OM Mangalam Bhagwan Vishnu || Mangalam Garudadhwaja OM
OM Mangalam Pundareekaksham || Mangalayatano Hari OM
The priest chanted the hymns, it was time. The flames of the holy fire emblazoned an enchanting hue and her whole life flashed before her eyes. Regular fights with her elder brother. Altercations with mum . Complaining to her dad. Late night chats with her best friend over the phone. Getting her hands on every book that released. She will never get them back.
Everything changed today. She would be welcomed into a new family. Some ten odd strangers will now be a part of her life. Will they love her as much as her own? Will she be able to make them happy?
He looked up at her face. A look of worry, confusion, and unanswered questions scattered all over.
“Scared?” he whispered softly leaning towards her side.
A frail smile was all that she could manage.
“Please stand up for the Saptapadi ceremony”, said the priest.
A dark shadow cast upon her face and she started to look down. Her heart pounded as if, it would blow up any moment. Tears rolled down her blanching face. Suddenly she found herself scooped up in his arms and as a reflex put hers around his neck for support.
“I promise to do all that it takes. Now and Forever” he said beaming his same old warm smile, that melted her heart, every time. The seven vows were recited as he encircled the holy fire, one after the other, cradling her ever more safely in his arms.
All her life, she had been pitied at for being ‘an invalid’.
“She is not, like other children” her teachers would say. Classmates avoided her during team bonding activities. Spending time indoors with books, family and her best friend were all she ever did. Her expectations and wishes had been limited since she lost her legs in a devastating car accident.
Until he came along and she saw her life through his eyes.
Yet today, it was all coming back to her. Apprehensions about his family were only too obvious. Their approach might as well not be the same.
But this one act of his washed it all away. She found herself smiling, tears still flowing, but they were now of joy! Her hands did not shiver anymore as they both welcomed their new lives with the seventh and final vow. They were now husband and wife!