Vansh changed out of his suit and into something more casual-a pair of khaki slacks and dark blue collared shirt. He did a quick Google search and found out that the movie in the park started at seven, so he made his way over to the area a little before then in hopes of spotting Dr. Kapoor.
Nearly a half hour passed before he finally spotted her. He had been worried that she wasn’t going to show-the weather had turned cloudy just before the movie started-and he was relieved to see that she had still come.
He watched as she leaned against a large tree, digging through a bag of Cadbury Gems and eating only a certain color. As he approached her, he made himself known by clearing his throat, which caused her to yelp in surprise and drop her bag of treats.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” he said, lifting his hands in surrender all the while trying not to chuckle.
She looked up with a glare which quickly morphed into surprise. “Oh! Um, hello. I didn’t know you came to this event too…”
Vansh leaned against the tree next to her. “It’s actually my first time. I saw a flier and decided that since I didn’t have any plans, I would check it out.” The lie slipped out easily. He watched as she stuffed her nearly empty bag of Cadbury Gems back in her purse. “Would you like me to get you more of that? I feel bad that you dropped yours because of me.”
Riddhima waved him off. “It’s fine. I think I ate all the blue ones anyway. Those ones are the best,” she said, grinning knowingly at him.
Vansh returned the grin. “I always thought they tasted the same.”
She wagged a finger at him. “That’s what they want you to think. But I swear they taste different-especially the blue ones.”
Vansh chuckled and shook his head before extending his hand to her. “I’m Vansh, by the way.”
She gave him a wide smile and shook his hand lightly. “Riddhima.”
They talked easily as they watched the movie. Vansh learned that Riddhima and her family traveled all over the world when she was a child, and it wasn’t until she was eleven that her parents finally decided to plant some roots in Mumbai. She went to a public school not too far from where she lived and one of her best friends, Vyom something-or-another, was actually hailed a hero at the age of seventeen for stopping a psychotic murderer-apparently it was a ‘right-place-right-time’ situation, but he still stopped the guy nonetheless. Her other best friend, Sia, worked with her at her pediatric clinic.
“Ah yes, Sia. She’s a spitfire, isn’t she?” Vansh asked as he offered Riddhima some popcorn he had purchased from a local vendor.
She graciously took some as she nodded. “That she is. She’s amazing, though. Her whole family is, actually…” She trailed off as she watched the movie and sighed wistfully as the two main characters on screen began to dance.
Vansh glanced at her, then at the screen, and back at her again before he set down his bag of popcorn and stood in front of her, hand out for her to take.
She gave him a quizzical look. “What are you doing?”
“Would you care to dance?” he asked, flashing her a charming smile.
Riddhima blushed as she chuckled softly. “Don’t be silly-we’re supposed to be watching a movie, not dancing along with it.”
“And why not?” he countered playfully. “If we were at a theatre, then true, we’d have to sit and watch. But being at the park doesn’t mean we can’t dance.”
Riddhima bit her lip as she contemplated his words, looking between his still-offered hand and his face. Finally, she gave a small nod and accepted his hand, following along as Vansh started twirling her around the grass.
Riddhima’s laugh as he spun her in and out of his arms was the most beautiful thing he had ever heard. When the song was done, he pulled her towards him again, both of them breathless from their dancing. His eyes flicked back and forth between hers before flicking down to her lips. He felt her take a small breath, and he was just about to lean down and kiss her when the skies opened up, and they got pummeled with large rain drops falling from above.
The rain seemed to startle her, and she quickly moved from his embrace. “Sorry, I…. I have to go,” she said as she walked quickly to where her things were located.
As she pulled out an umbrella from within the confines of her purse, Vansh stepped up next to her. “Let me at least escort you-”
“I’m fine, thank you. I had a fun time tonight, but I… I need to get going,” she said quickly. She turned and walked in the opposite direction as Vansh stood there confused about what just happened.
Frowning, he turned around to walk towards his vehicle. It was only when he was nearly home that he realised he never asked for her number.
The following day was filled with meetings for the young wedding planner. The first two were for clients whose weddings were coming up; Vansh needed to work on the final details before the big day.
His third meeting was with a new client, and honestly, those were his favorite. He enjoyed getting to know the couple and figuring out the best way to plan their wedding.
He was setting up his office with binders full of examples when Angre knocked on his open door.
“Hey mate, your two o’clock is here,” he informed.
“Thanks Angre, can you show them to my office?”
With a nod from his friend, Vansh finished setting out the tea and sandwiches when a tall man with freckled skin and red hair walked in.
“You must be Kabir Sharma,” Vansh said with a friendly smile, extending his hand to the gentleman.
Kabir smiled widely back and shook Vansh’s hand enthusiastically.
“Yup, that’s me! You’re Vansh, right?”
“The one and the same. Care to take a seat? Can I offer you some tea or sandwiches?” he asked.
“Great, thanks,” Kabir said happily as he sat down. He took one of the triangle sandwiches and stuffed it in his mouth as he looked around the office. “This place is amazing. I still can’t believe I’m here. My sister says you’re the best in Mumbai… Is that true?”
“That’s what the magazines keep saying,” Vansh said with a chuckle as he picked up his notepad to start taking notes. He found the best way to get to know his clients was just to let them talk and ask more detailed questions later. “So, tell me about you and,” he glanced down at the information he had written down, “Riddhi, is it? How long have you been engaged?”
Kabir rubbed his stubbled chin in thought. “It’s been about five years now. I know that’s a long time for an engagement but we’re both not in any hurry. She has her own business, and I’m helping out my brother at his shop. I’ve known her since we were about twelve, though. We were friends for a while before we started going out and about five years later I asked her to marry me. It just seemed like the right thing to do, you know? Anyway, like I said, it’s been nearly five years, and my mum thinks it’s high time we finally make things official, so… Here we are!” he said, chuckling.
Vansh grinned and nodded. “Sounds great. Will your fiancée be joining us then?”
“Yeah, she just had to use the loo,” Kabir said, stuffing another sandwich in his mouth before craning his neck to look out the door.
“In fact, here she comes now.”
Vansh nodded as he continued to look down at his notepad. It wasn’t until he heard her walk in, apologizing for holding up the meeting, that he finally looked up, surprised to see Dr. Riddhima Kapoor entering the room.