Pomp, circumstance and fanfare befitting only of royalty. Happy faces, hearty guffaws. Indeed, there was not a sad countenance. With merry hearts they gathered, for it was said to be the biggest wedding the world had ever seen. Everyone who was someone was present. And not just the bourgeoisie, for the convener of this wedding, the father of the groom, was a philanthropist that made all of John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates’ charitable efforts put together pale in comparison to his magnanimity. What better place to showcase his wealth than the nuptials of his first and favorite son?
And so they gathered. The young, the elderly, and everyone in between, all in their Sunday’s best. If you were not at the town hall, you were either dead or mentally handicapped. People who could not find their way into the large hall crowded round huge TV screens across town. Even the bedridden woke with a zeal never before seen, as they gazed intently at the screens from their sickbeds. Radio stations were buzzing with by-the-minute updates of happenings as all awaited the commencement of the event. Nobody was about to miss the greatest occasion in the history of that city’s existence. Pictures and videos flew everywhere, with all sorts of filters and hashtags, as social media statuses were updated by the millisecond. And then, by the stroke of noon, a hush with the verisimilitude of a library in a graveyard came over the entirety of the crowd.
There she stood. Dressed in white. Glorious from head to toe. She had a demeanour only worthy of the royalty she was about to become. The Instagram models with their vast array of eyebrow designs and colours knew; they would not be the most beautiful people on the scene that day. Even though she remained veiled as she walked down the aisle, there was a glow emanating from her that dispelled every doubt about her beauty. There was a confidence in her gait. This one had waited her whole life for this moment. She was born for this. The organist played the most beautiful rendition of “Here Comes The Bride” ever heard. Still she walked, the cadence of her soles satisfying souls staring solely to unravel the pulchritude shrouded beneath the veil. Yet, all the stares in the world would not uncover the mystery that was this bride’s face. Only one man had the prerogative, and he beamed with the pride of one deserving of such an honour. His betrothed was beautiful, he knew.
At last, she stood before the one to whom she would be espoused. The music ceased, and again, a hush fell over the entire world, or so it seemed. The unveiling was nigh. Still grinning from ear to ear, the groom stepped up to his lover, and with a lot of theatrics, threw back the veil. A mixture of mirth and shock filled the atmosphere, for alas, there remained yet another veil over her face. The groom smiled still, not fazed, and with even more thespian movements, threw back this second layer. There was a chuckle somewhere, a slight gasp somewhere else, followed by what sounded like a sigh. If this was someone’s idea of a joke, it was getting boring quickly. Yet the handsome groom smiled, apparently oblivious to the murmurs around, and undaunted by the unrelenting shroud over his lover’s face. His hands moved over her face again, and were met with yet another veil.
The charade went on and on, with the attendant fascination with the number of layers of veils diminishing with each unveiling. Yawns could be heard echoing across the entirety of the hall now. A few who were fed up and bold enough packed up and left the event. This was not what they had dressed up to see. Most stayed behind, only out of respect for the one who had invited them. The hall became rowdy, with side talks ensuing – anything from Ashley Young’s heavy pockets to happenings on Twitter. Nobody cared anymore about the ceremony, except of course that it end soon. An eternity seemed to pass, and still, the groom’s handsome face was cut with a smile even broader than when he had started. Another yawn. Another phone call.
Suddenly, it was over. Her face could be seen. Men, women, children and animals perked up with rapt attention. At last, the wait was over. A foreboding fell upon some; what if the anticipation would only result in a terrible anticlimax? What if the heat from the multitude of clothing over her face had obliterated the fine details of whatever makeup lay underneath? Again, silence flooded the room. Slowly, the bride turned, and her face became visible to the millions of prying eyes. There was a unanimous gasp. A few guests fainted.
Her face was, for lack of a better word, handsome. The uncanny features – humour-filled eyes, a pristine nose, the broadest smile one could ever see. Onlookers moved their eyes from the bride to the groom, and back to the bride. It was surreal. For alas, the bride looked exactly like her groom. What madness!!!
…to be continued.