"Tying the knots with someone is a choice of the self. It's my life, whose decisions I solely will take, not you. You can't be my puppet master anymore. He can give me loads of riches, but not happiness and I don't want it to prevail. Love only seeks the heart, sees no boundary and no religion. It is as soft as it is strong"
"Say it! Say it, goddamn it. This is the opportune moment. Say it". The thoughts were shouting at him.
Taking a deep breath, he summoned his courage, held Shweta's hands lovingly and spoke his heart out, "Shweta, we've been dating each other for like....4 years. Now, I feel this is the perfect time that I must tell you". She rolled her eyes.
"Will you marry me, love?". She looked down and saw Shehzad on one knee and a ring in his hands, smiling into her eyes. Cupping her face in absolute awe, an expression of content and an eye full of tears, she nodded her head profusely. "Yes!". A rich studded gemstone it was, slowly inserted into her finger, which glittered brilliantly in the candlelight. She then went forward and embraced him. A sight so serene, even the peacock would feel jealous. Cheers and greetings pervaded the air around.
The following sunrise, as she went to the breakfast table, discerned she some voices that seemed to come from the living room. With an urge to investigate more, she put an ear to the keyhole. "Rich", "Marriage", "Reputation", "Equal" ; she could make out. At breakfast, her dad announced, "One of my close friend Sunil and me have decided to arrange for a wedding between his son and Shweta to take place the following week." Mukesh!, she recalled, was a very notorious and idle man. All he ever did was to waste his father's riches lavishly. Just because they had a high social status and a hell lot of money, her father had agreed to their wedding 'cause no girl was ready to get married to him. No matter how much she argued that she had already found her love and already agreed to his proposal, "He may give me riches but not happiness and I have no thrive for his riches", her voice was put down harshly. Her mom too agreed with her husband and hushed her. She sat up the whole night crying and called Shehzad who soon hit upon a plan to free her from this forced wedding.
Finally, the big day arrived. Everyone was busy and happy in the hectic schedule. Well.....except for one. As the bride and the groom were about to put the garlands on each other, she stopped in mid air amidst awe and shock from the guests.
"I've been forced to marry Mukesh whom I barely know" she announced. "One cant simply marry someone solely because of the riches offered. Love sees no money, it rather sees trust and love. Tying the knots with someone is a choice of the self. It's my life, whose decisions I solely will take, not you. You can't be my puppet master anymore. He can give me loads of riches, but not happiness and I don't want it to prevail. Love seeks only the heart, sees no boundary and no religion. It is as soft as it is strong". She continued, "I love a guy named Shehzad, my colleague, and I intend to get married to him. He will give me all the happiness and care in the words and I desire no more. Neither religion nor caste holds true in love".
Hearing this, all the people present were stunned and agreed with her. Her father realised his mistake and apologised to all. "You're right. I wanted to tie your knots with a man of my calibre because of their riches but failed to realise what a person really wants. Forgive me child." Folding his hands towards the guest and to his friend and his son, "I really apologise to you all, I was about to do a great blunder." Hearing this, Shweta breathed a soulful smile.
The next day, she accompanied by Shehzad went to meet her parents. They were impressed by his personality and attitude and agreed for the wedding to take place. The groom's family, kin and friends arrived for the grand ceremony. No grand wedding has ever seen since, of the princess and her true love, the prince.