Friday, April 23, 2004

Posted almost a year later... the engagement mail.

I have some rather big news.
How big?
Very big I would say.
But how big is big?
Life changing? Is that big enough?
Yes?
Ok then, so it is big news.
And the news is....
.....
.....
.....
as of the 30th of July,
......
......
................................
I,
The Blah,
am
.....
.....
.....
.....
engaged to be married!!!!!!!!

To akhila prabhakar.
Who, through the ups and downs of being seperated by a continent, I have loved for the last four and a half years.

And here's how it happened:

I told her that we would go out for dinner in a chauffer driven car. But I also told her that I am meeting her parents on saturday to ask their permission to ask her to marry me something I had actually done 2 weekends ago. So it's not a proposal, it's just dinner. Meanwhile I make arrangements at an amazing restaurant outside town called Grasshopper, which is essentially a farmhouse restaurant/designer boutique with lots of trees and a nice garden that serves a six course gourmet meal, to give me a private area outside where no one can see us and decorate it well.

So I land up at her house and she gets a shock when she sees the car because it is a top of the line chauffer driven Mercedes (that belonged to my boss the tennis player:)), and she's never been in such a luxurious car. Then just before we land at the restaurant it starts pouring (it's the monsoons) leading to severe tension about the decorations (candles etc.) getting destroyed. But when we reach Grasshopper the rain is a godsend. There is no other guest there... with the rain and my plans, they encouraged the other possible guest to postpone their dinner plans by a night.

And they have set up the veranda overlooking the garden.There are 3 tables but only one has 2 chairs, along with a few small tables. There are flowers everywhere, on the tables, jasmine garlands hanging from the ceiling, and there is a warm mellow light from the beautiful candles that lie scattered, seemingly placed carelessly but actually with great care. As we sit down, surrounded by light and flowers, you hear the pitter-patter of rain in the garden, the chirping of crickets and cicadas, and the rustle of the wind among the trees. In the background you hear some soft jazz playing. Of course, all this (not the rain) is planned, but the owner tells akhila that the flowers are because they had a party in the morning and that the place is so private because all other guests cancelled.

We sit, we drink some nice white wine, and we eat the most delicious meal topped off with lemongrass ice-cream and lemon cheesecake with a grape sauce. I talk about what I should say to her parents and how I plan to go shopping for a ring the next week, while also saying it's such a pity that the dinner was not happening after I had spoken to her parents because the atmosphere is just so perfect. So all the initial wondering about whether I would propose dies down and she decides to enjoy the dinner.

The dinner ends and I pay the bill. We are ready to leave. Then suddenly the jazz stops.
Replaced by an old song by John Denver called Annie's Song. Our song. The theme song of the last four and half years since we first met. And she realises that this is a special moment. And I speak. And I am down on my knees, trembling and barely coherent. And she realises in this crazy slow-motion way that oh, my god, he is proposing! And I slip on the ring (gold and platinum dual band with a diamond ring), first on the right hand in my nervousness, then the left. And there are tears.And a happiness that is hard to express in words. And I am engaged to be married to the woman I love.

The Blah

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