so many people as her wonderful son in law to be, Zoheb was on cloud 999 and wouldn’t hear a word of complaint against his mother in law.
That was sweet though, and I smiled again in his direction.
As everyone chatted away, I scanned the menu card in front of us and my tummy reciprocated with a not so loud growl. Impressive indeed! Not that I would have expected any less and also…I was so hungry so anything would have been good!
Our plans to help Ayaaz were already in motion once the waiters started making their appearance…but everything had been going upside down!
First, the soup that was meant to come to Reez , one that had some heart shaped thing in it, ended up at the table behind us and had an old lady blushing from ear to ear! Then, the note that was supposed to reach Reez ended up going to Nasley, in turn sparking a weird facial reaction from Yazeed! As much as the mix ups annoyed me , I couldn’t help but laugh! Poor Ayaaz, the look on his face during this time was priceless!
When we were settled once again , I had to ask Laeeka the question that had been on my mind for the entire evening…where is Sajida and I needed Laeeka to point her out to me….and well, after fishing carefully…
“That’s Sajida..”, Laeeka said loud enough for only the two of us to hear, “I didn’t think that she’d come, but I’m so glad that she did”
I looked intently at Sajida…she was such a beautiful girl, and to think that she had gone through such torment so early in her life
“I know that look and I don’t like it”, Laeeka said sternly
“THAT look…I hope you aren’t..”
“I would love to talk to her, just for a little while”, I said softly
“No you don’t and you won’t”
“Why the hell not?”, I asked, a little too loudly..and Zoheb and Riza shot me questioning looks
I faked smiled and tapped Laeeka on her shoulder…
“Because Nemo doesn’t want you to”, she answered, tapping me, or more like hitting me on my shoulder in retaliation
“Okay” I lied. But I will talk to her…I had to…
As narrated by Nemo:
These waiters were getting on my nerves!!! We had gone on stage, taken enough pictures, heard enough comments from all the aunties waiting in the photo line to take a picture with the bride and groom…and there was just one more thing left to do for Ayaaz but there was still time for that…so I grabbed Momo’s (my friend Muhammed) hand and hopped to the table next to us. By special request mind you…why..I had no idea but these were people who had come all the way from far and wide for my buddies wedding, so their wishes were my command.
While grabbing a chair, I texted Zoheb and Aara to join us, and as the group dispersed doing their own things, Riza,Laeeka, Immy and Maariah joined us too. Around a round table, the seven of us (and I could see Arshad itching to jump off that stage and join us) took our seats with Azmina, Shaista, Rizwana, Sameera, Haajirah, Fatima, Sakeena, Amierah, Farzanah, Mariam, Tayyaba, Zaakira and ofcourse our two beautiful wedding planners Rumaykia and Fatima.
“So”, I said, rubbing my hands together, “special request fulfilled..all of us are here together with you lovely ladies who are dressed as though you’re getting married too!”
“Nemo!”, Aara said, raising her eyebrow at me
“Whaaaat it’s the truth”
“So since I’m supposedly dressed as though I am getting married…will you marry me then?”, Amierah asked cheekily with a grin on her face
“Hello..cousin uhm…control your emotions”, Zoheb said protectively
“Zoheb’s right Amy..you’re too young anyway…but I’m old enough”, Haaj winked
“Foreal??”, I asked, amused
“For real real”, Haaj laughed
“Nemo you have captured my cousins hearts…all of em, only this Sakeena is left”, Zoheb laughed and pulled Sakeena’s cheek
“Owwww Aara ask your boy to behave”, Sakeena chuckled , but not before pulling Zoheb’s cheek in return
“You can’t blame Nemo..he has always been and will probably always be the crowd pleaser”, Momo grinned
“With the biggest heart”, Rizwana smiled
And realization hit me as I remembered the pots that I still had in my flat!
“Aara I bought you pots”, I said aloud
“I. Bought. You. Pots”, I said slowly
“Why?”, Aara asked confused
“Aren’t you getting married in two weeks time ullu”, Riza said, rolling his eyes at Aara
“He bought you the whole AMC range as a gift Aara”, Rizwana said while looking at me
“What he means to say is..”, Shaista laughed, “He bought Zoheb pots..because he’s going to be the one using them”
“And I’ll borrow them from you Zoo”, Maariah said, clapping her hands
Mari liked clapping her hands alot recently…I wonder why…it must be the mosquitoes…yep she’s probably too used to them
“Well as long as I get invited for a chow every now and then, you’re most welcome”, I said, winking at Zoheb
“Aara!!!”, Laeeka said aloud
“Sorry sorry…thank you Nemo…for the pots, and thank you Rizwana because I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been able to choose them without your help”
“How’s your mehndi hand looking Zoheb?”, Azmina asked while the others giggled
“That’s a no go zone”, Zoheb said as he tried to push his hand into his pocket
But Immy was too quick for him, he grabbed Zoheb’s hand and lifted it up….lo behold….
Everyone broke out into a roaring fit of laughter!
