Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Engagement- Mills & Boon Style!

(It happened in Delhi, roughly a year ago. Part fiction, part reality)


She waited anxiously for the clock to strike twelve. "Today, I will reserve him for myself"- she thought to herself. She ran her fingers over the smooth, lustrous surface of the silver band, and conjured up happy images of the day to follow.


She clandestinely tip toed up the stairs. There he stood, his frame slightly blurred by the thin layer of fog which wafted through the distance between them. She moved closer, beguiled by the casual, easy manner in which he was reclining against the terrace railing. She gave him a gentle smile, which almost immediately conveyed a soft "happy birthday". He smiled back, acknowledging her wishes. It was then that her heart skipped a beat. His smile. Ethereal. His eyes. Dazzling. His sharp features. Irresistible. And his fair face. Resplendent in the soft glow of the moon.

She motioned closer, firmly locking her eyes on him. He slipped his arm in one swift moment around her waist, and pulled her closer. She let out a sigh. She was bare-feet. He pulled her up, made her climb on his shoes; he promised to protect her from everything that hurt her- cold definitely was one of them.  With one hand pressed on his chest, she slipped her other hand in his warm clasp. He could feel the ice-cold metal band pressed between their palms. Before he could inquire, she strengthened her grip on his hand, and pressed her cheek on his.

It was time now for him to let out a sigh. His grip on her waist tightened. The inquisitiveness evaporated in the fog, protecting them from any prying eyes. She withdrew, replacing the softness of her cheeks, with that of her lips. It was only a moment that she pressed her lips on his cheeks that she heard a faint sound coming from somewhere near. She broke free from his arms as a reflex. The chill felt unbearable as she once again touched the cold floor with her bare feet. She ran back downstairs, not looking back a moment. The craving in his eyes would have weakened her.

She closed the door of her room behind her. She was safely back; but the pace at which her heart was beating, it was definitely running back to him. She left the silver band with him. She had conveyed what she intended to. Had he understood?


She woke up rubbing her eyes. The smile on her face was instinctive. In that state of semi-consciousness, she knew something big was in store today, something was going to change; but what, she did not quite know. She let the pleasant disorder persist. She closed her eyes. She lived those memories again.

She had known him since she was sixteen- at the threshold of womanhood. A tryst on an enchanting evening, and that one defining moment when she, without a care in the world held his hand and danced, changed a lot for her. She had been bold and protected; she now wanted to expose her weaknesses to him. She had always led in life; she now simply wished to follow. She had been afraid of all these feelings, she now wanted to risk the lethal.

And all this when she did not even know the spelling of his name!
A month and ten days later, she risked the question. At that time, she could not recall his physical image to brain. Today, three and half years later, she can recognize him by his smell.

Today, she will take care of the remaining fears she had in her heart. "We can't be together for long", she mulled, "But our own commitment, we'll make firmer". She wanted to cement their bond till a point of no return. She believed in rituals; and so she selected the simplest, and more meaningful to assert- "I'm here to stay. I'm your's for life".

They met in the heart of the city, and this time could exchange hugs and wishes more openly. He had a curious smile on his lips, and she knew what he meant when he said-"It's my birthday, and I want to buy you a gift". He dragged her into a shop selling silver, and after trying several, bought that one ring, which made her humble fingers look royal. She could not contain her smile. She wondered what the passers-by must be thinking; but she knew her smile made her look pretty. So, hand-in-hand, away they went.

It was now time for rituals.
Rings: Selected, bought.
Dress Code: Winter Casuals.
Witnesses: Not required.
Venue: Big Problem! Where? No idea. What to do? They walked, and mulled, and walked, and mulled, and eventually got tired. They were treading on the grandest road in the capital, connecting the India Gate with the magnificent President's House. Lutyen's architecture is a beholder's delight! Finally, when they could walk no more, they sat down on a foot path, right in front of India Gate. Cars were whizzing past at brilliant speeds. "This is it!" -she exclaimed. "What can be a better place to engrave in our memories forever?" True. They were against the most majestic backdrop that this city could provide- Grandiose architectural wonders; almost invisible sun, its balmy rays cascading down the layers of mist, right in their direction; and the two of them, lost amid a crowd of pedestrians and vehicles, yet secure in their place beneath the sun.

Now was the time to solemnize. They prepared to slip the rings. Wait. Ring finger, but which hand? They shared a moment of humor when they both took out their handsets, and tried to understand tradition from the point of view of technology. With 'engagement+rituals' as the key words, they went through numerous search results, all in contradiction to each other. They looked at each other, shared a hearty laugh, and then, decided to trust their instincts.

