Posted: 6 years ago
Camphor & Fire

(Its for all R&B and ranjan lovers, aka ANUEmbarrassed)

He leaned on the doorway leading to the balcony to avoid the smoke a bit, Samyukta Amma, and Kamakshi Athai sat in a corner with Lasya, Tan, Mukund, Anna and Lakshmi's husband Venkat stood by the front doorway.

The living dining area could hold 30-40 people seated and there were more, many neighbors and coworkers of Appa and Bala
Natesan Mama and mami arrived around 10:30. Bala Mami, Uma Mami and Rohini Mami... came in like Charlie's Angels, dressed in a similar shade he noticed

The photographer and videographer couldnt keep up...

He took 100s of pictures of Lasya and baldie

He frequently stopped to reset settings on the still and video camera, once he struggled R&B gently offered to do it for him

He explained a couple things the guy smile gratified

Appa watched from his perch near the dining table

Amma frequently got up to ask the cook if he needed anything and ask Tan and Bala if they needed anything, she brought bottles of water for her son in law

"Ishita's room has AC, do u want to be there?" she asked

"No Mrs Iyer I am quite OK" he smiled

"Uve been standing over an hour" Amma was ashamed

"I trek and hike" he smiled, he didnt say he hiked 30 miles some days

"But standing for an hour, u will get tired" Mrs Iyer was sure

"I am fine.. trust me" he smiled reassuringly

"ishita will be angry if I dont take good care of you" Amma teased him gently

His heart skipped a beat, as he imagined his wife throwing a fit because he was not pampered

"Polaam da" (lets go) her soft moan everytime she had "Enough" of something

"She wont sit still but she wants everyone else to have a good time" Amma smiled

He smiled agreeing with Amma, realizing Mrs Iyer wanted to open up with him? for him? inorder to make him feel better?
or make herself feel better? because she was missing ehr daughter so much

"Have u taken the day off?" Amma asked politely

"I work when I can" he smiled reassuringly, not making a big deal about being here during work hours on a Tuesday

"She always says u always work when u are at home... or read" Amma smiled

"I read at nights" he smiled

"Well she doesnt want you to" Amma whispered

"Thanks" he nodded, as if he will follow her advice

"After she returned from work I would just sit with her, everyday she would have 2 or
3 hours of work stories" Amma laughed "Nobody in either families talks so much" Amma was very embarrassed

"Nobody on EARTH talks so much Mrs Iyer" he wanted to say, but didnt

"Nobody believes when they hear, you are such a quiet man" Amma grinned "Like opposites attract"

The priest wanted camphor, as he had run out, so Amma turned to walk away
"Like camphor and fire" R&B thought to himself...

R&B stood hands tucked in his pocket, watching baldie, sleep squirm or swim on Vandita's lap
Vandita placed a jasmine flower on his bald head, applied holy ash from the fire moistened with ghee.
She placed honey, and holy water on his lip as she followed the priest's instructions

Bala occasionally tried to make conversation, she nodded or some times didnt respond

Her eyes continued to scan the room and look at the doorway R&B noticed

Shravu Nandu ran in with Lakshmi Venkat's 13 year old and NOIDA cousin's daughters, and other kids

"Will u help us set up the PS3 Uncle R?" Nandu begged

"I am not sure, if u are all allowed to be inside (in Amma Appa's bedroom)" R&B bend down and whispered

"No no.. Uncle R, Janaki Athai/Paati said we could all be in there since terrace is getting hot" Shravu declared confidently

He wasnt sure, he hadnt seen Shravu even talk to her in the over hour he stood by the balcony door

"Must be like II" "Has the gift of gab" R&B half smiled to himself

"Can I check with her first?" he asked Shravu
"WHY do u want to do that?" he demanded arms on his hips belligerent, JUST LIKE II

"Umm well.. u said she allowed it didnt she?" he bit his lower lip hiding a smile

"U want the world to know you dont trust me?" Shravu asked

He threw his head back and laughed, long and hard

"That would be bad I agree" he nodded mock sincerely

"So lets GO DUDE" the two boys pulled one arm each

Appa walked over with a "Hmpphhh" look on his face

"What is the problem?"

"They want me to go set up the PS3" he explained

Amma had unhooked it all last night so the kids wont get into a fight playing

"WHY did u all come down?" Appa demanded

"It was too hot in the terrace" R&B explained almost enjoying Mr Iyer's frustration

"Umm... oh... apdeenna ellarum variseya summa okkarungo.
Chandru (cook's helper) fanta vangindu vandrikan ellarum kudingo pongo" (all of u sit in a row quietly and drink the fanta the help has brought)
Appa tried to quieten them in his own weak way like THAT was going to take an hour, drinking a glass of Fanta

"Thatha we are bored, we are hot, we dont want to sit here in the smoke we want to play, or let us go back to the terrace.
 We were playing hide and seek behind the sofas" Nandu yelled

appa was taken aback that the lil twit was addressing him as Thatha too,
Appa didnt think of Bhallas as family, much in his thoughts when the Batra kid called him Thatha he was truly surprised

He smiled quickly and then turned stern again... "I say one thing and u say a paragraph" he muttered