“That’s not so bad”, Azmina said, through her laughter
‘I just hope it comes off soon”, Zoheb said, with an embarrassed look on his face
“Well we’re going to dare you to do it again!”, Riza said, high fiving Momo
“Actually you guys…ever since we’re around for this wedding, we’ve been hearing about how notorious your pranks are…so how about one please?”, Farzanah asked sweetly
“As in now?”, Laeeka asked wide eyed
‘What’s happening as in now?”, Rums said, lifting her eyes from her phone. This one was too busy planning Aara’s beach wedding!
“Welllll…there’s no better time than the present”, Farzanah persisted
“Sorry..my mother said that I have to behave tonight”, Aara said…clearly without thinking…and when she looked up at all of us…and after a very brief moment of silence, everyone started laughing!
Fati…our beloved wedding planner, patted Aara on her shoulder reassuringly but laughed to herself. So I deliberately winked at her 😉
‘So that’s why you’re so…Maariah and Laeeka tonight”, Immy said in disbelief, “I never knew you had it in you to actually follow instructions A”
Aara rolled her eyes at Immy and popped another macaroon in her mouth
“Please please guys”, Mariam pleaded. Now Mariam, for as long as we have known her , which was only a few days, but one could gather that she was very quiet and very shy, and for her to be asking…it just melted my heart. I looked at Riza and Aara and both of them shook their heads at me! Party poopers!
“Come on “, I said, throwing my hands in the air
“This is the frikking wedding of the year, you want us to pull a prank here! Zainab’s father will send us to jail and I really just want to get married next week”, Riza said all at once
“Since when did situation or circumstance stop you Riza?”, Sameera asked questioningly .
And the lady had a point!
“And Aara, you don’t know the meaning of the word behave”, Tayyaba laughed, “I’ve worked with you for years woman…you are another species altogether!”
Aara’s mouth hung open in shock! She was taking ma’s words too seriously tonight!
‘Come on Aara…just one”, Zoheb said, nudging her
“”Okay fine!”, Aara said, giving in, “although I have no idea what to do”
And nor did I….I was very nicely gearing up for a prank…but what prank would we do, I had no clue!
And that’s when my phone rang…and the stupid and obnoxious ringtone, as everyone else put it, lit a fuse in my head!
“Why are you grinning like that….”Fats asked me….
“Because…”, I said as I stood up, “I have it!”
“Don’t go too far, how are we going to see?”, she frowned
“Eh..am I a circus animal that you want to see what I do”, I laughed
‘Nemo you know what I mean!”
“I know I know…”
I looked around for an easy target..I mean this had to be low key…and while doing that, I typed into our whatsapp group….”Guys think my ringtone okay..think my ringtone..”
I ignored the quick flow of messages within seconds of me pressing “send” , slid my phone into my pocket and caught sight of the boy who had been whispering to his friends about Laeeka and Aara. Yes, dude, I heard you! I went up to him, introduced myself, pointed in the direction of our table and had him eating out of my hand in no time!
The others were confused when this smug dude followed me back to where they were seated, and pulled a chair next to me!
“I don’t think that another Simba joke is going to crack it this time”, Laeeka whispered
“Simba is dead dude”, I chuckled, and introduced Farhaad to everyone..while making eyes at them to get on with it!
Laeeka, Riza, Aara, Zoheb, Immy and Maariah stared at me as if I was a total stranger and as though they didn’t hear me introducing our new pal!
I am going to kill them!!
Farhaad looked at me and then at them…..”Okayyyy”
“Munda sada doli chadgaya?” , Riza asked with a straight face..and all the colour drained from Farhaad’s face!!!
Everyone had turned pink but no one laughed…yet
“I’m sorry come again?”, Farhaad asked
“Band baj gaya oye hoy hoy?”, Riza continued while tilting his head to the side
I wanted to jump off my frikking chair!!
“What he’s saying is..how are you and nice to meet you…he is talking in his native language”, I said coolly but bit the insides of my cheeks so that I wouldn’t laugh
“Ohhhh okay so nice of you…I’m very well how are you?”, Farhaad asked and Haaj burst out laughing
“Excuse her…she’s not…you know”, I said
“Chad ke saariya ek baariya dil nu laiyya ke bemariyaa”, Aara said, with the biggest smile on her face
Aha…so the guard is falling…
“She’s asking if you will buy her a sari”…and I also laughed
“Woah..she’s asking for things already, sure sure I’ll buy you a sari”, Farhaad smiled
“Munda munda naal paunda yaariyaa”, Laeeka managed to say through her own extra large grin
“She is asking you like…. errr…. what about hers?”, I grinned
“Okay for her too…wow this is amazing”
“Shera panda noore aunda khwabe maa da ujjad gaya!”, Riza said loudly
“He said that it is traditional for the sisters of the bride to ask for saris from the groom to be” , I explained
Immy covered his face with his hands..and well the others were pretty dumbstruck also!
“Wait…I am so confused…if they are the sisters of the bride…then who is the bride????”, Farhaad asked as he loosened his tie a bit
Can’t handle the heat???
Farhaad looked towards Zoheb…and Zoheb, who had been laughing himself silly, made a motion with his hands..
