I was happy for Sam. He was my best friend after all, in fact, my only friend in this whole world. He was getting married and seemed all nervous and excited. I looked at him lovingly, as he fumbled with his tie in child like awkwardness. He considered himself the luckiest person alive to have found such a beautiful woman as Riya, to be his bride. I thought otherwise. She should consider herself lucky to have found a man with a heart cast in gold. Well on second thoughts, she should be credited for her intelligence to have identified the goodness in him, when most of her ilk would have chased looks and money, neither of which was generous with Sam. So when she finally agreed to marry him, he may have been justified to treat her as Gods gift.
I had known Sam for a year now. We had met when I was going through a difficult time and was desperately looking for a place to stay. Sam was kind enough to welcome me to his home and never let me feel even for a moment that I was an intrusion to his privacy in his one room apartment, or a burden on his meager resources that he shared with me. In fact, I was overwhelmed when he invited me to share the only bed in the flat. I would have been more than content and happy to sleep on the floor, but Sam would have nothing of it, and had insisted that I sleep in his bed.
When Sam first met Riya at his friends' party, I was the first one with whom he shared his feelings for her. He had been smitten at first sight, following her the whole evening with his eyes, without mustering the courage to walk up to her. He had made eye contact once, which resulted in him spilling his drink on his pants. That evening I had to sit through his emotional ranting and his fears of how moronic he must have appeared to her. But the very next day, he came back home and gave me a big hug, which almost choked me. He had been introduced to Riya by his friend who had invited him for the party. I had a strong feeling that the introduction may have been orchestrated by Riya, who may have noticed him during the party, which was confirmed weeks later, when she dropped in at our place. Sam introduced me to her and as I shook her hand, I saw in her eyes the same tenderness that was in Sam’s, and immediately knew that Sam’s love will never go unrequited.
The evenings that followed for a year thereafter, were melodramatic, to say the least. The fights would bring in a bottle of Old Monk Rum from the corner store, and a day in her arms, would bring back to life the legendary Mohammad Rafi on the Sony CD player late into the night. I was amused by these swings, but kept him company, sitting next to him as he put his arm around me, lending a patient ear to his litany of woes and woos. I had to agree to her absolute lack of understanding of his deep feelings, bear witness to his professing undying love over many births, nod in agreement at her grave misunderstanding of his innocent acts, hang my head in shame at his unintentional indiscretions and yet keep a straight face. So when Sam set up out to propose to her, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach and was not able to eat a morsel, untill he came back leaping and dancing, announcing her acceptance.
“Hey Pat, How do I Look?” I was woken up from my reverie by Sam, who I admit was looking absolutely dashing in his new white tuxedo. We were running late and had to reach the auditorium, which was booked for the wedding, before the bride arrived. Riya had wanted a church wedding, but when the priest told Sam that he will not allow me in the church, she didn’t flinch for a second in shifting the venue to the auditorium near her house. When Sam told me this, I was choked with emotion. I saw her enter through the door with her bridesmaids, stunningly beautiful, dazzling in white, her pearly smile at her dashing beau matching her spotless dress. I stepped back and waited for the ceremonies to begin.
When finally the priest asked Sam to kiss the bride, I could not stop myself. I bounded up the steps of the stage and jumped in their midst. Sam and Riya, broke away laughing. I wanted to hug them both. My paws left their pug marks on their white dresses, but I was sure they didn’t mind. I stood on my hind legs and grabbed Sam by his shoulders and gave him a long wet lick on his face. I looked at Riya. She was laughing and blew me a kiss. ‘Woof”, I returned her flying kiss. I was very happy. I just couldn’t stop wagging my tail.