6 years ago
Of Likes & Parallels
"First tell me if its Monday or Wed" II ordered
Shravu: I TOLD YOU! Something is wrong Uncle R
He stepped back from the bed but couldnt stop giving II curious looks
Chithi was covered up to her chin, her hair was all open and tousled, there was blood in her parting
Shravu:She even has blood on her head, someone cracked open her skull SEE!!
II: Peedai... thats not blood da! (shrieking)
During nalangu he had used sindoor "generously" she had no idea how many times she showered except that one time when he soaped her body.. and not hair
Shravu: What is wrong with Chithi
R&B: She is just woozy from sleeping too much
Shravu: Amma never sleeps too much!!
Shravu: I got a gift for the wedding!!
II: From who? (her antenaae shot up)
Shravu: Ranjan Thatha..
II blushed gloriously, her chest pounding... Bhallas were family now... ayyo!!
Eyes closed she interviewed him "What did u get"
Shravu: Get up chithi I am not telling (irritated)
II: Five more minutes?
Shravu: I am making Uncle R my favorite then'
She sprung up...
II: please take him downstairs...
R&B leaned texting...
II: Kanna u go down I will see u in 20 minutes, tell paati chithi is the shower
Shravu:Uncle R says u must never lie
II: Well Uncle R STEALS!!
Shravu looked at the dude in awe... "Hes a robber?"
II: Umm... ya..(husky)
He stopped texting to look at her...
Bringing back a amalgam of memories from the last three days... the unmistakable glint in the eyes, the powerful grip... the fights over shaving
the flirting, the games of "revenge"
II: Give me 20 minutes kanna (begging)
She was sure she had a heart condition.. just didnt know what it was could be..."Erotic asphyxation"? Cant be biblio since it was happening for real?
Shravu ran out of the room from Chithi's craziness
II: I dont have clothes, how can I go down?
R&B: Sam says your clothes are in the closet...
II jumped up on bed kneeling down "Enge ta" "I checked ur closet u have that 44 pairs of cargos only, and 20 tees... besides those suits... where are my clothes"
He showed her the texts he exchanged a second ago "Her clothes are in the other closet West of yours...
"Ayyo said II sinking back into bed... "I was in bed because I didnt know where my clothes were?"
"THAT and" he began
"SHUT UP SHUT UP, U DONT SAY A WORD TO ME... U ARE OFFICIALLY BANNED FROM THIS ROOM" She hissed getting off the bed
"Dont u dare come in here ever... I have no idea what I will say to Appa" II was ashamed "is it really Wed?" she sobbed
He was furious at her feelings for Appa... but did not show it... "Ive been out of touch for three days?" "I was so knocked out" she whispered
"It is Wednesday" he said calmly
He walked over to the West closet and opened the door... the walls were lined with the 51 outfits/sarees from Bhallas
She clamped a hand over her mouth "I only picked 5 or 6 that day" "This is too much"
"Shes downstairs u could tell her" he said bluntly... She stood embarrassed clenching tangling and unclenching her fingers like she was caught stealing
"Its a lot" she whispered
He was unfazed... they exchanged a long stare...
From her bruised face to her fat anklets she looked picture perfect... like someone that was "loved" swollen deliciously and eyes sparkling, her entire body glowed
differently he thought
"I am heading down" he said unapologetic...
She showered slowly... didnt wash her hair as it would take too long... she wanted to save whatever was left of the "original sindoor" in her parting.
The hot water stung all over... she reduced the heat... he had quit shaving since Sunday, to her chagrin
She had scolded and abused him but there was no effect
She had refused to "give in" and that worked out "great".
There was tons of make up, art jewelry and clothes in her closet... ermmm including a bunch of night clothes & lingerie as if Sam had meticulously planned everything in consultation with Vandu
Applied his lotion generously all over... her yellow cord was still sparkling new, she loved that... she liked the look of it the first month or two on new brides there was a "glow" to it
She picked an outfit Sam chose for her, in peach/orange chiffon, with heavy embroidery Ritu Kumar? she didnt remember, the long gauzy sleeves were devoid of work
And the back, it had a chudidaar in the most soft luscious material... the dupatta had a pattern across... hand crafted and detailed with pearls and precious stones
May have been more expensive than her most expensive saree?