“He can’t speak..”, I managed to say
“Maa da laadla bigad gaya..maa da laadla bigad gaya”, Riza said, breaking his knuckles against his head in typical indian style
I burst out laughing!
“He is asking if he can sit next to you?”
I didn’t really give Farhaad a chance to answer, I just swapped seats with Riza faster than a flash of lightening! I just loved Riza in this element of his!
“Sure you can maa daa laadlooo here”, Farhaad said, and he looked at me to confirm that he had said the right thing
We couldn’t take it and everyone started laughing! So he laughed too…he must be from Zainab’s side!!!
“Hir mile na isnu ye ranjhe uthe mar gaya…”, Riza said, batitng his eyelashes at Farhaad
Farhaad’s eyes widened in shock!
“He’s asking where are you taking him for the honeymoon?”
“Why would I take him????”, Farhaad asked, completely bewildered
“Ohh ho hoh my desi girl my desi girl”, Riza grinned and grabbed Farhaad’s hand
“HEY!””, Farhaad said loudly and tried to pull his hand away from Riza ..but Riza wasn’t relenting!!
“Gora chitha muhkda dekho kala kar gaya”, Riza said with even more deliberation and held Farhaad’s hand tighter
“He said he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, love at first sight!”
Farhaad stood up in shock…”You bunch of freaks!!”
“Yeh hoya sagaai hoye hi karo”, Riza pleaded and took one of Laeeka’s rings to give to him
“He said no one is laughing at you..it’s traditional”
“Get off me!!”, Farhaad said trying to shoo Riza away from him
“Kismat charaiye hoye hi karo”, Riza grinned rubbing his chest
I nearly fell off my chair!!!
“Goodbye!!”, Farhaad said, highly irritated, and walked off
“Goodbye!!!”, Everyone said together and let out the laughter that we had been holding in for so long!
“And that my dears is what you get when you ask Nemo to pull a prank with the help of Riza”, Riza grinned and took a bow
“That was…I have no words!!”, Sameera laughed
And my phone rang….I looked around to get the reaction that I normally get from everyone when it rings…but instead, Aara grinned at me, Laeeka moved her shoulders and Maariah shook her head..
“It’s a bromance ringtone maaahn”, I winked
“Well I just hope that you guys friendship and love remains forever intact like this..”, Zaakira said finally…and she subtly looked at Aara and then at me..which was rather strange..”Because you guys have what most people don’t…and I have no idea whether all of you even realise it or not”
“How about a selfie then?”, Immy asked as he pulled out a selfie stick from under the table
“What Immy..are you pulling a Brownie on us..what else do you have stashed there?”, Riza laughed
Immy just smiled and held the camera in place…..
“Memories….ones that will never be erased no matter how many years may pass by…”, Zoheb said warmly, putting his arm around me.
lol..who would have thought!
As narrated by Aara:
Nemo had just one more thing to do for Ayaaz, and while that was being done, Zoheb and I got his whole outside setup ready for him.
“Are you managing?”…Zoheb asked, raising his eyebrow at me, “without the crutch”
“Yep…”, I said as I completed the final touches and thought of Ayaaz and Reez…
We stood back and admired our handiwork…perfect!
“I have to find Ayaaz …please make sure that no one comes here love”
And as I turned to go, Zoheb grabbed my hand and gently pulled me towards him..”Breathe…release…breathe…release….something’s not right”
I lowered my gaze and didn’t dare lifting my eyes to meet his…
“Sajida is here…”, I whispered
“Ok…that’s good, it’s good that she came”, Zoheb said as he stroked my hair
I looked at him for a few seconds and didn’t say anything…
“If you think you should…then you should”, he whispered, planting a kiss on my forehead
I immediately held onto him…how did he always know??
“Do you think that it’s a good idea?”, I asked, trying to reassure myself
“It doesn’t matter what I think…listen to your heart”, he said softly, and placed my hand against his chest…”Listen to your heart”
I smiled…and I couldn’t stop smiling…
Very soon, all of us stood on the balcony overlooking the garden , cheering for Ayaaz and Reez and that’s when Zoheb nodded at me.
I blinked my eyes at him in appreciation and stealthily slipped out..and away from everyone’s sight…
I have no idea what the hindi lingo means..Riza was basically mouthing a song from Dostana, which is also Nemo’s (and my..lol) ringtone…I was kinda stuck and my phone rang..sooo yeah
This post is a special tribute not just to the readers who were selected to be a part of The Wedding, but to each and every fan of LLD. I know that I have become a horrid “poster” and I am really sorry for that…life has just become way too hectic and Dec is an added killer..
To all those waiting for results, good luck to you, to all those who have received their results…well done..
LLD is almost two years old!..lol…fond memories of National Dhaiwara Day (Dec 13th)
When I type out a post, it feels as though I am writing a letter to an old friend, I would like you to know that:)
Btw the next post has been written in parts, soo I will put them together as soon as I can and hopefully you can read that asap!
A special thank you to Faeeza for allowing us the use of her stunning wedding pics *tight hugs* and to Aminah as well for…lol…you know what.. *tight hugs*
Have a cool and calm weekend (because the heat is scary)
Love u guys