You can read this first part here Part I
Syed and Gayatri didn’t mean to fall in love. But love happens when you least expect it. It creeps up suddenly when someone needs attention, care, conversation, laughter and maybe even intimacy. Love doesn’t look at logic, or at backgrounds and least of all, religion.
Gayatri was from a very conservative South Indian family that went to a temple every Saturday. Syed bought goats for his family every Eid. That said it all. Their paths would never have crossed if it hadn’t been for that fateful day. That day when he walked into the coffee shop, Gayatri wondered if destiny chose our loved ones for us. Did we have any role to play at all?
She looked at her watch. Syed was late. They met every Thursday at five pm to catch up. Their conversation lasted for hours, sometimes at the cafe, sometimes in his car, sometimes in places that she could never tell her friends about. They would never understand. And yet Syed made her happy.
Suddenly her phone beeped. He had sent a message. “On my way. Have something important to tell you.”
Gayatri stared at it and realized she had knots in her stomach. Thoughts flooded her mind. What did he want to tell her?
Gayatri could not wait any more to see Sayed. There she was sitting at the same table where they first happened to meet, by chance! Even the coffee shop owner knew that is the favourite table of Gayatri and Sayed who were now regular visitors on Thursdays, so he often reserved this table for them. He was the only one who was a witness to the beautiful past this table had which introduced Gayatri to Sayed. Three years ago Gayatri was supposed to meet a prospective groom on a Sunday afternoon and the meeting was fixed by her parents. They wanted Gayatri to meet the guy before moving ahead with the alliance. Gayatri was not very keen but didn’t want to disobey her parents, so she had agreed to the meeting. Moreover she was fine with the idea of an arranged marriage since she didn’t like anyone in particular until she had this meeting. A tall & fair guy walked into the café, looked around for a moment and walked straight to Gayatri’s table.
“I am sorry I am late. Mom had given me the wrong name of the café and it took me some time to reach here.” He said while making himself comfortable in a chair across Gayatri. Gayatri was amused to see such a cool guy and took an instant liking for him. After all who comes to meet a prospective bride wearing a soiled pair of sneakers, blue and white checkered shirt half tucked in paired with blue denims, sporting stubble and earphones dangling from his neck! They spoke for a long time only to discover their love for coffee, travel and music. The meeting was very fruitful and Gayatri was very comfortable with the guy her parents had chosen for her. It was time to say bye and go home and tell her parents that she is okay with the alliance. And the guy looked equally interested. As soon as the bill arrived Gayatri took charge to pay since her parents had invited the guy.
“Please allow me to treat you lady!” he said taking the bill from her hand.
“Oh no, please let me do the honour. After all, my family had invited you here.”
“No.. no.. it’s not an invitation. In fact, I must thank you for coming here all the way to collect these dresses which my mom failed to deliver on time. My sister got married last week and you can imagine what hustle bustle it must have been. It was the first order from my mom’s boutique that is delivered late and hence she has given you a complimentary scarf matching your dress.” He said handing her a heavy bag.
“What exactly are you talking about?” asked confused Gayatri
“I am talking about the dresses that you had ordered from Elegance boutique. I am son of the owner of this boutique and she has sent me here to deliver these dresses to you.”
“Which Elegance boutique? I have not ordered any dresses”
“Are you sure?”
“200%” blurted Gayatri who was now annoyed. In a moment she had realized that he was not the person she was supposed to meet and she was disappointed that her alliance was not fixed with this guy such was her instant liking towards him. Her thoughts were broken by a shrill beep on her cell phone. It was a text from the prospective groom that he is not able to make it for the meeting. Such an as***** thought Gayatri. No courtesy to call up and inform and has the guts to text after an hour of the scheduled time to meet! But who was this guy then? So many thoughts had cuddled Gayatri’s mind.
“I am sorry for the confusion! My mom had told me to hand over these dresses to Sonia, a dusky, good looking girl of about 25. You are dusky and indeed beautiful but don’t seem to be Sonia. I should have bothered to ask you your name! I am sorry once again” said that guy sheepishly.
A smile broke on Gayatri’s face. “No worries. It happens! I am Gayatri. Nice to meet you!” said Gayatri extending her hand towards him.
“I am Sayed. Please to meet you.” He said shaking hands with her quite formally.
“Ok then, time to say bye I guess” Gayatri said lifting her bag and getting ready to go.
“Here’s my card, in case you want to visit my (mom’s) boutique” Sayed said handing over a visiting card.
Gayatri didn’t know whether she was mad because a jerk had cancelled the meeting or whether she was amused to meet Sayed accidently.
“Gayatri.. Gayatri…Mom has agreed to our relationship!!” Sayed’s shriek full of joy pulled her out from the memories of their first meeting.
“Ohhhh Myyyyy Goddddd” exclaimed Gyatri and hugged Sayed. “It is such a relief to know at least your mom is okay with our relationship! I was so nervous you know. Half battle won!”
“ We have to win the tougher half though.” Sayed said somberly knowing that it was next to impossible to convince Gayatri’s parents to accept him, especially after they had declared that they will never allow Gayatri to marry him, religion being the reason.
To be continued……