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Nayanika came to her garden with a blue file in her hand. Glory of dusk always fascinates her. The aura of evening was suffused with vivid colors. Azure sky was mingled with a tinge of roseate hues. She looked at the flocks of birds, making different pattern, going home. This view always fills her with nostalgia. Pleasure of being at home is so sweet! It evokes a sense of serenity and security. She thought as she touched the flowers gingerly.
A cool gush of wind kissed her face and slipped smoothly as if playing with her curls. A hint of smile flashed on her fuller lips and reached to her beautiful black eyes.
Her white long skirt swayed and maroon embroidered top, completely justifying her flawless wheatish complexion, hugged her sculpted body. She put the file on the swing, hung by the large Amaltas tree, took out her slippers, absorbing the softness of velvety grass.
Her old, small yet beautiful house was fringed with lush greenery! She inhaled the fragrance of nature as she sauntered around.
After two easy rounds, she sat cross-legged on the swing and started to read the notes carefully, which she managed to bag from one of her favourite professors Mrs Aisha Sehgal. Being a studious student, Nayanika was studying seriously to perform well in her exams…like always. Even in the holidays, she preferred her books and notes.
“Niki di, your phone.” Avantika, her sister called. Nayanika exhaled an irritated sigh. She placed everything carefully on the swing and headed towards the living room, thinking to get back after a while.
The living room was permeated with delicious aroma wafting from the kitchen along with Pammi aunty’s chatters. Pammi aunty was her neighbor and right now, she was instructing some Punjabi recipe to Nayanika’s mother, Shubhra.
The telephone rested on a tiny table, beside an old sofa set, near a large window that overlooked the garden. Avni was merrily engrossed in a chat over the phone that Nayanika doubted this phone was for her. As she approached, Avantika immediately handed her the phone and sat on the sofa stuffing the cushions in her lap.
“Hello” Nayanika said, unsure about the caller.
“Hi Nikki! How’re you sweety?” Her best friend Preeti was chuckling at the other side.
“Hey, I’m fine but what happened to you? You’re twittering like a lark.” Nayanika’s irritation was gone.
“Err….” After a brief pause, Preeti continued. “Actually…I’m getting married!”
“Oho, congratulations! That’s so nice. And who is the lucky guy?”
“Okay. Shekhar sounds nice. Have you…met him?” Nayanika asked curiously.
“Yeah, he’s so cute Nikki!” Preeti whispered.
“So, this has been cooking in holidays.”
“Yes, and you are invited to have the brunch on 8th March. Just a day before your birthday.”
Nayanika smiled broadly at this coincidence. “See you’ll always remember my birthday.”
“Do you remember if I forgot your birthday ever?” Preeti said with mock anger and Nayanika couldn’t agree more. “And you have to make it for my special day Nikki. No excuses.” Preeti said.
“OK, I’ll try. Let’s see if I get permission.” Nayanika was really apprehensive about getting permission to attend any function in an unknown city.
“What about your further studies? When you’ll be arriving for the exams?” Nayanika darted instant questions to avoid the further ‘you-have-to-come’ thing.
“Let’s see. I’m not sure. Shekhar is settled in Nagaland and you know…”
“Nagaland!” Nayanika almost shouted. She had never heard anyone settled in Nagaland but that of course doesn’t mean nobody lives there.
“Yes, you know it’s in the north-east and the journey is long and really difficult.” Preeti said.
“Then what about your studies?”
“Don’t tell me you’re leaving your studies!” Nayanika exclaimed.
“You know Shekhar says he doesn’t want to live alone after marriage and… not me either.” Preeti giggled.
“Oh my God! I-can’t-live-without-you type love has burgeoned already. Don’t tell me you are in love.” Nayanika widened her smiling eyes.
“ Yes Niki I’m in love with him. He’s so adorable that anyone can fall in love with him.” Preeti said in a tone that clearly reflected her inner joy.
Nayanika was feeling strange inside. Preeti added hastily “Okay Nikki, do come to share my happiness. I’ll call you later. Shekhar’s call is on waiting.
There is a terrible connectivity there and we get very few chances to talk. Bye. Take care.” Preeti finished breathlessly before disconnecting the call.
“It sounds that Preeti di is getting married.” Avantika didn’t delay a bit to inquire.
“So are we going?”
“Don’t know. You know she’s already in love.” Nayanika sighed.
“So? What’s so strange? Love is like a breath of fresh air my dear sister.” Avantika said dramatically taking a position of waltz.
“Shut up Avni!”
“Oh c’mon di! Are we going?”