Sam: Where is the bride?
Vandu: Jaipur (worried)
Vandu:No idea yaar, I am just calling Amma
R&B wandered back casually the help brought out spinach artichoke dip and stuffed mushrooms for appetizers
Sam hugged R&B, USKO kidhar bhej diya Tujhse to roz milti hoon" (unhappy)
R&B: Jaipur (inscrutable)
Tanmay:To tu bhi chala jaata, dude one last hurrah before the wedding
R&B smiled his half smile
Vandu was on the phone outside pacing the patio, even the guard Hari Prasad (Haj vs Hedge) wondered where the "lambi madam" is
Ranjan returned from work and was happy to see the house full, he even refused his favorite Scotch and went for non -alc instead
Vandu retruned "Ghodi, she wnt to Baldev's wife's brother's at Jaipur" (still baffled)
R&B opened a bottle of Sam Adams... and sipped, leaned on a empty wall after cheking if his tall frame was unseating any art from it... one hand in pocket
Did "cheers" to Tan after he got served a shot of something he wanted... Bala opted for beer listening seriously to what Tanmay was saying about Banking policy
The "will talk only when necessary" dude just listened
The nanny took the baby upstairs...
"Your sister is his exact opposite, yeh BALDEV ke ghar nahi jaayega" Sam laughed hysterically
"I am suspecting he wont come to MY house" Vandu giggled
"Waha kya hai?"Sam asked STILL CURIOUS
"Who knows, Amma gave me Bally's number abhi usko karti hoon, tum logon ko running commentary dene aayi" Vandu giggled
Bala: Arey she must have wanted her feedom...
Vandu: Woh baat to theek hai par usne MUJHE bhi nahi bola
Vandu:Samjhi... hafta hua hai engagement ko aur Didi ko bhool gayi Sam
Sam: Isne mujhe kabhi yaad nahi kiya atleast she was with u for 27 years, I had to threaten him with
money laundering schemes at Zurich warna yeh Lasya ke liye laut ta bhi nahi
Sam: oh ya... I told him I will call Interpol and pin something on him if he doesnt get home
Tanmay: isne hum sabka kaafi naak mein dum kiya hai
Vandu looked at R&B pensively
Sam: Either its a"Welcome to the worriers club Ishita OR Meet the new R&B everyone"
Vandu: Itney khatarnaak ho?
R&B shrugged sipping
Bala: Arey hes fine... you women...
Sam: Bala he can drive people murderous
Vandu: mujhe yeh pehle kyon nahi kaha? (Winking)
Sam: Arey, the deal is sealed now
Vandu waved cheerfully and went to the patio again dialling Bally... chatted for a few and returned...
Sam: AB kya news hai? (giggling)
Vandu: she was sleeping in the back (laughing) why am I not surprised? (AKKA HAS NO IDEA SHE HAS A COLD AND IS SO CONGESTED)
Sam: Oh! they havent reached?
Vandu: No... they are half way kaha Baly ne... he said "Ab Iyer mere paas hai Monday ko le lena apna maal"
R&B's jaw clenched..
Vandu: BTW chhupa rustam Amma ne kaha TUMSE baat karke gayi hai woh, R&B
R&B: i never said I didnt know (softly)
Sam: Dekha KITNA irritate karta hai yeh banda, jerk!!
Tanmay shook his head knowingly "Yaar is ghar mein real khaana milega ya nahi?
R&B smiled... letting go of his wall support, standing staright... walking towards the dudes as they went out to the patio
Vandu and Sam settled down comfortably on a couch, and began talking about the wedding...
Ranjan joined them in half hour... Mihir arrived too
It was a great evening of food laughter and casual ribbing of everyone by every one
Except R&B and Ranjan avoided each other , or lets say R&B avoided Ranjan...
politely nodding or answering whatever was asked but not saying much
Ranjan: The lady of the house is missing
Sam: Dad woh Jaipur gayi hai
Ranjan: He should have invited Vandita next week
Vandu smiled "Uncle he didnt know Amma said she called him this morning and he said its OK go have fun"
Ranjan: he is a free spirit, he will never tie her down, she will get as much independence and freedom as she does now
Vandu: Abhi usko kuch khaas milta nahi hai Appa is very strict
Ranjan: We care for the daughters' safety but they should do what they want for their happiness (happy and clear)
Vandu stared at Ranjan wondering HOW two people belonging to the same age demographic could be so different from each other...
Appa was so controlling and demanding...
Shravu's first tennis lesson was at DLTA at 9 on Saturday morning so the Iyers had to leave by 10:00 ish...
Sam returned too since Nandu was irritable after Shravu left.
The dude went up threw clothes into his tote bag, and stepped down, R&B saw him walk towards the front door
"Are u going somewhere ... beta?"
"U should take a guard with you"
"Umm I ll be fine" polite but curt
"No I insist.." (texting) (Mahipal lives in Munirka gaon, he can get here in 15 minutes take the Land Cruiser" (firm)
"Its not a big deal" R&B said patiently as began to lose it..
"I have texted him, hes on his way" Ranjan said and looked at his son expectantly hoping he would sit down and talk
R&B went upstairs... in 20 or so minutes Mahipal arrived... and the guard intercommed him
"Jaipur chalenge please?" he said leaning back as the driver pulled out of the gate
R&B sat in the passenger seat of his Ma's gleaming white Toyota Land Cruiser, he never rode in the back when he was driven
"Its a courtesy. You should never act like you are entitled to be driven beta" Ma would say..
When Sam or Manny rode with her, she would be in the passenger seat and the daughter in the back
Bhallas didnt demand loyalty they got it effortlessly... the guards at the gate were 3rd generation so were the help inside the house and the drivers
stuffing his earphone into his left year after he hit shuffle on this week's Billboard...
"NH8 sir? Mahipal asked turning into Nyaya Marg (or backroads, drivers ALWAYS were coached to ask for route choice, since he didnt have himself driven much he didnt expect the question)
He pulled his ear phone out, the driver repeated the Q... R&B nodded and smiled
Ranjan watched the giant SUV pull out of the gate and the guards shut it softly...
and went back to their shed outside the gate... one was posted inside... he stood up reverentially as Ranjan wandered...