Unconditional

“Do you know how it feels when you lost your way and then return home safely?” he asked her. “I think so,” she replied, confused.
“I’m feeling the same right now and I don’t want to lose you again,” he said, looking into her eyes, affectionately.

The sun was all set to take another tour at 18 degrees below the horizon. A bright golden layer had started appearing in the beautiful blue sky. The view was so attractive that if any hopeless person would look at it, he would get a reason to live “Dawns have always been extremely beautiful,” Radhika wondered, gazing at the golden sky. “I wish I could look so attractive,” she said to herself. The sight was so breathtaking that Radhika herself was feeling jealous from nature and she was not at all wrong. “This nature has created us. It has the right to look so gorgeous,” she said.

It was 6:15 in the morning and anxious Radhika had not slept overnight. She closed the window gently and switched on the Geyser. It was a big day for her. She was going to meet the man of her life for the first time.  Radhika had never imagined in her wildest dreams that she would be doing an arranged marriage. In fact, everyone in the family had expected the opposite from her. She was right on her part. She had spent four years of her life in books, struggled to become a Chartered Accountant. Her dedicated love for her career never allowed her to adore someone else.

Radhika was a beautiful lass with fair complexion and doe eyes. The yellow suit salwar which she chose to wear was adding stars to her splendor. “Radhika, have you got ready? They will be reaching anytime,” Radhika’s mom shouted.

“Yes Mom,” Radhika yelled in the similar tone. As time was flying, the butterflies inside Radhika’s stomach were getting more active. The feeling of excitement and nervousness inside her was competing for each other. It seemed like she had two Radhika’s inside her, one was electrified and other was jumpy. She was wandering in the room hastily from one end to other, with her eyes fixed at the clock.

She never felt so nervous and uneasy. It was, in fact, more difficult than CA final for her. “Calm down Radhika, why are you getting so nervous? The groom should feel this not you,” she tried to compose her but it was not at all working.

“I hope I’m looking good,” she again felt uneasy and looked in the mirror for the 20th time since morning. Radhika has always been much focussed and never cared about anything except her studies and family. This was happening for the first time that she was bothering so much about her looks and dressing.

The groom’s family finally arrived. Both the families greeted each other and the boy touched Radhika’s parents’ feet in respect. “Arjun was waiting for this day eagerly,” Groom’s father chaffed and both the families cracked up in return. Arjun, having no other option, blushed. Arjun was a handsome young man, tall and well fitted. He was an officer in the Indian Air Force and was currently based in Dehradun.

Radhika’s mother called Radhika for the official meet. She came downstairs, her eyes looking at the ground. She was feeling so nervous that her snowy cheeks had turned red.

“Radhika, this is Arjun,” Radhika’s dad introduced both of them and Radhika somehow managed to look up. As she looked at the guy, she got confound and Arjun too looked at Radhika in amazement. Both of them kept on staring each other for a minute as if they had seen something impossible. “I think we should send them both in the garden. They won’t be able to talk here freely,” Arjun’s dad proposed everyone. “Why not,” Radhika’s dad agreed and ‘would be’ groom and bride was sent outside for making their official meet a bit comfortable. They entered the garden area silently without uttering a word.

“You,” Radhika shouted loudly as she entered inside.

“Ssshhhhhhh,” Arjun signaled her to speak slowly.

“Yes, me,” he added.

“I can’t believe this. You are the guy,” Radhika said in a shock.

“In fact, I was not expecting you on the other side,” Arjun countered.

“Wow!!! This is unbelievable,” Radhika tried to believe her fate.

Radhika and Arjun were classmates in the college. Radhika was very studious and so, she never talked to any boy in the class. Arjun, on the other side, was preparing for Indian Air Force and remained busy in his preparations. Unlike a moment before, Radhika seemed to be much calmer. She was behaving casually as if she had met someone very close. Radhika goggled Arjun for a while just to make herself believe that he was actually him “What!!” Arjun asked.

“You have grown up,” Radhika said to him and Arjun laughed.

“I hope I’m looking good,” he said, tilting his crimson tie.

“Are you getting nervous?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think so,” Arjun replied.

“Why? In fact, I should feel so,” Radhika said.

“Why? Can’t a boy feel nervous on his big date,” he said and Radhika smiled in return. She thought of the moment when she was feeling worried about her looks and dressing a few minutes back.

“Do you want to ask something? He asked her.

Radhika again looked at him, amused. Arjun was behaving completely different of what Radhika had expected the date to be. “Why would I ask something? In fact, you should ask something no?” Radhika asked.

“Why not, it is equally new to you as it is for me,” he said.

“So, what do you think about this meet?” finally she asked one.

“Umm, Do you really want me to answer this?” he asked.

“Yes, an honest one,” she said.

“Alright, do you remember that card in the college which you found on your desk?”

“Yeah, secret admirer. Haha, that was really funny. Who does that?” she said.

“Me,” Arjun replied and Radhika looked at her, numb. “It was you?” she asked.

“Yes,” Arjun answered and they both looked into each other’s eyes’

“Why didn’t you say anything?” she asked.

“You were not ready to listen. You were busy in making career,” he explained.

“Do you remember the food that my friend Ginny used to bring for you?” Radhika asked him.

“Yeah. I used to love it,” he said excitedly and Radhika gave him a dirty look. Arjun again looked at her in a confused manner.

“Don’t say, it was from your side,” Arjun said, mystified and Radhika nodded her head in yes without uttering a word.

“Whoa!!! Noooo, just a second, why didn’t you say anything?” Arjun asked in a shock.

“I wanted you to say it first,” she answered and they again looked at each other. “I kept on waiting, but, you never came,” Radhika added. She got emotional this time and turned around to resist herself from crying.

Arjun held her hand tenderly. “Don’t go,” he said, his face was showing the fear of losing Radhika again. He stood in front of her, bowed down on his knees. “Radhika, I love you. Will you marry me?” and he proposed her. Radhika got goosebumps all around and she closed her eyes gently to feel the warmth of the moment.

Life had given so many surprises to Radhika but this was the best she was getting. She somehow managed to gain her senses back “Umm, How would I know that you love me? She asked the same question that every girl ask her man. Arjun got up. “Do you know how it feels when you lost your way and then return home safely?” he asked her. “I think so,” she replied, confused.

“I’m feeling the same right now and I don’t want to lose you again,” he said, looking into her eyes, affectionately.

There was so much love in Arjun’s eyes that Radhika couldn’t take off her eyes from him. “How much do you love me? What can you give me?” she asked, continually looking into his eyes.

“You know, I can give you anything except one thing,” he answered.

“What is it?” Radhika asked.

“Answer to this question because my love for you is unconditional,” he replied and won Radhika’s heart in no time. Radhika smiled and blushed. Finally, Radhika had found the man of her dreams and Arjun the princess of his life. They both decided to give their parents the good news that they were ready to marry each other.

“So, Is this an arrange marriage or love?” Radhika asked Arjun, on their way back to living room.

“I think it’s just a marriage. It doesn’t matter whether you are going for an arrange marriage or a love. What matters is how compatible you are as a couple. Do you feel a magical connection when you meet someone? Love is not choosing your partner beforehand and started liking him. In fact, it is a connection that you feel, it is a feeling of getting back your lost home even if you are meeting each other for the first time,” Arjun elaborated. Radhika nodded her head in yes and they both went inside to celebrate their unconditional love.