The master suite was overrun with wedding guests, each vying with the other to gush over the bridal trousseau. “O God! Those Jimmy Choo’s are to die for”. “That Tiffany ring must be two carats at the least”. “Look at the intricate Zardari work on the skirt. Tarun Tahiliani is a master craftsman.” “Yes, yes. And he has incorporated both sequins and Swarovski crystals in so well”. “And isn’t that necklace from the Maharaja collection”!
Mira slumped down further over the bride’s hand. Those shoes alone cost more than I earn in an entire year. That skirt can repair my leaking roof and crumbling walls. She tried to block out all the noises. These were rich clients and she couldn’t afford to botch up the henna. Maids milled around serving teas and coffees. Bridesmaids zipped about planning their own accessories. Cameras clicked. No. No. I just have to shut everything out. The aroma of tandoori chicken wafted out of the kitchen. This is not helping. Mira was getting more and more irritated with each passing thought. It was unacceptable to exhibit such emotions. That the people here were too wrapped up in themselves to even noticed her, was a blessing in disguise.
Her task finally complete, Mira let out the sigh she had been holding back, schooled her frown, and stood up. The entire herd rushed over to examine the bridal henna. Mira slinked away towards the washroom. All tidied up she quietly emerged, picked up her shopping bag, wore her tattered slippers, and walked rapidly away. Her heart was thundering when she boarded the bus and thundered all the way home. She went in, set the double bolts in place, calmed her nerves and opened her purse. Yes, the Tiffany ring must be atleast two carats.

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