She braided her hair simply
She wore a big oval red bindi to please Amma.. and a dash of sindoor in her parting... only khol in her eyes... changed into emerald jhumkas, Appa's 60th Birthday gift to her and Akka,
he had cashed out an FD for Periappa's renal surgery despite her strong protest...
She stood still for a few minutes staring at her reflection, reality struck her... she was so out of place...
It was over 40 minutes when she went down, great aunt was there but no chachi
Amma stood up pleased... "Ishita kanna" she cheered
Appa turned to look from what Ranjan was showing him in the front patio... his eyes lit up like neon signs
Vandu and Sam were inside, Bala, Tan and R&B were in a far corner laughing about something
II ran up to hug Amma... her throat clogged up "Amma I am sorry I very sorry ma enakku teriyave ille it was Wed I slept"
Amma hugged her tight "U were not with a stranger, he syour husband what is there to be sorry about?" she hugged her tighter
Appa approached her... "Epdi irukel?" (how are u) she she tap danced at the spot she stood at, suddenly very uncomfortable hugging him?
"Good good kanna very good" Appa said nodding, though not smiling
"Umm eppo vandel?" (when did u arrive?)
"An hour ago?" Appa acted vague to put her out of her misery
"I am sorry Pa" she said softly
Appa nodded "U shud be?" look? "I dont approve of such behavior?"
"I dont know how" II said totally embarrassed
She talked about Periappa for 20 minutes desperate to see him once...
Ranjan finsihed up his call and walked over "Hello betaaaji, how are u?"
"Good Dad... good" "very well" she fidgeted
Amma observed her otherwise talkative daughter, there was a strange composure to her this morning... a contentment? A glow...
Appa and her exchanged a look Amma 's eye shad a "Thank you thank you Thank you God... ermmm R&B my daughter looks positively divine and content"
Appa had a "HOW COULD HE" look "My pure innocent daughter has been tainted for ever... AND SHE LOOKS HAPPY?"
Ranjan: Have u had breakfast? ermmm mera matlab... have u eaten (trying his best not to insinuate she woke after Noon)
II: Ummm no... I will abhi, have u had breakfast?
Ranjan TEASED "Ofcourse betaji I am not married to an insomniac we sleep at night and eat in the morning
II squirmed blushing furiously... "Ermmm I ... uh... Dad... I will go get coffee?"
Ranjan nodded proud II was beginning to feel "like she belonged"
Walking into the Bhalla home like she knew where everything was...
Bala and R&B approached the group...
Appa: do u have to work when u go to Paris
R&B: I am afraid so...(softly) Not much...
Appa really didnt have much to say... he didnt like the dude any more than that evening he came proposing to his daughter... she was married to him and LOOKED LIKE SHE WANTED TO BE
Amma: She sleeps a lot (apologetic)
R&B: thats fine... there is help (smiling)
Amma:If u dont wake her on weekends she will continue sleeping until Noon,
one time Vandu let her when she went to Munirka and she didnt wake up until 1:20 or something" (Amma shook her head in disbelief)
R&B didnt say "Well theres no possibility of that happening on my floor... I wake her usually every 4? 6? hours"
Amma: She looks very happy...
Appa had WHERE DID U GET THAT IMPRESSION? look
Vandu Sam and II returned bearing trays... II looked flustered and angry
Sam and Vandu looked like they had laughed their stomachs out...
"Appa lets eat" II invited
The help had laid the table... Ranjan's chef had cooked the most delicious "no onion garlic UP feast" today
The three women served while the men and Amma and Great Aunt ate
GA: Mooh dikhayi is tomorrow just before the reception so u guys are invited at 4?
Vandu was serving subzi... she began to serve for R&B "Umm ka he wont eat bhindi" she said softly in a whisper
OMG!!!! THREE DAYS AND YOU KNOW ALL THIS? 2.5 DAYS?" Akka screeched like a hyena
Amma looked startled "What happened
"amma she is saying DONT serve him bhindi, he wont eat sonna" Vandu laughed
R&B enjoyed every second of her discomfort... Ranjan looked in awe ...
There was someone now that knew who liked what... Sam appeared with dal...
Vandu: Madam asked me not to serve bhindi to R&B
Tan: Sam do u know what I dont like
Sam laughed hard
II left the bowl on the dining table and attempted to go in
Appa squirmed not enjoying the dude being his daughter's fave...
