After long hours of cupboard rummaging and mindless contemplating, I settled for my mint green lehenga. I had exactly 20 minutes for appointment in the parlour and 2 hours to reach the marriage hall that was 20 odd kms away from my home. After a nice hair wash, I was back home, fresh and rejuvenated. I slipped on the layers of clothes, careful not to mess up my expensively styled hair. Subtle makeup and simple jewels to complement the look. There… I was all ready to rock my friend’s wedding.

I reached my destination promptly at seven and spent another ten minutes completely lost in the debacle that decorated the outside of the hall. There were flowers everywhere. Bright orange-yellow shaded marigold garlands were draped all over the trees, which entwined with the chain of serial bulbs. Overwhelming smell of jasmine wafted throughout the place. A long sapphire blue carpet ran along the steps into hall all the way till the stage. Four pretty girls draped in similar red sarees stood behind a table, handing sugar, roses and sandal (and taking selfies). I proceeded inside the hall after flashing a smile at them.

Humungous amount of jasmine covered the surface of the blue carpet, and I walked on them, following the well-worn path careful not to step on them. My careful tread avoided any contact above 15 degrees and I ran smack into a glitter of half-white silk threaded sherwani, which covered a hard, warm and possibly hot male form. I lifted my eyes, just in time to see his disappearing smile. And I stood there, without breath, for God knows how long. The Adonis in front of me was easily six feet. His wheat complexion was enhanced ten-fold by the sheer creaminess of the silk that hugged his form. He had thick chocolatey brown hair that was almost black. His straight nose ended with thin lips which was made all the more enticing by the small stubble of his mustache. His eyes were the colour of almonds, a rich shade of brown. His cheeks were all angles which played hide and seek through his well-trimmed beard.

"Uh... Excuse me... Ms??" his rusted honey voice, brought me back to reality.

"I...ummm... Sorry for staring at you" I blurted.

"People are supposed to stare at me today" he told me with a small wink and moved away.

My inner stalker peeped out and I solemnly swore to her that am up to no good. What is the best place to position myself in order to see everything and not be seen by others? Unfortunately, there was no place that provided that opportunity except... perhaps... The center stage.

"But the whole damn world can see you on the stage!" I murmured to myself even as I started moving towards it. “They’ll all look at the couple dammit! You stare at the crowd all you want” my brain answered.

I rushed on to the stage and reached the bride who looked stunning, in her golden white sharara."Happy married life, Sugar!" I gave her a gentle kiss and wished her with all the euphoria I felt. She hugged me back and asked me to sit in the first row. I moved away and saw an old lady standing near the back of the stage and staring at the crowd in general. She stood at my ideal spot. I walked to her slowly with a gentle and concerned smile plastered on my lips.

"Hi Aunty!" I said, "You look so tired. Why don’t you have a seat?"

"I have to stand here to collect and keep the gifts from the bride dear" said the kind looking woman

"Am her friend aunty. I'll look after the gifts. Please have some refreshments and have a seat" I told the relieved woman.

I captured my fort with relief and immediately started scanning the crowd to hunt down my target. How difficult would it be to find a six feet tall man in a Sherwani in a crowd of 100 odd people?

After fifteen long minutes I realized, it was not just difficult, it was next to impossible.

The wave of silk sarees and heavy jewellery started increasing exponentially, and as the official gift keeper of the bride, I had my hands full. Literally.

I couldn’t get the time to breath, to see the bride. Heck, I did not get the time to even chance a glance at the groom. How many weddings have you been to where you did not see the groom?

It was then where I realized there was a small TV screen to my right on the corner of the hall that was running the live telecast of the wedding. They were zooming in the faces of the swarming crowd and I stared at it intensely to find my man. Suddenly there was a commotion on the stage with words, "Kiss", "Kiss", "Kiss" chanted all around. Curiosity took over and I tried to peep into the crowd to see the deal getting sealed.

And that’s when I saw his face.

It was right there, covering the entire screen of the television. His face enhanced multi-fold by his shy, glamorous smile, slowly, gently bending down, down, down...To capture a rosy set of feminine lips in a gentle yet passionate kiss.

There was a roar from the crowd which covered the involuntary "No" that slipped my lips. I waded through the crowd frantically and reached the front of the stage only to be dragged to the center by a heavy bangled hand. "Raghu! This is my friend Keerthana". The smiling bride said. "Keerthi! My husband Raghu"

He gently took my hand and kissed my fingers, saying it was a pleasure.That crystallized moment of my life… Is what I call .........Love la bulbu !