She walked enthusiastically holding her husband’s hand while the beats of the drum resounded through the society.
They were a picture of gaiety.
She wore a pink bandini saree and her large kohl laden eyes brimmed with light and happiness.
He walked with his head held high, beaming away to glory.
He was a proud husband.
Rainbow Housing Society had a star amongst them. Soon the place was thronged with reporters who wanted to get the latest scoop on her and outdo the rival channels. Seema, the lady in the pink saree had won a popular singing competition and so people were bound to be curious about her.
The residents were thrilled beyond words. Each one of them claimed to be close to Seema. Each one itched to share some anecdote from the pages of her life before she became a celebrity.
I had seen Seema and her husband Manoj’s journey at close quarters and today, I felt happy from the bottom of my heart.
Manoj worked in a bank and Seema was a housewife. They were newly married when they had moved in the society. Manoj had humble beginnings but by dint of his hard work and sincerity he got a decent job in a reputed bank in the city. Before moving to the big city, his parents who lived in a small town in Haryana, got him married to this petite young girl Seema who was clueless as to what the city had in store for her.
The couple got along wonderfully and they were happy living the life they only dreamt of. Initially, Seema was awestruck at every little thing, be it the vast shiny elevator or the luxurious swimming pool in the society. She gloated at everything in amazement. She could not believe her luck that not only did she got to live in an upbeat society but she also had a loving husband.
Seema had always been fond of music. Her grandfather was a trained classical singer and she had been singing with him since she was a little girl. She found music cathartic and so every day in the morning once Manoj left for work and she would finish her usual chores, she sat and did her riyaz. She had a soulful voice.
Her neighours listened to her mellifluous voice with rapt attention and though people in the society were sensitive about loud noises, no one seemed to mind the soft and soothing voice that echoed through the alleys of the society every morning.
Surprizingly, Manoj had no inkling about this hidden passion of hers. So, one day when their neighbor, Mrs. Gupta, who was a blabbermouth, told Manoj animatedly,” Your wife has such a beautiful voice. My father- in- law listens to her every morning before he goes for a walk.”
Manoj was caught unaware. He had no idea that his wife loved singing. He did hear her hum softly often when she would cook in the kitchen, but he did not pay heed to it.
That day when Manoj came home I sat next to their flat. I also loved listening to Seema’s voice. It transported me to a serene spot.
As Manoj entered in, I followed him. I was curious to see what would transpire next. Manoj was jumpy. He immediately asked Seema to sing for him. As he sat there at the oak dinning table, listening to his wife’s voice, he smiled.
He had made up his mind.
From then on, I would see the young couple leave every evening on their scooter.
Manoj had enrolled Seema in a renowned music school in the city. For the next six months she went there for the evening classes.
Then, one fine day one of the popular music shows had its auditions in the city. Seema was apprehensive to the core. She was even nervous and had stage fright. But Manoj steered her through all the stages and the rest as they say is history.
Today, as the couple stood posing for pictures for the paparazzis, my happiness knew no bounds.
The next day newspapers were swamped with words like ‘She had the X factor which made her win the contest’. But, I knew who the ‘X-factor’ was?
Such tales of love made my presence in the Rainbow Housing Society worthwhile in the true sense of the word.
(I am taking part in #AtoZchallenge and today is the twenty fourth day of the challenge. Today’s letter is ‘X’).