An EXcellent Affair

 Karthik has to attend his ex’s wedding reception and he desperately wants a date. Julia being the only option and she couldn’t say no to him. He had persuaded his cousin, Julia just by one simple text – “You’ll get delicious food there.”
Karthik came to know that Payal, his ex, had invited all her exes to her reception at the last moment. Perhaps, she thought, instead of distributing the remaining food to the poor, she might as well invite some of them to her reception.

He is in his borrowed sherwani, waiting outside Julia’s room. 

“How do I look?” Julia asks, spinning in her green ghagra. “Hmm, you look like Mallika…” he says smiling. “Mallika Rao, the actress?! Thanks!” she says, blushing. “No, Mallika mango”, he says, goofily. “What?” she says and starts hitting him.

They become silent when his mom approaches them. “Where are you going?” she asks. “We are going to an excellent reception”, says Julia, stressing on ‘excellent’. Karthik widens his eyes and gestures her to keep quiet. His mom, not sure what they are referring to, says “Come back soon”. “Ok aunty, bye”, Julia says enthusiastically and drags him towards the door. 

They reach the reception venue. Karthik spots some of Payal’s exes talking and walks towards them. “How are you, Karthik?” asks Mayank, her last boyfriend. “I’m good,” Karthik answers. Noticing that everyone had come with their girlfriends, he pulls Julia closer; in response, she snakes her arm around his waist. 

After some time, an old drunk man walks towards them, mumbling something inaudible. Karthik gestures Julia to stay behind him. “You know who I am?” he asks, in a tipsy state, pointing towards others. When they nod, he continues “Payal-my-niece and I buy chocolate when she small. But-now-she-not-respect me. So I…,” he says, animatedly pointing towards himself.

 “Not give her gift. I keep somewhere”

 “Where?” Mayank asks, trying not to laugh. “The gift-wine -here”, he says, patting his stomach. Julia giggles behind him. 

“The newlyweds are all set to rock the stage with their dance” someone announces. There is thunderous applause and people huddle around to find seats. Karthik and Julia settle on the second row.  

Suddenly, the curtains raise and the bride and the groom dance amidst loud cheers. The groom pulls the bride closer to turn her, when he accidentally twists her hand. Howls of laughter erupt in the audience. Payal, red with anger and embarrassment, walks out of the stage, with the groom following her.

The newlyweds come on the stage to meet their relatives and friends. The groom looks happy, but Payal is visibly upset. “Congratulations”, Karthik says, handing a bouquet to the groom. He smiles at Karthik and Payal avoids his gaze. They then exit the stage to join the queue towards the buffet.

“This was the best function ever!” Julia exclaims, while helping herself with the biriyani. “It was quite an excellent reception”, he tells her, munching on a kebab and they laugh hysterically.

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