He is Raman Bhalla, fondly referred to by his
family as R&B ...is a 6'3"... 30 year old... Paris based, single...
wealthy Punjabi venture capitalist, he's a co investor/partner in a
French company called Argent Graines which translates to Silver Seeds
He returns to India... reluctantly... to
manage his Dad's biz, a chain of automobile dealerships across North
India called Excelsior Automobiles... for M company cars He abandoned
the family over a scandal that rocked it three years ago. To say he
doesn't like his Dad would be an understatement.
She is Ishita Iyer a 27 year old... 5'9" IIM
MBA & CPA , and a MS in IT from the USA single... Delhi based Iyer,
daughter of a bureaucrat...she is a Public Accountant and SW Mgr with
KMPG Inc. signs off her emails with a "II"
Her company will install and support a transaction processing SW called TransPro in Excelsior
BTW she has a broken heart also...
How they meet and fall in love is the story of R&B and II and called Software Symphonies
The priest received the ceremonial tray containing II's muhurtam saree and her mangal sootra, passed it around to Appa and Amma for blessings, (basically to touch and say a prayer) then to Ranjan, and Sam and Manny and then passed it down to a coworker/priest to carry around the entire hall, taking the blessings of older couples, the tray was returned and handed to R&B, the vadyar asked him to stand and receive it, and then II stood in front of him to ceremonially receive it after doing a namaskaram/pray...
Akka, Uma, Anusha and Akka's mother in law went with her to get her changed into the red 9 yards... it takes a while and the pandit had said they had around 40 minutes until the "good time/auspicious time" passes... II returned in 20 minutes... adorned in the red madisar, As she approached the stage, R&B noticed she was wearing something he had seen his Ma wear often, a pair of sparkling gold jhumkas He had to look at it again closely, she was helped up the steps and lead to Appa...
The priest asked her to sit on his lap, as he sat in a chair ... the loud collective chanting began... the priest chanted "Mangalyam tantunahena mama jeevana"
"This is a sacred thread which helps in keeping me alive. I am placing this around your neck so that you can live happily for a hundred years"
He leaned forward holding the ends of the yellow cord in his hand in his hands, he repeated the chant slowly, and softly, sometimes leaning forward to listen in again, The priest repeated it ever so slowly... Appa's tears were already soaking his angavastram, Amma stood by him in rapt attention Manny and Sam waited in the wings...
He was asked to place it around her neck, he gently let the pendants hang and took the end to her back, Amma lifted her braid to make it easy for him, she wore all the garlands from the morning, including the ones from the garland toss... she looked at him with big soulful eyes He met her gaze briefly... paused for a nano second...
THIS IS IT DI... THE THREE MONTH AND X DAY WAIT IS OVER THIS EXACT SECOND YOU WILL BE MARRIED TO RAMAN BHALLA You will from now... AND forever be known as his wife... He gave up his bachelorhood for your sake YOU made him enter the "dark side" He proposed to you AND he followed through He wasnt tricking you, he wasnt fooling around
THIS IS IT II This is where your life with him begins RAKSHASAN!!
She heard a moan, it was hers... yep!! Did he hear it too?... she felt in his eyes he did...
He was asked to knot it one time
Sam tied the second and Manny tied the third one... "securely" "securely" all the Mamis shouted...
On March 8th 2015 at 8:22 AM Ishita Iyer aka II became Raman Bhalla aka R&B's wife The quiet introverted, brooding sexy 6'3" tousled haired wanderer /venture capitalist that returned to India half heartedly to attend the AGM at Excelsior was now married to a smoking hot gorgeous middle class Iyer SW Deployment Manager
The vagabond had been grounded
The traditional, nose ring wearing, Carnatic kriti singing, 5'9" Burberry and jasmine string sporting MBA MS aka ambitious go getter from RK Puram was married to a CMU Summa Cum Laude Ferrari driving, hair lock twirling backpacking, balcony reader.
