Ibna's limousine reached the check post of the village where buses stop. It was early morning and the sleepy village was not yet out of bed. Usually foreign cars were not seen in that village except occasionally there could be one as passing by vehicle and so at first villagers out there in he check post did not take any cognizance of that green big car but as it turned inside in the gulley some curious glances began to watch for; who the car is? Ibna was nimbly driving the car, it was passing through all the twists, and turns in that narrow passage, finally they reached the gate of Veena's home. Car stopped with a big roaring sound of the engine however, it did not awaken any body in that narrow gulley. Veena and Yamuna poured out of the vehicle and stood, straightening their cloths. Ibna came out from her side and they stood there for a moment. Ibna was curiously watching the place; a smile of curiosity was evident on her face. Veena and Yamuna turned to the rear side of the car and attempted to open the dicky of the car. Nifty aroma of some wild flowers was spread in the air making the environment very pleasant. There was no body in the veranda of Veena's home. She opened the gate of the compound and slowly moved in along with Yamuna, carrying her load of baggage. Ibna followed the two ladies but did not remove her bag from the car and they slowly climbed those few steps of the porch. Veena directed Ibna that they can relax on the swing on the veranda. Yamuna hurriedly went inside the house to see her brother and vahini, mother of Veena. Veena looking to her friend asked by signing her eyes, how Ibna liked the place. The reply was in signs and that said; she liked the place. After noticing that Ibna had not brought in her bags, Veena asked and Ibna told her that that can be taken in any time, no need to hurry for that. Veena appreciated her stand and did not say anything.
In a short time they heard a lot of chatting sounds from inside of the house and soon there came Veena's parents and her brother. Welcoming the new guests Veena's mother looked very embarrassed. She was keenly observing Ibna, a typical famine scrutiny of other woman. Finally Ibna was accepted by her as her guest and there was a smile of approval on her face. After all Ibna was her Veena's friend and so there was no inhibition in accepting her in spite of the fact that she was a foreigner and in that a muslim girl. There was a side to that village which housed a few muslim families and they rarely would come to the houses of brahmins in the village even though the terms were very good and relations were also quite cordial. Ibna's being muslim was a very different issue.
"Come on girls, be fresh and be ready for the breakfast". Veena's mother ordered.
"Aai, we had had our first breakfast on the highway, and we are also bathed and so I would prefer to take my friend to Yamuna's house, if you people have no problem". Veena suggested. On that they scattered but her father was standing there quietly, expecting Veena to say something important. Veena sensed that and approaching him said, "Baba, I have brought the installment money and we shall complete that work today. This reply relieved the man and with a gracious smile on his face he moved out.
Looking to Ibna, Veena told her that it will be good if they moved to Yamuna's house at the earliest since once the marriage rituals begin they will not be able to talk with her. Ibna was only very anxious to see Yamuna, about whom, she was always hearing from Veena, as her best friend and a very close cousin. They moved out, both the girls were already in that festive mood of marriage. The idea of marriage makes women very anxious and these two young girls were no exceptions. Ibna was terribly anxious to see a Hindu marriage; she had brought with her a camera and wanted to take as many photos of this marriage as possible.
This Story continues in the next posting.
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