"Is everything OK?" "I want u to tell me what wud u like to drink first" Tan asked smiling
"The usual betaji, Scotch" he smiled
Tan brought their drinks over and sat by him
"Mummy Papa theek?"
"Haan aaj subah yoga ke baad Papa pulled his hamstring... hes in a lot of pain" Tan rolled his eyes "U know... how it is... I mean... the physical therapist is here now"
Wealthy people, expensive ailments...
"U are a good caregiver" Ranjan said proudly
Tan smiled shyly... "Sam ko kahiye, maanti hi nahi"
"Shes lucky she knows that" Ranjan said confidently
"Shes amazing Dad" Tan said softly
"Ma ekdum se chhodke gayi... she left this house and never returned" Ranjan darted his tongue out, moistened his lips, pursed it fighting tears, but the tears came anyway
"she is Ma to Manny and R&B" Ranjan said
"She tries to be" Tan chuckled, trying to joke
"Manny to khoyi jahaj hai" Ranjan said softly... "Kabhi is kinaare kabhi us" (one shore to another, like a lost ship)
"Hmmm" Tan agreed sadly
"Mujhe kehti hai... Ma chali gayi why shud I be married?" Ranjan cried openly
"Tch tch tch tch" Tan squirmed
"Ma chali gayi... but we are all alive na?" he asked
"Jee bilkul" Tan nodded
"Har insaan ne jeena chho ditta?" (Has every one given up on life?)
He drank it all quickly... lighting a fire down his throat
Tan watched alarmed
"He (R&B) found his beacon" Ranjan said preoccupied
Tan realized he meant II he smiled
"Bolna shuru karti hai band nahi hoti" Ranjan chuckled
Tan laughed out loud...
"Uski sitti pitti gum... usne apne 30 saal mein inni gallan nahi ki jinni gall woh ek dinich kar le" (He hasnt spoken so much in 30 years as much as she does in a day) Ranjan laughed, his tears drying up fast
Tan laughed until his eyes teared up
"she is sharp as a needle, kaam mein par ghar par chup honey ka naam nahi leti" Ranjan smiled
"U are right.. Sam says that too.. Lasya talks all day... I doubt she would if II hadnt joined the family"
"Naa jee naa... bikul vi nahi," Nope! Ranjan agreed
Kuch galat kar de to "Ayyo" ya phir "Wendaa?" ya "har line ke end mein DA" Ranjan said curiously
"Da , yaar hai?"
"Hmmm" he nodded satisfied
"Aap le lo puttar jee khatam karo" Ranjan came back to his worry
"U have to tell me whats going on first" Tan demanded
"AGM is the week after this... Harish aata rehta hai, usko chahiye share... before he offers to buy I want to make sure I have a buyer" Ranjan said
Tan stared at Ranjan... wondering whats going on in his mind
"Apna khoon hai" Ranjan mumbled... "Hmmm... uske bete" he paused... "Adarsh honey chahiye... kya kehte hain asoool... haan" Ranjan didnt explicitly say Chachu's sons lacked it but vaguely rambled, hinting as much
Tan nodded caringly
"Apne aap ko le lo... 10 call center... 1000 aadmi... din raat kaam" Ranjan muttered... praising... as he admired his daughter's husband
"Abhi chhote hain Dad" Tan said gently, unwilling to poison his father in law's mind... unwilling to squander away the deep trust he so firmly held in his hands Trust Ranjan had given to him eyes closed
" Tumne 22 saal mein apna consulting shuru kiya, phir call center, usne (R&B) 22 mein APNI COMPANY" Ranjan said
"Being disappointed with the boys is no reason to be hasty Dad" Tan said mildly
"I cannot ask him what I have asked u" (R&B) Ranjan said
Tan lowered his head, in shame... he was unwillingly playing the part of a son, he did not feel happy about it
"Bhalla to hai par hai ajnabee" Ranjan choked up, talking about his son
Tan had no words of comfort
"Jadon mannat poori hogi nahi tey phir binati kewen kariye?" Ranjan asked (When my prayers wont be answered by R&B why shud I hope?)
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers (Garth Brooks: Unanswered Prayers)