(Guys,as i said earlier this story has nothing to do with lrl..its a completly different story of Rajveer naina..they stay in london and hv a london lifestyle.naina's family stays in the contryside far frm london)
Asking for Trouble
The invitation came on a Saturday morning, just in time to wreck my weekend. On stiff, crinkly-edged card it read:
Mr. and Mrs. Naveen Singh Alhuwalia
request the pleasure of the company of
Naina and Rajveer
at the wedding of their daughter
to Mr. Monish Gupta
The Inn by the Beck
on Saturday, 11th May, at 1:00 P.M.
It wasn't that it came as a shock. When your sister's wedding date's been set, you don't have to wait for the invitation to find out. If you have a mother like mine, BT lines are buzzing instantly. She'd probably announced it in the Telegraph, the Manchester Evening News, and very possibly the South China Morning Post, too. For all I knew she might even have announced it on the Internet. In order not to be outdone by an arch-rival neighbor, Mum had recently acquired a little Toshiba laptop. As she'd said, if wretched Anita Malhotra could understand the wretched things and have a wretched E-mail address to brag about, she had to keep her end up.
There had been an engagement bash, back in January. It felt like just a few weeks ago, but three months had whizzed by since then and I still hadn't sorted my life out. And if ever a party was thrown from mixed motives, it was Preeti's engagement bash. You only had to listen to my mother's remarks.
To Anita Malhotra, the arch-rival neighbor, there was a barely concealed hint of up-yours: "Oh, yes, he whisked her off to Florence just last week"proposed right on the Ponte Vecchio"I suppose you've seen her ring?"
To neighbors she actually liked it was, "Well, of course Naveen and I are delighted"he's doing terribly well and obviously besotted ..."
To me, while we were whipping satay sticks from the oven, it was a whispered, "... and I feel he'll be good for Preeti"nothing wishy-washy about him, if you know what I mean. Don't ever tell her I told you, but I always thought she'd end up with one of those wishy-washy boys she could never say no to. Daddy was afraid she'd end up with that Amit"a nice enough boy, of course, but not much use in a crisis, if you ask me. I won't tell you what Daddy called him"it was terribly rude."
There must have been forty-odd guests, which was not bad at short notice. Two-thirds were friends of Preeti's,the rest were assorted family and friends, all milling pleasantly in my folks' party-size sitting room and spilling into hall and kitchen, as they do. As always at any bash thrown by my folks, the ambience of foody-drinky warmth hit you the instant you walked in the door, which was just as well, given a subzero frost outside and the first snow beginning to fall.
If you're a normally nosy person (like me), let me share some more eavesdroppings. From assorted friends of Preeti's I heard this:
"He bought her that dress, you know. In Florence. She won't say, but it looks like Versace to me. Mind you, Preeti could almost make British Home Stores look like Versace."
"Makes you sick, doesn't it? The most Ian's ever bought me is a satin teddy from Knickerbox."
"Mind you, I'm not sure I'd actually want a bloke like Monish. I'd never relax for a second"there'd always be half a dozen bitches trying to pinch him."
From a couple of Mum's friends from the golf club I heard,"... mind you, I always think it's a shame when the younger sister gets married first. Naina must be coming up to thirty and it's so hard for girls these days. Half the chaps are raging poofs."
"Kiran, you're not supposed to say that word nowadays. Anyway, Naina is seeing someone, Shalini told me: a merchant banker, apparently. It's only been going a couple of weeks so it's early days but Shalini's keeping her fingers crossed. She was hoping she'd bring him up this weekend but perhaps it's a bit soon for family do's..."
From a mixed-sex knot of Preeti's friends I heard:
"Christ, does that Monish ever let go of her? He's had a proprietary arm around her all bloody night."
"She probably likes it. By all accounts they hardly got out of bed their first four weekends"I'm only surprised she hasn't moved in with him already. Mind you, all that rampant nonstop bonking gave her cystitis"it bruises your tissues."
"Christ. Still, if you'd like a dose of that from rampant nonstop bonking, I'm willing and able."
"Oh, grow up. And stop gawping at her legs, will you? If you start sticking a rifle in my back at three o'clock in the morning I'll know who you've been dreaming about."
Preeti, as you may have gathered, was still floating on a euphoric pink cloud. The dress was little, black, and possessed that simple yet out-of-the-ordinary something that screams megabucks. And if Monish's arm scarcely left her all evening, you could hardly blame him.
Nobody ever believes we're sisters. She modeled for a bit, among other things (cookery course, secretarial stuff, fashion retailing) but wasn't tall enough to make the grade. I have the inches, at five foot eight, but Preeti has the rest. Perfect size ten, the kind of creamy-honey skin that never goes pink and pasty even in the depths of winter, a luxuriant mane of dark honey-blond hair, and hazel eyes with lashes you would swear came from Boots Over-the-Top range. And a face, well...
As a friend of hers once confided to me, "I hate to say it, but when someone looks like that you almost wish she was an utter bitch so you could hate her with a clear conscience. But you can't. She's just too nice."
It was a relief to hear someone else say it, I can tell you. Not that I'm an Ugly Sister, exactly, but with competition like that you can't help feeling like one. I'm a perfect size thirteen and three-quarters: 6C top, 7D bottom, skin of cream without the honey, and a luxuriant-ish mane of garden-variety dark brown hair like Mum's. I have Mum's eyes, too, which I may modestly say are my best feature. Well, if you're going to pass on statuesque genes, it's only fair to pass on big, navy-blue eyes as compensation. My eyelashes aren't quite Preeti's, but I can get away without mascara.