The Iyer had been swept off her feet
millions of grains of turmeric dipped rice, competed with red rose petals to rain on their heads... from all over the hall People got up from their chairs and approached the stage to toss it over the couple's head. There was not one dry eye in the Bhalla family, even Chachi hugged Manny and cried " Ma kitni khush hoti" she gushed Manny sobbed in her Chachi's shoulder today... she wished Ma was here
Sam hugged Tan, he held her face and said "Its OK, shhh shhh its OK, he wasnt returning to India, and in three months he returned and got married" "What are the odds"
The nadaswaram beats rose to a crescendo... she looked up into his eyes... he was looking at her as well... they shared a quiet moment in the cacophonious madness
Appa cried openly... lifting his angavastarm to wipe his tears, Amma kissed her cheek, Amma congratulated Appa Appa nodded feebly... Hundreds of hands reached to wish congratulations
R&B accepted as many as he could as politely as he could, grains of rice continued to fall long after from his neatly combed hair... Bally walked up to II "Iyer?" "Oh ! sorry" "Bhalla?" "To sab kushal mangal?"
II smiled weakly... He tapped her head, Suman hugged her with tears of joy so did all the Athais and Mamis and Mannis and cousins...
Mihir inserted his hand into the crows "Aapko Bhabhi boloon ya II ya Ishita?"
"Whatever u feel like" she said
He couldnt hear it, he leaned over as R&B 's French partners and Thai partners arrived near the stage, the priests continued to chant, giving the families time to rejoice
"Kya kahoon aapko?" Mihir insisted
"Ishita is fine" she said smiling
Sam hugged both, one in each arm... kissed both kissed Ishita's cheek
"Abhi tum seedhe hamare ghar No Appa's house alright Appa heard that and squirmed
"Uncle she is my brother's wife now" Sam declared boldly
Appa nodded defeatedly
Appa extended his hand to R&B: "You must promise to take good care of her" he choked up "I will Sir" R&B promised politely
The priest, placed a wooden stick of sort to symbolize the bullock cart and how the twin bulls are needed for pulling the "family cart" along
He let II stand up, she stepped on Appa's toes, and stumbled, R&B reached for her elbow and held it
Sam and Vandu winked, half way through their hug and cry
Ranjan came up... "You wore the earrings? betaji? " he asked quivering
"Jee, Dad" she nodded
"So u brought her here?" he asked in awe of Savvy Ii didnt know how to respond
Sam signalled her to get blessings... R&B as if on cue bent down, Ranjan held her shoulders "Hamare mein betiyan pair nahi chhooti (girls do not touch feet to obtain blessings)
He sobbed uncontrollably, he reached for his pocket, since he was wearing a veshti, he didnt have any, waved to Tan, Tan emptied his pocket, he rotated a wad of cash over the couple's head and handed it to help in sheer joy
"Khush raho beta" he said to R&B
"Thanks" R&B said with a smile... Father and son hugged as the new wife looked on
The priest interrupted the first public display of affection...
He asked II to walk to a flat grinding stone, asked R&B to bend down and hold her toe... she blushed as he bent down, to hold her right toe
With her hand in his grip and toe held by him II shuffled forward... slowly ... he lifted her foot and placed it on the edge nad inserted two tubular toe rings silver and thick... followed by the other toe
When he was done, he lifted his head his face was flushed and his hair tousled from bending down She watched him perform finger kangi on himself...
Bala: Ishita stop admiring the husband.. listen to the vadyar kanna (priest)
Everyone on stage laughed
They were led to the holy fire for saat pheras or seven times around the fire ritual, 4 with husband in the lead and 3 with the wife
Later they sat down and after much chanting, the priest lifted a silver tray and handed a small gold container
R&B turned towards II lifted some warm powdery vermilion and using his left hand lifted the ruby studded hair decoration bordering her face and let it fall on her parting, he saw some flecks fall on her nose... her eyelids open fully... her chest pounded... as he leaned toward her in full focus With sure fingers he spread it evenly in whatever parting was visible to him..
"Is this for real? Is this for keeps? Are u sure u are OK doing this? "Are u sure its not my dream? HOW DO U KNOW ITS NOT MY DREAM?"
