It was a lovely evening with the sun just signing off for the day leaving behind a multi-hued horizon. The setting couldn't have been more perfect for a party. Sunil's eyes only sought out Malini and there she was in the middle of friendly banter with her college group. She looked mesmerizing in a blue saree that seemed to twinkle with tiny silver stars. Malini was laughing her heart out at some comment that Neil had made.Oh boy, that tinkling laughter always felt like heavenly music to Sunil's ears. Suman, Madhu and Nikhil were laughing as well. Yet his ears picked out Malini's laughter alone. On any other day that laughter could instantly relieve all his tensions and ease his heart. But not today.
Today all Sunil could feel was his heart pounding, it was so loud that he wondered how no one else had heard it. His lips were already parched and he could hardly gather his thoughts. He wanted to walk over and join in the conversation. But he could only stand gazing at Malini as if he were welded to the floor. He was hardly listening to his buddy Kiran who was animatedly talking about his plans for a road-trip. Kiran sensed that Sunil was lost elsewhere and mockingly shook Sunil saying "Hey, seems like you are already roaring away on our road-trip man".
"Umm what? Did you say something " said Sunil.
"Wake up Sunil. I didn't know you still slept with eyes open".
"Oh its been a long day and I'm just a little tired, why don't we sit down and then you can tell me all about your newest plan", so saying Sunil plonked himself on a chair.
Soon a few other friends joined in and for a while Sunil forgot all his worries. Suddenly there was pin-drop silence and Neil was announcing to the crowd "May I have your attention ladies and gentlemen? It's now time to witness what we all have gathered here for. I have beside me the gorgeous as always Malini. I'd like Sunil to come over as well please".
Sunil was wondering how Neil knew about him and Malini. He was muttering something angrily under his breath when Kiran tugged his jacket "Come, let's go on to the front, you are the star of the evening".
A dazed Sunil replied "What? Yes... No".
"Hey are you alright? You have been behaving strangely all evening", asked a confused Kiran.
"Ummm, no...yes....no... Of-course, I must be!!" said Sunil. "Am I not crazy to marry her a second time after all these years? So what if we had promised ourselves that we would renew our vows after twenty five years? ". "I am making a fool of myself in front of my kids. Oh why did I agree to this?", moaned Sunil.
"Alright I admit you are crazy and foolish if that pleases you. Now come on, Malini is waiting for you", so saying Kiran dragged Sunil along.
Sunil and Malini renewed their marital vows amidst their friends and family just as they had promised each other 25 years ago at the very beach Sunil had first proposed to Malini.
All pictures are from Google images