Amma smiled "She is very possessive of the people she loves she wont forget anything and she wont let u forget also SHE DEMANDS TO BE LOVED" Amma laughed uncontrollably
Vandu: vaal ma adu (she is so naughty)
Bala: she will hands on her hips, and sak "How come you brought something for everybody and nothing for me" when I return from Chennai
R&B looked at his wife... intensely...
Vandu: And if Bala says he will visit and forgets, she will show up at Munirka at 10:30 and ask him "Varen sonnele yenn valle?" (u said u will visit why didnt u?)
Amma: She loves people and demands love at gun point (giggling)
Appa:Thats why she is the life of D II (blunt)
Ranjan: She will be now the life of Malcha Marg
"Do u want more raita?" she asked R&B...
He shook his head
"More paneer?" she asked softly
"Why dont u begin eating?" he asked
Amma watched the quiet interaction in the far corner...
"After u guys eat" II said
"Not hungry?" he asked
"Sleepy I bet" he chuckled without smiling
" Pigg" she hissed huskily
Vandu:Hey stop pampering the husband and serve paneer to Naniji
"Umm.. sorry... sure"
Tan: Bachon ne khaya?
Vandu: They wanted pasta... so Mahavir is making pasta for them.. they ate a week of Desi..
Tan: Bahar leke chalte hain yaar dono ko they were so good, they didnt break anything didnt set the hall on fire,
Sam: Bus karo tareef tan... they opened the hose on the poor guard...
Tan was angry "WHEN?"
Sam: The wedding morning at 10 ish...
Tan: Ground them
Sam: vandu even smacked Shravu it was Nandu's fault
Vandu: No excuses Sam
amma watched the easy camaraderie between the two how both were good parents, how they were all similar, before she could rejoice for too long...
Amma:Where is Manya? (curious)
Sam:Umm aunty she stayed with Vik at the hotel (casually)
Appa stopped eating for a second...
Amma realized how they can never be similar...
things were too different, the daughter of the house missing from greeting the brother's in laws? UNHEARD of in Iyers.
No parallels there...
Chacha's family was missing tho they lived 10 minutes away... Ranjan and Sam were the true family to R&B...
Amma worried how her daughter will fit into this "progressive family"
Ranjan: I want to eat idli sambar she makes
Amma: She cooks well I probably sound like I am exaggerating... but she cooks well,
Vandu is an excellent cook restaurant style... Ishita sings like a professional singer
They both have their strengths. Ishita makes good Punjabi food... Vandu is interested in cooking, she bakes and tries new cuisine
Appa:Ishita is focussed on her career, she will be a Director soon, Vandita is HOD, both are ambitious
Amma:Yes she cannot think beyond her work... she works too hard...
she doesnt take a break... her light will be on many times after 1 or 2, the nurse will tell us"
Ranjan: How is your brother doing now
Appa squirmed "Ummm OK"
Ranjan: Oh! yes yes.. (he nodded understanding Appa's discomfort)
Periappa was in the hospital on Monday all day they hadnt told II as it was her first day as a married woman,
the sounds on Sunday had bothered him and his BP had shot up, remained in drips all day at Max
"This is too oily" he muttered at the baingan...
"I think it looks great"
"Tastes OK he muttered
She reached for his spoon and took a bite... "I love it Dad has the best cook"
"I dont eat much vegetarian he cooks" R&B said
"I will order him to make vegetarian only from now" she challenged baiting him
"Try it" he goaded
He let her eat the bowl of his subzi... "I wont eat any dessert II" he said softly
"Rasmalai bhi nahi?" she asked
"I will have mine" she said smiling...
"U can have mine" he said graciously
Vandu:SEE THEY BOTH CANT STOP TALKING
Sam: Two days and my bro speaks way more
II: Ofcourse not! I have to pull the words out of him ( grumbling)
Tan: Thats his nature... he has better things to do
Nanny brought Lasya II banadoned them... when they were all done...
"Umm can I take Akka up to show her?" she asked him
R&B:I see u founnd some clothes (mocking)
PIG!" she hissed
R&B: I usually dont charge family so ummm... ya... (he tried to joke about II's hesitation about feeling at home but was resentful of it nevertheless)
II: I wanted to ask...
