It was a bright and sunny Ashtami morning during Durga Puja, the most popular festival of Bengal... I was all decked up in a Bengali traditional 'taant' sari, waiting for the pushpanjali(offering of flowers to worship Indian God) to begin.Before the chanting of the mantras began, there was a huge pandemonium created by the people gathered for the event, over the collection of the flowers with the holy leaves, termed in bengali as 'bel' and 'tulsi', from the flower basket, for offering prayers.Thanks to my amazing height(and that too without heels!!!)I couldn't manage a single flower from the basket being passed high above my head, despite my desperate tries and shouts!!! It seemed that my teary eyes and my sorrowful frown did not escape the sight of the tall, dark and very handsome( God, he was strikingly good-looking!!!!) man standing beside me. He stopped me from making yet another Olympic high jump attempt and gave me some flowers from his share. He took a glance at my blissful face, and smiled. Aahhh!!! that smile was the best smile I had ever seen!!!
For the first time I could smell the sweet essence of love hovering in the air,with the fragrance of the 'shiuli phool'(night - flowering jasmine) and incense sticks.The Goddess seemed to have woven a spell of romance for me...Yes....it was a complete love at first sight!!!!!
I took the initiative of distributing the prasad soon after the pushpanjali, just to get a chance to talk to him.I went up to him with extra sweets on his tray. He graciously took the prasad plate from my hand and again gave me one of his disarming smiles, as I stood there awestruck. However, the next sight that I witnessed, left me completely dumbfounded for a moment! He got up from his seat, thanked me gracefully and walked straight past me unfolding his walking stick!!!!
That was the day I realised that love is actually blind!!
Now that we have spent two more durga pujas together, as he still continues to spread love through his soulful smiles and his share of flowers, I am his new walking stick....