I never, ever in a million years would have believed that I would hook up with someone at a sangeet function. But it happened and that too, at my cousin sister’s sangeet! Who would’ve thought, huh?
Well, it all started the morning of the sangeet. I was at my cousin’s house, of course, helping the family out with everything - from decorations to dance practice to parlour appointments. I was trying to chat with a couple of children, who kept running away from me, when I met him. He saw me trying to get a hold of one of the children. ‘It’s not easy!’ I told him when I saw him there, ‘I bet it isn’t! Are you a friend?’ he asked, extending his hand out. ‘I’m the sister. Well, the cousin, actually.’ I replied, taking his hand. ‘Well, it is really nice to meet you, Cousin!’ he replied with a grin, ‘Neha.’ I smiled, ‘Gautam.’ he smiled back.
Gautam was my cousin’s college friend and was working in Bangkok. Coincidently, he was back in India around the time of the wedding and had decided to come. The day continued with us engaging in small talk here and there. What do you do? Where do you stay? Where did you study? All the regular questions we could have asked, we did. I have to say, Gautam was extremely funny. He had some sort of witty answer to all my questions and his sense of humour was working its magic on me.
So much so that by the time it was time to actually start the real ceremony, I was wondering what it would be like to kiss him. I soon found out that he was wondering the same thing.
‘Can I have this dance?’ he asked and I laughed because the DJ was playing some Punjabi song. But I agreed anyway. There was no stopping us after that, we danced for almost two hours straight. Making our way from the Punjabi songs to bollywood rap to slightly romantic numbers. It was after I couldn’t feel my feet that I kicked off my heels and told him I was going to sit down for a bit. He insisted that he accompany me and well, I didn’t stop him. We sat down with two glasses of coke, looking at everyone else still heating up the dance floor.
‘Are you single?’ he finally asked me. ‘That’s pretty straightforward of you!’ I said raising my eyebrow. ‘Well, you know, I don’t have much time to waste here.’ he replied with a sheepish grin. ‘You want to take a walk outside for a bit?’ I asked. ‘Sure thing’ he replied.
We stepped out of the venue and into the garden that surrounded it. And we stayed quiet. Until his hands touched mine and then slowly his fingers wrapped around mine. We still didn’t say much, maybe because it was all so different for me. Also, my family was only 40-50 steps away from me and anyone could see us. ‘Can I kiss you right now?’ he asked, I stopped in my tracks and turned to face him. I couldn’t believe what I did next - I took his hands and put them around my waist and then pressed my lips against his. First softly, and then with a little more energy.
So, behind the tree of my sister’s sangeet venue is where Gautam and I had our first kiss… and a few other things. It was a little complicated because I was particularly scared of my saree unwrapping or someone catching us but I guess the thrill of someone catching us was half the reason that kept us going.