Antara’s mother was overworked and stressed out. A daughter’s wedding, no matter how joyous an occasion it is, is taxing on the mind and health of her parents. But Antara’s mother was thankful that Geeta was there to help her. Geeta and Antara had been best friends since childhood. She made sure that Antara’s mother got the chance to rest her feet whenever possible. Right from welcoming the guests to supervising the decorators and caterers, Geeta was there.
Yes, Antara’s mother was grateful for Geeta’s presence. In fact, it was she who convinced Antara’s father about Namit, the groom. Antara was overjoyed, as all her efforts to convince her dad had been futile, and resulted in a lot of tears that later settled as a silent gloom over the house. But Geeta, Geeta knew Namit well enough to know he was the right man for Antara, and she knew the words to convince the father of the future bride.
Geeta and Antara grew up together. Although they went to college in different cities, as luck would have had it, both got placed in the same company through the placement cells in their respective colleges. A coincidence, that, and a happy one too. It was at work that they met Namit, a cheerful member of the team, always up to friendly pranks. He seemed to have an unending supply of funny anecdotes to share, ones that everyone gathered to listen to, and ones that made everyone slap their knees in laughter. A favorite of both the team members and the boss (yes, he was terrific at his work too), this tall man with his boyish smile and deliberately messy hair (he called it his out-of-bed look) was quite irresistible.
Out of the two girls, Antara was the extrovert. She made friends easily, and people instantly liked her. Geeta remained more-or-less, but rather comfortably, in Antara’s shadow. She spoke when spoken to, and laughed easily, but not as markedly as Antara did. Yet, when Antara shouted out these words to Namit, the whole team gasped collectively, “Namit, would you like to go for a movie with me tomorrow evening?” The cheerful Namit seemed momentarily speechless, his jaw had dropped slightly, but quite visibly. He glanced at Geeta, who was sitting at the desk next to Antara, then back, and stammered, “Uhhh. Yeah… I mean, sure… yeah, yeah.” Great!” Antara shot back and returned to her laptop screen.
Geeta turned to look at Antara, who was now smiling to herself. Geeta couldn’t help smiling too, seeing her friend so happy. She turned to look at Namit, who caught her glance, and smiled brightly at him. He smiled back, though she felt a tinge of reserve in it. She looked back at the laptop screen for a moment before she got up and walked to the restroom.
It was only then that she let the tears flow. But these are the sacrifices we make for our friends. These are the little things we do to show them how much they mean to us. These are the little things we do, that they will never even know about.
On the day of the wedding, while Antara was getting ready, a cousin rushed in to say the groom’s party had almost arrived. As per custom, the girls in the family went in a file to welcome them with plates decorated with mirrors and glitter. Geeta was asked to join them. As she stepped up with her plate, she did not have the courage to look at Namit in the eye. She knew, her pretenses of the past four years would crumble if she did. Namit placed the customary gift on her plate, and she walked away.