Off course I knew she was happy.

One summer afternoon I got a call from my school friend. She told me about her engagement, her voice was filled with euphoria and all she could talk about was her fiancée. Soon, her trousseau was decided, pre bridal bookings were done, the wedding ensemble was in place and the wedding took place in all the merriment.

After her marriage our communications became fewer. Yet I knew she was happy; I could tell that from her Facebook updates and Instagram posts. How could I miss that joy while she was out on those dinner dates and those late-night strolls?

And just like that, life moved on and our communications faded. We did catch up here and there, we spoke about mundane things like office politics, our commute to work and other regular stuff. But off course, I knew she was happy.  Her photographs told me so. Clad in the hues of festivities, enjoying the attention of the man in her life; she was so perfect in those pictures.
Soon our communications became non-existent.  She seemed busy and I didn’t mind that. Afterall I was constantly updated about her life through social media.  I knew she was happy.

But today she called me. She called and said, she was back to her parent’s place for good.  She might have sensed my silence and repeated her words. I could make sense of it all only when I heard those words twice or may be thrice… I realised she wanted me to say something, but what could have I said?

I asked, “What went wrong?”
She said, “Everything.”
But I had questions; was everything not perfect,
wasn’t she always happy in those pictures?

She told me, that was just a cover up, she did it for her parents. They had spent a fortune on her wedding and she didn’t want them to be stressed. But now it was all over. She couldn’t cover it anymore. While she was not well, her in – laws called her parents and asked them to take her along. Apparently, they didn’t want to pay for the hospital bills. The veil was up and her parents knew about her suffering.

After that phone call, my mind kept on going back to those pictures. Those photographs spoke of love, togetherness and admiration. Wasn’t all that true? At least I thought it to be.  Or at least everyone thought it to be. Her parents, her cousins, her acquaintances…
The camera captured her smiles so expressively, we had no reason to doubt it. But was it just a pose for the camera before the lens shutters?

Maybe the camera only captures the moment when everyone smiles, then the lens shutters and life “begins”.

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