The bus halted with a shrieking sound. I looked around to see why there was delay. Some vehicles parking on both sides of the road had well nigh blocked the road. I alighted from the bus as I thought it would take some time to extricate the stagnant motor flow. The house on the right side of the road had a gathering of a couple of dozen people. The cars on the road outnumbered the people in the house. I was agitated to know that a small private function in a house had caused all the havoc. For us it has been a matter of pride to cause traffic blockade even for the silliest event. I was itching to speak out my pent up feelings against the people who had assembled there. Mustering up courage I went into the gate, reached out the courtyard where men and women were partying.
I wanted to shout at them….but there I saw a girl, nay a woman, clad like a bride sitting there amidst others in royal elegance. I could not believe my eyes….I shuddered back in utter disbelief. It was that girl who was for me once more than my life. She sat there in her celestial, blissful innocence, sans raising her countenance. I stood there for a while in a nonplussed condition. Within moments of uneasiness of giddiness I regained my senses to recognize that the girl was about to step foot into the new phase+ of her life. I was both happy and unhappy to see her getting married. Happy because after all her bitter experience from me she had come to the right decision; unhappy that she is losing for good. I was already married, still I did not like to see her married to another man.
In spite of all the sea of commotion waving in my mind I was able to remain unnoticed by others. Nobody could feel the presence of a stranger, though it was a small gathering. As the girl still remained motionless in her royal coyness, there arrived the Prince of the day. He alighted from his posh car with his mom and dad. The very sight of the man had suffocated my whole being. He was my class mate, nay, our classmate. We three were together in our P.G. classes. He was with her from her school days. He had got such a lng standing relationship with her, which had now consummated into a wedlock. I ws an exasperated man to see all this, rather unexpectedly. I am an uninvited person, a lone traveler waiting at the periphery to view the heartbreaking nuptial ceremony.
I was to him an invader to his dreams right from the word go. There was venom in his mind reserved for me. He was about to avenge me by marrying the girl I once had deeper relationship. If he saw me what would happen, I had no idea. The lady, the first love of my love, in the mean time, cast a glance ith the corner of her eyes, besieging me to go away without creating a scene. I was a mad man by then, did not heed to her earnest appeals. My friend, the groom sat near my erstwhile love. They exchanged lovely, glances; they smiled; they almost caressed. I was boiling with passion to see all this. For a while, I forgot everything about myself, that I was married…that I had been a liar and a cheat to her…. And that again I was poking my head to make her life worse.
I looked around to see whether there were any one who could recognize me. I was shocked to see a few of my classmates standing around me, as if to get hold of me if I acted foolishly. At this juncture I took the decision to retract. While I was about to do so I saw my bridegroom friend giving some instructions to a confidant classmate of his. No sooner than that a few strong men got hold of me forcefully. I began to shake them off with all might…in the process I almost gave out a wild roar of anguish and anger.
By then I heard the coarse voice of someone who has been there with me for quite a long time. She had come out of her sound sleep… Nay, she was awakened by my loud roar of anguish and anger. I was found myself lying flat on the floor, sweating feverishly. My wife was upset to hear me roar and see me taking a wild plunge from the cot to the flat floor. She asked me in agony, “what was that dear? What had really happened? She almost had a fear that I was about to have a massive cardiac arrest. The night was longer as there was no more sleep possible for me. I hugged her closer to me and almost wept.
In the morning freshness I tried to rethink what had really happened last night… Was it a dream? Was there a speck of reality behind that. Not in my memory, not in this life of mine. Then why such a nightmare now, I wondered. As usual I set out to my office through the same place where the drama dream sequence had taken place. There I saw a house, but a bigger one. There was a huge gathering. A marriage is going to be solemnized there soon. Good sense advised me not to get down, but emotion prevailed over wisdom. I got down, went into the courtyard. There I saw a middle-aged woman standing there with her husband. Their daughter was getting married. I was ushered into the reception like a V.I.P. Who was that woman? The girl of yesterday’s nightmare had turned a middle-aged woman? I stared at her husband…Was he my my villai, the classmate…… I was totally confused. I wanted to get out and to get lost into the crowd bustling to enter into the feast hall.


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