Aditi’s parents were busy since morning. They had the maid servant spruce up the house changing curtains, sofa covers, vacuuming the carpet, wiping the photo frames and the glasses. Her dad brought fresh flowers for the vase. Her mom was busy in the kitchen making some sweets and snacks. They had also obtained some Bengali sweets from a sweet stall. One of the prospective bridegroom’s parents had informed that they would come in the evening after 3pm to see Aditi.She had taken off for that day from office and went in the morning for a facial at a beauty parlour.After a shower ,she dressed herself in a fine saffron light weight designer silk sari paired with apt jewelry. When it was nearing three, her dad sprayed lavender air freshener in the hall. The aroma of a sandalwood incense stick was wafting from the puja room. There was also the fragrance of jasmine in the air.
There was a short and hesitant buzz. Her dad rushed to open the door to find a young man in a blue coloured striped shirt and charcoal grey pant. He looked tall, very handsome and muscular. He smiled and asked “Is this Aditi’s place?”
“Yes, yes, please come in and be seated. We were actually waiting for you. Has no one else come with you?” The hall was cool with the air conditioner humming.
“No, it is enough if I meet her. I should have come half an hour earlier but was held up in a meeting” he said with a smile.Aditi who was peeping through a small opening in a window from the adjacent room noticed his well aligned sparkling teeth. A cute looking guy, she thought with some satisfaction.
“I hope you had no difficulty in locating the house” asked Aditi’s dad.
“Not at all. It took just 30 minutes to drive from my office. The ambience here is good. A bright but cool home you have in sylvan surroundings” he said
“Yes, I bought it ten years back” he said as Aditi’s mom brought a plate full of snacks and sweets.
“Why all these? Where is Aditi?” he said
“It is customary. Please have” he said and turned to his wife and added “Where is Aditi? Ask her to come. You also come here”
Aditi came demurely accompanied by her mother. The young man stood up and folded his hands to both of them.
When they were seated he said with a large smile “Glad I could come today.Infact I have wanted to see you ever since I heard about you. I could find time only today”
After some pleasantries, Aditi’s dad stood up and said “I will leave you alone and you can discuss matters of mutual interest.”
It was then Aditi’s dad heard a car coming to a halt opposite his house and gate being opened. He rushed to see an elderly man and his wife in kanjeevaram silk sari getting down along with a young man .They had a basket of fruits along with flowers. He was surprised and wondered who then this young man in the hall could be.
He rushed in before Aditi and that young man get to talk to each other and asked him “Who are you, Sir? What brought you here? Why did you want to meet Aditi? I think there has been a mistake.”
“Yes Sir, I was also wondering at the warm reception. I had a lead that Aditi was planning to take an insurance cover. I had come to meet Aditi regarding that. I am an officer in a multinational insurance company” he said
Meanwhile the elderly couple entered the hall accompanied by a short man with a pronounced paunch and a weird face.
Aditi hurriedly left the hall with a disappointed look in her face.