First she, then him.

Holding hands had never been more special.

They headed home in an auto, a luxurious ride, given their humble backgrounds. She chatted incessantly. He, like always, was the patient listener. Their clasp did not break for a second. Yes, they did spend a moment or two just looking at those intertwined hands, wondering how long will this dream last. Then, they averted their gaze. In their hearts was a brief fear. This fear, they refused to share with each other.

May be nothing had changed. May be, a lot had.


  1. a very humble background yet it is determined to keep the sanctity of the emotion that is portrayed.
    lovely . small yet sweet is the theme i guess ;)

  2. i forgot to add . its still grand !!

  3. its beautiful saumya..i have no other words for this..its beautiful..and so pure..and it made me smile..and i dont know if i ll be able to frame what i exactly felt while reading it..but throughout i had this half smile on my face ..and it was almost like my heart was smiling..maybe it sounds lame..but thats how it was..this piece is lovely..

  4. No Words...
    No comment...
    Nothing required...


    Hats off!!!

  5. wowwwwww!!!!! saumya di.
    hats off to you!!!!!
    its really very nice n it just brought a big SMILE on my face...

  6. @Snigdha di- It is the first time you commented on my blog I reckon. Snigdha di, it means a hell lot to me, won't be able to tell you how much. I always wanted to ask you to comment, but always decided against it, thinking how improper that would be, and always trusting you to yourself comment when you found something that good. Yesterday was the day, and this was the post.

    Thank you so much. It was my first foray in the short stories' genre. And it was decent I guess.

  7. @Pallak- Awesome! I am just seeing how throughout the course of me developing my blog, you have evolved. Initially, you commented in a single word, then a single sentence. Now, you have graduated to paragraphs. Wow! I mean, you don't have to go farther than this. This is perfect.

    Thanks Jagge. You reading my posts means a lot to me. I love you.

  8. @Mayank- I was not sure what to expect when you texted me 'comment uploaded'. You always spare only a few words, but they are special, very special for me. And you are one of those few people privy to this episode. Thanks Mayank!

  9. it's mindblowing.. the best one so far! honestly.. i was very sad the whole day..and just as i went thru this wonderful outstanding piece of your's.. it just made my day! after reading this i regained my hope and that love which was fading away.. ! i told you so you are my angel.. whenever m just lost.. you just come from nowhere and always bring a smile on this stupid face of mine! and you did it again!! love you.. and i love this piece more than you! :P
    Kuddos to my *MOM* :)

  10. @Akshita- You and Jagga both smiled on this post. Hmm. The blog ended on a slightly melancholic note though. But am glad I could make you smile. Its a blessing, really, after me having made your friend cry the other day.

    And congratulations, you're the first and the only who has commented so far. Am waiting for the others to read.

  11. @Ankita- Well, moms are supposed to have that connection with there kid, isn't it? :)
    Am glad Charu, but you are well aware of my apprehensions. And listen, I really though your favorite would be "Strange....but real...surreal...". This comes as a welcome surprise.

    I love you kid. I really do. And no matter how distant I sound, you know I am just round the corner.

  12. i consider when one writes, the biggest challenge is to convey the write emotions to the reader and this is something u have done very brilliantly in this piece of literature.

  13. nice work yet again Saumya...liked reading it:)there was a purity of emotion, simplicity in the expression, and a love in the air as innocent as a child's emotions.lovely:)

  14. @Siddharth- Thanks a ton! This is the first time you have commented on my blog I guess. And it is a very welcome comment indeed. Since you yourself write, you would have a fair idea as to how overwhelming it is when your readers connect to your thoughts, your emotions. Am glad I could do it.
    Thanks again!

  15. @Akriti di- Aw! Am so happy with the way you have summed up my own piece of writing for me. 'Love' was definitely in the air while the above story was created, and that love still warms my heart.

    Do keep commenting. They mean a lot to me.

  16. loveee...its there in every single inch f your body...and thats wat made u write so brilliantly!!!

  17. hey woh upar wala maine kaha tha...galti se anonymous aa gya!!

  18. @Kanika- Thanks bachche. And am glad you specified, i could have died of curiosity otherwise.
    I don't see you in my followers. Start following now!

  19. du
    du hast
    du hast mich..

    to 've something in life its important to dream it..
    then to imagine it.. then to live it..
    and the last thing to preserve it in a perfect showcase of words making that memory immortal..
    anytime i'll read it i'l relive the encased moment...

