Bad Beat & Bean Counter
Friday dawned bright and sunny, the cold weather
long gone except for the morning fog that Delhi seemed to have grown to love in the last 20 years. The dinner @ Bhallas was tonite
Appa and Amma had gone to Akka's on Tursday night to bring II back
Akka offered some lame excuse to her in laws as to why her parents visited on a week night
In joint families everything needed explanations. Her nausea was a little better,
II went with her to her ultrasound appointment on Wed and then they all ate out
Shravu and her at McDonald's Akka and Athim at a regular sit down dinner type place
Shravu took a picture of her and texted it to R&B when she wasnt looking... but stuffing
Evil kid! Evil Uncle R
"He does really have every game system ever made Chithi"
"How do u know"
"The rec room has something called a Pac Man its ancient like you"
She smacked his wrist..
"I am selling it when I go there" II threatened (like she cared)
"I want to play all PSs and Wiis all on the same day... Nandu and I have planned we will stay up all night
"Do what ever u please I shouldnt hear ONE SOUND, if I do, I take the systems and you two AND Uncle R and bury you in their big backyard"
"Uncle R is too tall"
"I will chop him up first"
Appa didnt talk to her though, but accompanied Amma
Amma rode with her home...
"You need to come hme early, we have to go to Malcha Marg"
Her heart skipped a beat... "Oh? Ummm" "Seri OK" she said without arguing
Amma noticed she looked forward to going there unlike how she
fought with Vandu in the initial days about going to Shanti Niketan to pick Shravu up or drop him off.
She would be angry and nervous at the same time, like she feared encountering R&B but maybe a part of her wanted to go?
She seemed more relaxed and eager now...
"Sam asked if u would be willing to wear a saree, since you look so nice she said" Amma asked
"Its on a Friday evening Ma," II protested
"I know but you know they have family visiting." AMMA DEFENDED SAM
"Ask him to wear a veshti too then" II argued
"Adu NEE sollu, why dont YOU tell him?" Amma laughed
"I will Ma" she said decisively
"Dont argue kanna just wear that lovely pale pink Chanderi, it will be lovely for the evening event" Amma suggested
She went off to work early so she could return by 4, she came back tired and moaning..
"Amma one of them is a movie star or something they are probably going to be in designer duds why should I wear a saree?" II complained
"Call Sam, I have to finish this chapter before Appa comes, and we cant do anything over the weekend, because we are going shopping... Did u look at the link for the English card designs?"
"Umm no... I didnt have time today" II lied as she forgot
"U forgot didnt you?" Amma asked sternly
"Ishita we have to send it all over India not to mention the few countries where cousins live the wedding is a month away they wont give it to us in less than a week, please, after we return from dinner look at it"
"Ill try Ma"
"Have u begun going through your closets and cupboards? You are willing to clean everything out but not your clothes" Amma looked at her baffled
"Amma I am not going to the moon I will be back here every weekend, why cant things be the way they are?"
"Because Akka will use the room in August for the baby after delivery, we are always behind I want to get something done soon"
"Give her a couple shelves" II sulked
"Couple? There is not ONE inch of space"
"Did u ask him WHAT he wanted for clothes?"
"WHAT IS THIS?"
"I will, tonite... if I can, please Ma"
Appa returned from work only around 6 silently protesting the very idea of going to Malcha Marg.
II was dressed and ready by then in her onion pink Chanderi...She was reading a book for Periappa as he mumbled
Appa's eyes lit up when he saw her look so pretty yet couldnt bring himself to compliment her or acknowledge
"When will we return? I have to go meet the caterer in the morning" he said
"I AM going too if u remember." Amma pointed out calmly
"Well you seem to like them a lot so if u want we can take two cars, I can return after dinner. You can stay with your daughters"
"Will it be the same for the wedding?" Amma asked bluntly
"What do u mean?"
"Will u leave after the wedding too?"
"She seems to have made up her mind Madhu" Appa said startled
"WHAT do u expect? She is marrying him in 4 weeks u want her to go to her Akka's and come back with a changed mind?" Amma looked at him like he was crazy
"U know... she left angry... I thought Vandita would have spoken to her... ummm"
"And then both sisters would have a decision for you that would be in your favor?" Amma asked incredulous
Appa looked on...
"You will actually hope until the day of the wedding that this wedding gets called off?" Amma asked shocked
"Nothing about this thing makes any sense to me, she went for deployment, he troubled her, the
family has a scandal associated with it, Vandita and his siter become good friends, and the kids
are best friends and then we are looking at her marrying him?" Appa asked
"I dont have time, she is ready, if you wnat to go with us, you can in 20 minutes
otherwise we will see you there or when we return, no, I wont send Ishita to Vandu's again" Amma said pinning her green and orange kanjeevaram on her shoulder
Appa went into the bathroom, they were ready to go at 7 ish
They got there in 15 minutes since it was just two blocks away, there were 5 cars parked upfront
Samar, Trehaan and Utkarsh and Vaibhav and Utkarsh's wife the wannabe movie star and Chachu all in the latest M Co cars
People that were usually two to three hours late at any event at Malcha Marg were there in full force today ON TIME
Sam's car was parked inside, Vandu arrived around the time Iyers got there...
