Monday, December 19, 2011

Jessypt Week 33: Love, Fertility, and the Promise of Good Luck


Picture 1

Picture 2

Jessypt's Choice: Picture 1


Love, Fertility, and the Promise of Good Luck

I heard the bright notes of the shahnai and the steady beat of the tabla loud and clear in the cool night air. The festivities had been going on for hours, and from the sound of things, they would probably go on for another few. Somehow, we’d managed to escape the oppressive crowd of people - my new relatives, mostly - to get a breath of fresh air.

My feet ached from standing all day. I closed my eyes and leaned back against the wall, relishing the reprieve I knew would be short-lived. I breathed in, the smell of incense, cooked meat, and flowers thick in the air. It was familiar and comfortable, and I couldn’t help but smile at how much my life had changed over the last year.

When Father brought Atul to our home and presented me, I knew immediately what was happening. My girlfriends and I had talked extensively about future matches. I knew I had a choice, of course, but I also knew my parents knew me better than anyone and wanted the best for me. When Atul took my hand in his for the first time, I was nervous, but his smile and twinkling eyes immediately put me at ease. The subsequent weeks and months of casual outings turned into intimate embraces, soft-hungry kisses, and countless conversations about our future. It wasn’t always perfect; we’d had our fair share of arguments, but I couldn’t have asked for a better man.

The sound of footsteps crunching on the gravel walkway alerted me to his presence. I looked up and saw the face of the man I had grown to love beyond measure.

“Hello, my sweet,” he said, as he squatted in front of me, placing his hands on the tops of my legs. I could feel the warmth seeping through the thin material of my sequined sari. I knew tonight would be a night of firsts, and my heart began to thrum loudly.

“Hi,” I said, leaning in to press my lips to his. It was short and soft; this wasn’t the time or place for anything more.

“Are you ready to return? I’m sure our guests are wondering where we are.” He waggled his eyebrows and smirked.

I giggled. Tonight would definitely be interesting. I took another deep breath and nodded my head. “Let’s go.”

He stood up and extended his hand to me. The delicate, gold bangles around my wrists and up the length of my arms tinkled as I placed my mehndi-covered hand in his. With a tender kiss to the inside of my palm, he wrapped my arm through the bend of his arm, placed my hand on the crook of his elbow, and led the way back to the celebration in our honor.