His French partners took pictures of their friend performing rituals Sam brought a pair of rings and gave it to the priest
He smiled nodding as these days many couple exchange such rings like the West He placed R&B's flat platinum rin on the tray bearing coconut betel leaves and supari and poured holy water with a spoon And handed it to her, she held it in her hand, nervously
Everyone wwatched... as she gently slid it over his ring finger, holding his watch on his left wrist, like she always did in trying to stop him when he kissed her. He picked up her plain gold band and slid hers on her finger
Bala Mihir and Tan whistled
Shravu and Nandu jumped up and down "Chithi is a wife... Chithi is a wife" "Chithi is a wife"
Nandu: why Chithi... shouldnt she be Aunty I?"
Shravu stared curiously and then decided she will be a Chithi only.
Shravu: are u still the boss Chithi? II nodded R&B chuckled
People scattered all over the place abandoning the stage... Amma hugged all and sundry women, Appa wandered with his crush angavastram greeting and nodding people, finally sitting down weakly in a chair on the first row Vandu wakled up to him and kneeled down and lay her head on his lap He cried... she consoled him "Shhh shhh Pa... its OK, she will be 3 kms away u can go see her whenever"
II saw her Appa be sad... her stomach churned
"Appa azharaar" she complained teary eyed to the vadyar
"Ponna pethirkaar, manasu kashta padaada pinna? Tambi irukaana? (Hes had a girl this is the most bitter sweet occasion, do u have a brother?)
"Ille" she said huskily as she shook her head "Sandosham daan dukham ille" (Its happiness not sorrow" he said confidently
When all the ceremonies ended it was close to 11 AM... the couple obtained blessings from all II hadnt eaten since morning... it wasnt allowed...
She sat down as Akka brought her juice, her saree edge was tied to his angavastram HE LET HER HAVE THE WHOLE thing
Begging Sam if she can get him a tee Sam looked at Appa fearfully... "Can he take off the 7 garlands Uncle?"
"Yes yes" Appa nodded... He took them off and placed them in a chair by II... one garland slipped the open ended one from the toss... She bent to retrieve it before it touched the ground he did too
Amma watched it from a distance and smiled "Krishna" she muttered folding hands in prayer Tan handed her the baby... in a little pink and purple pattu pavadai and clip on jhumkas and two fountains adorned with jasmine strings the lil angel looked good enough to eat
"Say Mami" he coached Lasya
"No not Mammi... Tan" "Manni" (Iyers say Manni also)
R&B was talking with his French and Thai side kicks HIS JOB WAS DONE HE HAD NOTHING TO FEAR
Mr Iyer was far away talking with Mr Gopalan throwing longing looks at his dear kozhandai
Sam: tan nahi Jeeju" (winking) II: sorry Jeeju
Her friends squealed and gushed around her...
II: Akka can I go sit in the room
Akka giggled, waved to Sam "Lekar jao bhai" Akka winked
II: i know where the room is Akka is joking
Sam: She meant TO R&B's room NOT TO BRIDE, ab bride se wife ho gayi tum
AYYO!! TO HIS ROOM? WHY? WHY? WHY NOW?
II: Ammaaa(she waved furiously) Amma appeared
II: akka solra I have to go rest in THEIR room?
PLEASE TELL AKKA SHE IS WRONG I MEAN I CANT GO TO THE DUDE'S ROOM "NOW"
Amma laughed heartily "Shes right kanna, go relax in HIS ROOM"
Her friends giggled and nudged and winked Manny brought the dude a peach color Lacoste tee, he wore it on top of his veshti, smudging the teekas on his forehead
"Can u find my charger?" HE ASKED II, shaking his phone for battery juice AS SHE WAS BEING LED UP TO HIS ROOM RAKSHASAN... I HAVE BEEN MARRIED LESS THAN 30 MINS DA NOW THE WHOLE FAMILY IS GOING TO SKEWER ME POCHU DA! (GONE)
Vandu, Manny, Sam Tan, Mihir... they all started to laugh at that proprietorial tone.