|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|THEME||Big Fat Indian Wedding|
Editor’s Choice: Short Story Love – Wedding Memories
As I pace the rustic paths of this small Californian forest, sweet memories gush into my head and heart.
Trees –redwood, tan oak, madrone and chaparral- spread an organic blanket above and it feels so cool under.
My back pack has one of the most precious things of my life. Carrying it I proceed to the largest oak tree.
I am alone, surrounded by the nature. The chirping of birds, the earthy smell of beginnings and endings!
The unspoiled beauty of the picturesque place drugs me.
I stand here motionless, eyeing everything. Nothing has changed over the years.
Reaching the largest oak tree, I drop my back pack.
I hug the tree. Tears well up in my eyes.
I had stood in that same place twenty-five years ago for my wedding with my beloved Sally.
Me, the brainy North Indian as Sally used to call me, and she, the American beauty with brains, had met in a library in California. The initial spark of love had soon mellowed into a meaningful relationship as we tied the knot in that wonderful forest. (I am a Hindu and she was a Christian, and love knows no religion, culture and boundaries!)
She was a dreamer, a visionary, that’s why she had selected such a mystical place for our special day. Both of us had the opinion that big weddings, which usually turn out to be competitions, were wasteful. So we had an intimate wedding, with a small gathering of our friends in that lovely forest.
That awesome day had left us a lot of memories to cherish as long as we lived. Sally and I had hugged that biggest oak tree on that day like children.
Another fabulous idea Sally had got was a wedding typewriter. Everyone who had attended our wedding left a note for us which Sally later made into a picture book with their snap shots. I realise there is something so magical and charming about a typewriter that no modern IT expert can recreate with the fanciest of computers. Though a bit noisy, it had added to the vintage ambience of our festive affair. Our guests had painted beautiful pictures with their words, which time can’t fade. They remain evergreen like the love Sally and I had shared.
Life was great until Sally had left to heaven seven years ago. Then our only daughter was just sixteen. It was not easy bringing up a teenager without her mother. I missed my Sally always. I still miss her and will always miss her till my last breath.
I open my back pack and take out the precious typewriter which we had always maintained with much care. We both loved it. It was my Sally’s; that makes it so special and prized to me.
I pass my fingers tenderly over it. I want to type a note to my Sally sitting in the same place where we had uttered “I DO!”, about our beloved daughter’s wedding. (Unexpectedly our daughter has found a Hindu guy from North India to spend the rest of her life’s innings with.)
I would be soon off to my country for the big day of my daughter. But before that I want Sally to know about the big fat Indian wedding that they have planned contrary to our simple wedding. I knew that Sally had no idea how a North Indian Hindu wedding would be like. I never had explained her that too. I have believed that if I type in our typewriter sitting there, Sally would read it from heaven.
I try to type, but I realise my fingers are numbed.
I memorise the plans disclosed by our daughter and her fiancée. I visualise everything.
The venue would be a big temple and the adjoining huge hall. In the temple the marriage ceremony would take place with all the traditional customs and rituals!
Flowers of different colours would decorate the place. Beautifully dressed young girls would accompany the bride. The relatives would receive the groom (He would come on a horse!). They said they would gift wedding dresses to all relatives.
Our daughter would look majestic, clad in a bright silk saree. Shining pieces of jewels would adorn her whole body. The couple would take wedding vows. As the priests recite mantras and make offerings into the sacrificial fire, they would tie nuptial knot; mangal sutra around her neck and vermillion on her forehead would mark her as a married Hindu woman. Everyone would bless them and feed them sweets.
There would be a great and delicious feast followed by cultural programmes, by the professionals as well as the near and dear.
I want to type everything to Sally but I can’t even press those keys.
Memories suffocate me, leave me teary-eyed.
I close my eyes.
I see Sally standing before me in her wedding gown, as she had stood in the same cozy ambience years before. She looks gorgeous.
I feel her near me, hugging and kissing me, invisibly.
Suddenly I press the keys of the typewriter.
My words get inked.
“If I had ever known love it was through you, my Sally!”
|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|Relevancy of chosen setting||20||18|
|Relevancy of chosen object||20||16|
|Significance of chosen theme||20||16|
|Selection and development of characters||10||9|
|Selection of time frame, description of place and environment||10||8|
|Plot of short story||10||8|
|Conflicts in short story||10||7|