R&B: Quit provoking me around family
They stood in the patio, he drank BEER... with his food and the rest now...
Appa just hated that... II didnt care...
R&B: Will u bring my ipad?
II: No...(she sulked but stood in front) think of another revenge plan da
R&B: I had no idea your clothes were in the closet
II: U are a stinkin liar... Akka said she sent my suitcases home on SUNDAY (hissing)
R&B: I asked you to call her (defensive)
II:Kya kehti main I am in bed naked where are my clothes? (her husky voice quivered)
R&B: Thats a start...
II:U have no idea how Akka and Sam teased me...
He hid a smile
II: I almost died in there, tumhe koi faraq nahi padta Appa is angry too
R&B: Coz u were in your husband's house for three days?
They glared angrily...
Ranjan: Beta can u give me more rasmalai?
Appa: Ishita we parked your car outside kanna here are ur keys
II smiled taking it
Her husband sipped his beer wandering and chatting with Tan
Ranjan: I will ask a driver to park it inside
II:Ummm its OK
Ranjan Arey... its not OK ghar ki gaadi andar hoti hai betaji
(family's car should be inside) Mr Iyer your cars should be too I will ask Bala
Appa didnt care for extra intimacy
Amma didnt know how to decline such kindness
Amma took a ball of jasmine string out of her bag... "Can I put flowers in her hair?" she asked Sam
Sam: SURE AUNTY... WHY ARE U ASKING?
Amma: U know its not a Punjabi tradition
Sam: Aunty our bahu is Iyer so its right
Amma smiled "Can I have scissors?"
The help brought one... Amma layered a long string and pinned it
Appa: Mr Gurumurthy's Vedic CDs volume 7-10 is in your trunk kanna drop it off when u go to Gurgaon.. Hamilton Court..
Amma put flowers in Sam's hair and Vandita's
She walked up to Tan to give him more rasmalai... the scent of jasmine wafted to his nostrils
Her mangal sootra was tucked in today... "Amma said it should always be hidden" she declared one night after love making
"Only u can see it"
Appa: Can u come for breakfast tomorrow? its a tradition...
R&B nodded hesitantly...
Amma:What would u like to eat
BACON OR CHICKEN Appa thought
R&B: Anything is fine Mrs Iyer...
Amma: ishita loves pongal the namkeen kind with vadas... will that be OK? I can make upma or something also
R&B nodded unfamiliar with everything
II: What time Ma
II squirmed... I dont know when he will let me sleep.. how many times he will wake me... my nights are hosed
I CANT SAY ANYTHING TO ANY ONE...
II: Umm kandippa (sure) Amma I might be late (softly in a whisper in Amma's ear)
amma smiled "I know kanna its OK:
II:Amma... I dont like to break your rules or Appa's rules aana ivan toonga vida maatengran (he wont let me sleep)(breathless) "He keeps TALKING"
II LIED GOOD JOB II!
THE LIES ARE BACK
Amma watched her daughter's face bloom like a crimson rose
Amma: Yes yes talking increases understanding
Appa gave his son in law blank looks... the son in law didnt mind it at all
Akka and her walked up the steps to 2nd floor...
"Appa was almost ready to call the cops"
She was again laughing uncontrollably
"I had NO clothes, I was in bed for three days" II stopped on a step and told Akka the truth finally
In the kitchen she just squirmed and tolerated Sam and Vandu now she spilled the beans
Akka sat on the step and laughed holding her stomach
"U say that to Athim or ANYBODY I will KILL U... I dont care if I dont get that niece I WILL KILL YOU" Ii was blushing and aggressive
"I will raise Shravu, hes mine... yaar kittayanum sonney... I will kill you" "NOT A WORD KA"
"OMGGG!! Naked and in his bed for three days?" Akka gasped and choked
"I told u he is a Rakshasan" II sat on the step. by her "He pretended he didnt know where my clothes were and..."
"And?" Akka asked innocently
"SHUT UP... SHUT UP"
"Was he good?"
"I dont want to talk about it" "I dont" II shook her head trembling holding the rail
She couldnt wait to pour her heart out after Subbu encounter now she wanted to keep her experience private
Akka looked at her sister fondly... it was no longer the Ishita filled with longing... this Ishita was soaked in love...