She looked lovely in a silk green and yellow suit..
"Amma did u get anything for them?" "I just got flowers" Akka said
"I got a silver bowl" Amma said
"We cant afford to buy silver for every dinner invite" Appa muttered
"Appa they are not invting us everyday so dont worry ur wealth is safe" Vandu shot back
"See how she talks to me" Appa said accusingly
"Chhod Vandu stop it" Bala scolded her
They crossed the road, after parking across the street by the wooded area
She stood on the median and looked at the house, and saw him in standing...
He stood in the balcony watching her walk with Shravu, hand in hand...
he sipped his beer slowly savoring the gauzy saree fanned all around her, she wore pink/gold jhumkas...
her hair severly braided... causing her features to be more pronounced and gorgeous...
He raised his frosted mug as toast, Mihir stood by him, he waved animatedly she waved back at him smiling
He turned around to go in/downstairs, Mihir followed gesticulating something
Sam was already at the door to greet...
They all took their shoes off as Chacha & Co stared in shock
Chachi was 5 feet tall and heavy, wearing somethig so anti fit that it looked like the dress would
burst off it seams if she breathed hard, an evening gown of sorts in blue
Her DILs were in designer western wear, the wannabe or so II thought actress in some shimmering skinky outfit, Appa's eyes popped.
Chachu got up "I have met you at the workshop" "Welcome to the family dear" he greeted
She smiled and nodded saying a namaste
Chachi didnt get up from where she was at, she was talking with a couple women her age
Sam hugged II warmly
"If u look like THIS HOW do u expect me to let you go home?"
Amma smiled "U are kind"
Sam: Aunty compared to the freak show my family is.. are u kidding?"
Sam: Chachi yeh hai R&B ki honey waali Ishita Iyer, and this is her Mom & Dad and sister my best friend
Vandita and thats woh jo oopar bhaag raha hai is Shravu, and thats Bala"
Bala and Tan walked towards the bar to Appa's horror
Ranjan appeared around the same time... beaming a big fat smile
Chachi reluctantly got up
She wore heels atleast 4 inches tall, was still shorter than II
She wore more diamonds than a mannequin on a window
"I am Raman's Chachi" she said in broken English
Air kissing her as she hugged
"Ishita" II said
"Naam to pyaara hai"
R&B and Mihir wandered down
He came up to her.. she gently moved towards him unnoticed
They stood by each other for a second until Mihir ruined it
"Ms Iyer, YOU LOOK DIVINE. Saree pehne to koi aapki tarah. Koi cousin nahi hai kya aapki?"
"Many... all over in India..." Ii giggled
"Aapke jitni lambi nahi chahiye mujhe" "I am only 5 6"
R&B sipped his beer, as he lounged/leaned on the wall, she stood by him, and Mihir stood in front of her
"Aapko itni jaldi kyon thi, ekdum se haan kar diya isko. U shud have blown him off u know"
"Mujhe bhi yahi lagta hai"
"Jo bhi mere liye dhoondo aap, make sure she has those jhumkas, JAB main aapko dekhta hoon aapke jhumke alag hotey hain
"Mere paas atleast 30 pairs hain, between gold silver and stone. I love love earrings. I can take her shopping whenever I go and buy for her"
"Pehle na ladki DHOOND lete hain" Mihir said troubled
"Arey bahut hain... mere office mein Tax Services mein 3 hain, Monday ko baat karoon. I am serious. U are a Punjabi too nahi?"
"Arey Punjabi? Main Iyer ban sakta hoon agar aapki tarah koi miley, I can become a Oriya too" Mihir whined
II laughed, her pink gold burnished jhumkas bobbed back and forth, her kohl lined eyes sparkled with joy...
"He has a fetish for piercings isne kaha aapko?"
"Nahi to" II mumbled gasping
Felt his warm gaze all over her face and nose ring
"Kya pata aapke liye sudhar gaya ho" Mihir grieved
OH PLEASE!! YOUR FRIEND? AND SUDHROFYING? WHAT PLANET DO U LIVE IN? WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING BTW MIHIR?
HE IS A PIG!! HE IS A RAKSHASAN... REFORM AND HIM ARE AS MUCH SIMILAR AS MUCH AS ME AND A MEAT LOVER
"Will u hold my keys?" she asked R&B
He took it from her and put it in his cargo pocket...