I'd only met Monish a couple of times before, and since he might have come from a mail-order catalog of Top-of-the-Range men, it had been a relief to find I didn't actually fancy him. About six-foot-one, he had the lithe build of a tennis pro. Darker than Preeti, he had that medium olive skin that looks brilliant against white, dark brown eyes and hair the color of very old, polished mahogany, with a slight wave. At thirty-one, four years older than Preeti, he was a meteorically rising star in some management consultancy.
"Great to see you again"how's London treating you?" he asked, when I finally made it to the happy couple. "Hope the traffic wasn't a complete bitch."
"No, I made it in three and a half hours. Well, what can I say? Congratulations, and all that... I think you should have warned us all to wear sunglasses before looking at that ring."
It was a megawatt diamond cluster, not so huge as to be knuckle-duster-ish"her fingers wouldn't take it"but the stones flashed a blue-fire brilliance that made you blink.
Preeti gave a guiltily pleased little laugh. "I'm sure it was horribly extravagant..."
His hand was still on her waist in that "she's mine" fashion. "Sweetheart, you should know me by now. If a thing's worth doing..."
"You did the whole thing properly," I said. "Right out of the romantic rule book"men like you are an extinct species in London."
"Naina, how can you say that?" Preeti tutted. "Didn't Rajveer whisk you off from some boring party for a Thai dinner right after you met?"
"Yes, he has potential," I said lightly. "As long as he doesn't start asking me to sew buttons on his shirts, I might tolerate him till Valentine's Day."
Preeti gave another little laugh. "Sure sign she's mad about him. Any madder and she'd be saying she was going right off him already, just so as not to tempt Fate."
"Sweetheart, Fate is for losers," Monish said crisply. "If you want something, you go out and make it happen."
When I caught her alone for a minute, later on, Preeti's glow was only half due to alcohol. "I just couldn't believe it," she said. "I mean, we'd only just arrived and he took me straight to the bridge, and there we were at sunset, and suddenly he took this little box out of his pocket"it was like a dream. And later, back at the hotel..." She drew me aside and whispered, "All I wore for practically the next twenty-four hours was the ring."
"And a big fat grin, I bet."
"You bet." In a giggly whisper she went on: "I've never met anyone who turns me on like he does"I never have to say 'left hand down a bit'"he just seems to know, if you know what I mean."
"Trollop," I said severely thinking, Lucky old you. "No wonder you're walking like Clint Eastwood when he's been on his horse for a week."
Later still, as people were drifting off, I heard someone say to Mum, "So when's the wedding?"
Which brings me neatly back to that invitation hitting the mat. With it came a note:
It's all going to be a terrible rush"barely six weeks to organize everything"I really must lose a few pounds before I even think about looking for something to wear"but they were very lucky to get a cancellation. I do hope Raj'll be able to come"we're so looking forward to meeting him. Much love in haste,
And a X from Dad, of course.
I stuck the invitation on the mantelpiece, where it glared balefully at me. "Well?" it seemed to say. "Are you going to sort this out, or what?"
Mum phoned that same evening. "You will bring him, won't you, dear? I've told absolutely everybody about him and you do want to keep your end up"Tina still seeing that Rohit"I had to invite him, of course"he looks a bit chinless to me but that's all the more reason for you to indulge in a little bit of flaunting""
"Yes, I know it sounds bitchy, dear, but I can't help it"Ritu's on and on about Rohit this and Rohit that"I really will murder that woman one day"you'd think a corporate lawyer was a cross between God and Mel Hudson to hear her carry on""
"Gibson, Mum. Mel Gibson."
"You know what I mean. Please do tell Rajveer we'd love to see him"he surely can't be booked up six weeks in advance"if he thinks enough of you I'm sure he'll be only too pleased""
After another minute of this I said weakly that yes, I was sure he'd love to come, yes, work was fine, everything was fine, give my love to Dad and Preeti, see you soon, and hung up. "She wants me to keep my end up," I said. "Permit me a hollow little laugh."
My dear friend Aliix was giving me her "God, you're hopeless" look. "God, you're hopeless," she said. "Why can't you just dump him and be done with it?"
"I can't just do it! I've got to psych myself up first"think of an utterly unarguable reason why we're no longer compatible."
"I can think of a brilliant one," she said. "Death is generally considered the perfect grounds for ending an inconvenient relationship. Have him mugged to death for his gold cards."
I don't mind telling you, such callousness appalled me. "I couldn't!"
"Why ever not? He's only giving you grief."
"Yes, but wouldn't it seem just a bit ungrateful, after I've used him so shamelessly?"
"Don't give me that. You know you hate the bugger's guts, so have someone stick a nice sharp knife into them. Have it done next week"quick, clean, and no chance of a reconciliation. You can't take a corpse to a wedding."
Put like that, it was sorely tempting. However... "A messy murder would cast a bit of a cloud over the wedding," I pointed out. "I don't want to be a killjoy, with everyone feeling sorry for me. And how on earth would I look heartbroken when I was actually thinking, Thank God for that"pass me another large vodka and the best man, please?"
"You think of something, then!" She gave an "up to here" sigh. "I hate to say I told you so, but I did. If you will invent some perfect, pain-in-the-arse bloke just to get your mum off your back""
"He wasn't entirely invented," I pointed out.
"Don't split hairs." She sloshed me out a third glass of Vodka. "You made him up, you get shot of him."