  20. @Mak- I love the German bit, especially now that I know the meaning. To dream, to imagine, and then to live, and to preserve- i hope am able to follow this path.
    Thank you so much for leaving a comment.
    And thank you for giving me so many memories which totally refuse to leave my mind.

  21. A heart touching story, if it is one..
    and a beautiful and more heart touching story, if it is not..

    It is a pleasure to read this blog..

  22. Thank you so much!
    The pleasure is mutual, trust me.

  23. wow di.... i mean... i've just no words to describe..... never fell short of words in this way..... today is New year eve.... and this is the best thing i've done.... reading this made me feel so content.... i wasn't exactly happy.... but it did not make me sad either... it was like reading some kind of a dream.... just made me feel satisfied.... in the best way possible... hope that makes sense....

    Happy New Year :)..... even though i may not be privileged enough to know you from close enough... u'll always be an inspiration.... someone i look up to... thanks for writing this...[at times people think what i write is just buttered words and praises.... but trust me, and there's no other proof i can give, i really mean it when i say 'thank you for being there' :)

  24. @Sushruti- The first para of your comment makes complete sense to me- more sense than much of the adulation people shower on me. It sounds familiar. It sounds like what happens to me when I read something that is neither very invigorating, nor stimulating, but it leaves some really soft part of me softer; mellows me down, takes me a little away from my immediate surroundings, and leaves me blissful- not crazy happy, just blissful.

    And don't talk nonsense like you don't know me enough. We've been together enough. We were the flagbearers of our House, and now our School. Our spirits are kindred. It goes without saying that whenever you need an elder to be by your side, i will more than be there for you.

    Love you bachche!
    Thanks for the loveliest-of-the-lovely comment.

  25. Beautiful,So when's your book coming out again? Ha ha. . .Man,you really have a way with words Di. The way you craft simplicity and emotions together,interwoven with visual imagery captivates me and all of your 51(!) readers. I'm sure there will be many more!

    Love always,

  26. @Niki
    It is after days that I see your comment here. I am a little late in replying, and am sorry for it, but you know the sort of relationship me and my work have- none understands the other, yet they have to keep going together.
    Anyway, as a matter of fact, you should know, that no matter how hard I appear on surface sometimes, your Saumya di loves you a hell lot. Honestly. College or otherwise, just let me know, and I would be there.

    Love you baby....:)

  27. As much as I could relate and see just myself there, equally I felt to be viewing a perfectly beautiful dreamy movie from a distance.
    May not be able to point one single reason, but it was worth the tear shed while reading!!

  28. Hey! Your first comment on my blog. Am really, really happy.
    And 'tear shed', not something I expect from you. But still, i am glad it touched you somewhere. Thank you so much for a lovely comment...

  29. simple....yet it touches ur heart .....

    1. I rate this among my most creative pieces of writing. And yes, it puts me on top of the world that it touched you :)
      Thanks a lot, for all the encouragement!

  30. Blogebrity!! This piece is certainly of six sigma level with such neatness and captivation. Taciturn after reading this. Not able to.

    1. :) Welcome!

      I don't know if you ever read my blog, but if this is where you started, I think you found the perfect post! For now, I will go and google what 'six sigma level' means.

  31. I should visit the blog more often. One day I'll take out time and read all the posts that have been left unread. And for this one, we know all the girls deep down want a mills and boon thing to come true. Even though we know all the rationality and real world crap but atleast one time a girl must have dreamt of mills and boon love. It is so well written saumya. Skipping of beat, fluttering of heart and a constant smile, all this was there when I read it.

    1. You word it so well, and I would have loved to know who that is. If you ever drop by on this page again and read this comment, then let me know your identity, please!

  32. You have described her emotions so purely and innocently, it felt like reading snippets from Khaled Hosseini's 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'..You know I don't read much Saumya, and every time that I come to your blog, I question myself since I realize what I'm losing out make the experience of reading itself a story worth being told..Love the way you put across emotions and make the reader feel every bit of it.. Congratulations on the 2,00,000 + views, you will go really far, Love you :)

    1. Love you too Panvi! I saw your page on Facebook and instantly felt proud. I felt like showing you off to the world, telling everyone - "look, do you see that fab singer there? She is my friend, I did my graduation with her." I have nothing but the best of wishes for you in my heart Panvi. I hope you go a long way too. I hope we meet somewhere grand, down the years.

  33. Beautiful tale.
    Congrats on the loads f live that flow to your blog. Keep writing

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I wasnt a fan f love till it happened to me. Yet i dreamed a lot f such scenes.. thank you for writing it so charmingly. . Lots more power to your words and lot of traffic to blog