She scrolled through her friends list on the phone and recommended picks for Mihir
"Chalo I will find you one from every state, I probably have one from every state, she held her keys and phone in one hand took a drink offered in another,
"Do u have a GF? Pehle poochna chahiye tha ? Nahi?" she giggled
"NO... I broke up with her... all in the hope that u will agree aapne to isko fatafat haan kar diya"
He punched R&B
"Poker mein loot ta hai aur zindagi mein bhi" sad
"I dont play poker if u teach me, we could team up" II offered
"U are a CPA, OMG!! thats what I need... a math whiz , chalo kal raat ko main aur aap ek team , Tan aur yeh loser ek"
Chachu came up
"So beta, south indian style wedding?" gushing
"Hmm Iyer" II nodded
"I am excited for the food" Mihir gushed
"Weve been to one south Indian wedding in Bangalore.. Taj mein" Chachi began
"Oh? Nice" II said
"Usually our weddings are in five star hotels, mandir mein shaadi kam hoti hai" Chachi jabbed
"Thats sad Mrs Bhalla" she said
Ranjan walked by "Arey Chachi kaho beta she is family"
"Ummm.. I ll try" she smiled gently at Ranjan
The help walked by with appetizer, she handed her phone to R&B next... he put it in his other pocket...
as he accepted a plate...
Sam and Vandu giggled at a distance, trying to get a picture of R&B and her
Amma chatted with one of the two ladies
"Hum to soch rahe the hamey France jaane ko milega" Chachi said "I have been to France many many times, but never for a wedding" she said
II looked a lil flustered
"Arey Chachi angrezi wedding mein woh baat kahan jo IYER wedding mein hain"
"He did change his mind fast" Chachi muttered
Ranjan:He couldnt have picked someone better, na main na Sam na..." (Ranjan let it taper off instead of saying Savita) he picked someone PERFECT
Chachi: Tum gaati ho? Filmon mein?"
II:Oh! No... only classical
Chachi:Oh woh hum sunte nahi hai...
Samar & Trehaan and Utkarsh came and got Mihir and R&B
She watched him walk away, as he went up the stairs he looked at her for a few seconds, he had handed her phone back for some reason
She set her plate down on a side table and took it
He hadnt said a word to Chacha or Chachi just bending down politely to touch feet
That too because Ma would have wanted him to do that
Sam smiled when he did that he noticed
Chacha had asked him about his "investment ka kaam"
"Its good" he said shortly
"Hamey bhi batao hum bhi lagaate hain paisa, tell me too I can invest some in your venture too" he offered generously
"U shud just fund your daughter in law's movie dreams" he wanted to say but didnt
He never said much, he just let people assume what they wanted to
"Balcony at 10?" he texted
"For what?" she texted back with a cluless icon
A half smile...
"Can u come down NOW?" she begged with a big tear drop
"U are a warrior" he texted with a sword
She sent back a blush
"Love that pink" he said with a pink petal
"AND everything matches" she texted back with a devil and a equals sign
"I'll conduct an audit" he responded with a ruler, magnifying glass and pencil
She leaned on the wall blushing, trying to hide the smile biting her lower lip
"Is se milo puttar yeh hai Utkarsh ki wife Seema" Chachu intro-ed the wannabe proudly
The gal seemed friendly to II
She giggled and gushed about the "actors" she had met in Mumbai on her last trip
"Bhaisaab ne kaha hai isko launch karenge, ur FIL will has promised to launch her" Chachi said
"Thats great" II said
"U shud see her work, Seema batao isko... mera matlab inko, tell her" Chachi promoted the starlet
Seema gushed about her roles on TV and commercials
"She must not know much since she is a working girl" Chachu said
Ranjan: She is very smart, she has a CPA and an MBA, and Computer Science? Whats ur third beta?"
Ranjan: Yes that...
Chachu: Madrasis bahut padhaate hain apne bachon ko, they educate their kids, even my son Trehaan went to UK for biz mgmt"
Chachi: She may not know since she studied in India?
II: Masters US mein kiya aunty...
Chachu: Bhaisaab she is so educated, auditor hai... business sense to hoga nahi (teasing but taunting too)
II: I can COUNT MONEY. (giggled) Dad ki Accountant ban sakti hoon..(thoughtful)
Unaware of ANY underlying family dynamic II had dealt a huge verbal blow to Chachus.
She was just giving it back to them for judging her unnecessarily
Ranjan's jaw dropped first then he smiled confused and then when it sunk in he was JOYOUS
Chachi stared losing her smug smile for the first time
Bean Counter is a term often used to refer to Accountants
Bad Beat:Losing a hand in which you were a decisive favorite to win before the river card. (a poker term used to denote Mihir's feelings)