"Well Ishita Chithi said u must always say EVERYTHING" Nandu explained

"Ofcourse she did" R&B chuckled

Appa glared at R&B, unhappy that the tall man knew his daughter as much as HE did
Ayyo!! Why cant "I" be the whole and sole for my daughter?
This Punjabi man will soon know more about her than I do?
Appa was trying his best to plug the breach with both hands held against the crack,
but to him it seemed like the Iyer river was going to merge with the Bhalla faster than he had ever feared

"How come you came and Chithi didnt?" Nandu asked

"Umm.. she ha d to work bud" R&B explained

"Shudnt u be working too?" Shravu asked

"I dont like to" R&B explained

"Poor Chithi" nandu declared
"agreed" R&B nodded

"Rascal" "U make my daughter work and u stand in her house anda dmit it?" Appa glared at R&B

"Because u need the money and someone has to work?" Nandu repeated something he had heard frequently

"True" R&B bit his lower lip

"Huh" Nandu stared at the door somberly, realizing the theory he had heard was after all true

"I have fun and she works" he explained

"Go to Chithi's room and play" Appa ordered. (He looked at R&B like "Onna vechukaren iru" (Tumhe to main baad mein dekh loonga))

"Thats dumb" "D-U-M" Dum" a lil 7 year old girl shouted in a orange and green Kanjeevaram lehanga

R&B couldnt help smile again

"Dumb is DUMB" "YOU are dumb" Shravu informed the lil one

"No its not" she yelled
"shhh" R&B ordered

They quietened
R&B went down on his knees to comfort the lil cutie...he was taller than her even when on his knees

"Neenga yen ivlav tall aa irukkel? ("Why are u so talll?)

"Just like u are so pretty" he explained

The lil cheeks turned red as she blushed

"Whats ur name?" he asked

"Subhashree" she said proudly

He smiled nodding

"U are tall" she repeated

"Its called genetics" Shravu said smugly, "Ranjan thatha is TALL"

Appa got his secong "blow" and the morning wasnt even over yet

First Nandu addressed him as Thatha and now his very own grandson, picked up the title and
handed it to the Punjabi infidels by addressing Ranjan as Thatha

"Rough world" Appa almost shook his head

"How about we go for a ride and get something to drink?" held the lil girl's hands in his and asked

"Coool Uncle R In the Ferrari? YESSS Suck it PS 3" Nandu yelled

Tan shushed them

R&B nodded

"Buddy buckle in the back and we can leave?" he extracted a promise

"there is 13 of us Uncle R" Nandu said worried

"Thats fine" he smiled

He gestured a key to Tan, Tan threw his key to him


"Shhhshhh" Tan was really irritated now "One more word, u go back home"

R&B returned the key...

"how about we take Nanaji's  Mercedes and the Ferrari and take turns?" he asked Nandu

Ranjan usually took his new Merc to work the kids didnt get to ride it much

Nandu didnt... and ofcourse none of the Iyer kids ever rode either cars, except Shravu

Ranjanw as in the staircase landing taking a call

He paused by his Dad

"Did u drive here?" he asked

Ranjan smiled joyously, not expecting his son to even talk to him casually

"No betaji Dhyan did" he admitted

"I am taking the kids for a spin" he said

"Zaroor lekar jao" he nodded happily

He bend down near Subhashree as she held her
 lehanga in one hand and the rail in the other exposing her fat anklets and bare feet

He went down characteristically on his knees just like his son

"Aur aapka kya naam hai gudiya?" he asked

"Subhashree" she said boldly, like his DIL, meeting his eyes

"arey wah, naam to vaddiya hai aap inne chhote ho?" he questioned

"What is your name?" she asked

"Ranjan" he said laughing

"U are so tall but ur name is short" she dismissed

Ranjan laughed uncontrollably

"Wear your chappal puttar" he said,
"Oh!" she smiled sheepishly, and run up the stairs and fished out two dainty sandals in pink from the 100s strewn by the rangoli
And sat down, he hung up on his call sat by her on the step and helped her buckled it.Hug

"thanks Thatha" she rewarded Ranjan, running away quickly to hold R&B's hand
12 troopers followed R&B faithfully, Subhashree walked with him...Embarrassed
Posted: 6 years ago
Congrats on thread 42 Star
Posted: 6 years ago
Thread 42, only 8 more till half century 
Thanks for the update , now I can sleep peacefully 

Posted: 6 years ago
beautiful update nisha appa is so jealous of the dude and i so love it.
i loved the way amma was trying to bond with the dude its amazing .

the dude is a natural with kids hiss  conversation with subhashree was tooo cute 

just waiting 4 little nivi now
Posted: 6 years ago
And 42 begins with a bang! Ranjan and RbB two most drool worthy characters in the story, each exactly like the other...Ranjan old wine...gets better and better and RB just like his dad, graceful, kind and respectful of course to Appas utter chagrin! 
How could Rnajan have ever done anything wrong. NO NO NO NO...not in character for him, not even ina  moment of weakness! Na ji na. Ho hi nahi sakta! 

Shubhashree - just like little II. Spirited and confident . Can imagine R and R thinking how it would be to have a little II of their own. 
Bhalla and Iyer rivers subtly merging...and AMMA pampering SIL. 

Nisha can this get any better???
Congrats for the ongoing journey. The symphony is getting better and melodious. 

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