A Suitable Boy & Fire Cracker
As tall as she was, he wores glasses.. and was not lean as ... ermm... well she should rightfully be comparing him to Subbu...
in that case... taller than Subbu, not much taller than her... 5"10" definitely NOT 6'3"
He brought flowers and a box of SOMETHING He extended his hand for a shake.. she greeted him with a "OKKK" I dont know u but you dont look like an intruder.. Appa jumped up finishing his pooja quick and leapt up to meet the guy
"I got here yesterday" he said
"SO GOOD U COULD COME BY" Appa was delighted
Amma brought coffee and eye signals for her to go in and "freshen up"
She started talking unmindful of how she was dressed or how she looked... old navy sweats in turqoise and a blue skinny tee
Hair up in a knot, R&B's note in one hand and her phone in the other
Appa kept staring at her uncomfortably
"Jeez... OK Pa poren naan.. I will go change" she said to herself Srikanth watched her leave... WELL... HE WAS SMITTEN
"Romba lazy"he began and "during weekends" Appa corrected himself quickly on Amma's eye signal
Amma brought coffee as she began preparing a BIG BRUNCH DINNER BREAKFAST
II returned to the living room in a good hour...
hyperventilated some more in the bathroom about the note... began texting akka to come clean and then stopped mid way Began calling her and then stopped This had gone too far... When she stepped out of the room it was almost 10:45... dressed in a kurti and jeans... green/off white kurti...old.. nondescript
Amma was horrified "How come u didnt wear a suit?"
WHY? she demanded Ummm... u know we have guests" she offered GUEST AMMA... NOT PLURAL II corrected her
Amma asked her to set the idlis and vadais and all in teh dining table...
Srikant's eyes followed her wherever she went UNAWARES
Appa cleared his throat and vanished "I will go check email u guys talk" he said
II sat down pulled a cushion to her lap and pulled her feet up
He told her what he worked on.. WHERE HE WAS FROM...
"Appa says u must give me tips on finding a job overseas"
Srikant shifted uncomfortably
"Appa he works in Agri biz data modelling, romba/too different from what I do" she said innocently Appa said "REALLY" and bit his tongue... "Krishna" he invoked the lord
amma enetered the bedroom and said " Should I ask her if she is free and ask them to go catch a movie?"
Appa: sure... do that
Amma stepped out
Srikant wouldnt stop talking
II talked a lot too so it was a good match... India, cricket, politics, US, Desis in the US, her Grad school experience
Amma had to drag her to the dining table
She didnt care to eat yet again...
Amma fussed like she was a baby...
"She is too stressed. They are deploying a new product at a company and the owner's son is not NICE" AYYYOOO AMMA... II DIED... DONT TALK ABOUT RAKSHASAN.. PERIOD... HE IS OFF TOPIC She turned the color of tomato chutney Rakshasan pathi ivan kitta edukku solrey, paavam this guy seems SO NICE GENUINE..
Why do u tell about Raskasan to Srikanth?
Rakshasan is MY PRIVATE ENEMY I WILL DEAL WITH HIM
(We'll just clear our throats on that one)
She works 12, 14 hour days... she has no clue if she ate or note" Amma continued
"amma jobs in the US will also be like that" II counter argued
Thats why many women stay home these days" Appa BLURTED
II looked at him baffled... Srikanth immediately jumped to Appa's rescue " u can choose the hours" he said softly
He had hair but NOT ENOUGH... eyes, BUT NOT BIG ENOUGH... nose not long enough
He was beginning to lose some hairy real estate on top
He was intelligent funny and charming
amma went back to II's singing skills and cooking talent
"Amma he is Natesan Mama's nephew, not a prospective suitor" II said loudly
Amma dropped a karandi in the kitchen, kadchi...
Amma: Vishwa, she left the light on in her room last night and didnt even know"
II TURNED RED AGAIN, THIS TIME DEEPER AND DARKER
Srikanth observed her silently , she seemed nervous and edgy and flushed...
She looked GORGEOUS... flawless skin, tall and smart She spoke her mind and was bold
He wore jeans, and some brown shirt and AND A SWEATER
"Is Delhi cold?" she asked
"Its winter right?" he mocked gently
1"I mean with u from Bay Area anda ll" she giggled
" I am cold all the time" he said
It for some reason bummed her
They talked until 2 ish, Amma brought coffee, II made chai
"I heard u sing" he said
WHERE?" she asked
"Periappa's 70th, I saw ur YT video... u sing beautifully"
Amma got on her tail and forced her to sing, she almost cried in the kitchen
But of no avail
sang a beautiful song in raag Madhuvanti
Amma and Appa looked on pleased...
"Since the day I saw him, my love overflows for him who holds the spear in his hand,
the son of the compassionate Shiva.
He, my beloved, who gave me such pleasure in the spring garden where the bees were buzzing.
Neither has my heart forgotten the blue peacock (the one that Lord Murugan rides),
nor has the love mixed with affection faded. He has settled into the temple of my heart and
with just a small smile, he has placed a fragrant flower (of love) on me."
When she was done she apologized for inflicting the torture of having him listen to it
He was speechless for a second or two... later composed himself and said "WOW... I have to come with words. who wouldve thought it would be so difficult"
Amma and Appa were SURE things were working out
Appa :You guys should go talk about work... take ur laptop kanna, tell him about it all... and maybe watch a movie?"
II jumped out of her skin
She dragged Amma into the kitchen
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH APPA? THE GUY HARDLY KNOWS ME... PAAVAM HE IS WILLING TO HELP
Appa is forcing him to spend time with me. I am going to say No Amma"
But didnt stand a chance... Amma sent her away...She changed into a pretty yellow suit and with a dark magenta dupatta...
left her hair open with a little fish claw like hook... and said "I am going to take him to Akka's"
II was not shy... she had spent various afternoons and evenings talking to her parents friends of varying ages...
She had no clue that Srikanth was smitten and the first phone Amma was going to dial when she got into her car was to Natesan Mama to say
THEY BOTH LIKE EACH OTHER WE ARE SO SO HAPPY
He hit some balls in tennis and played three matches after that winning all
Changed, had a beer at Hyatt with his best bud, texted,... with Sam looked at another three dozen Lasya pictures
Chuckled at the poses... or NOT... a week old baby asleep...
ALL THE TIME
"How did Manny like her date?" Mihir asked
He shrugged "didnt say"
"A bunch of us were thinking of hitting the pubs tonite, want to go?"
He shook his head "I have calls" he said..
"Start dating dude" Mihir said softly
"I MIGHT" R&B said softly
"MIGHT matlab" Mihir asked
"MIGHT matlab, there is a good chance a possibility.. or probability" R&B said inscrutably
"Goddamn it.. dude.. uve been seeing someone and didnt care to tell me? F--- u"
R&B grinned a whole wide grin... he looked particularly appealing in blue jeans and an expensive navy Polo tee... AND SHOES... REI..
" Kaun hai?" Mihir stood up to peek
R&B was on his phone... looking at Lasya
"She is lovely" he winked
And saw Lasya's sleeping image... and shook his head cursing his friend.
"Do u speak any other Indian languages other than Punjabi?" he asked his bud curiously
"Hindi kyon bhjool gaya" Mihir said
"Riight" said R&B carelessly
"Tere paas to French hai girls think its pretty hott man"
"Especially the words GET LOST" R&B said with his half smirk
Mihir looked confused
a family walked by they looked like they were from the south, a wealthy wedding party of some sort
The women wore flowers in their hair... he glanced curiously at first and turned away
Her flashlight still sat in his car
He hadnt received even one work email from her...
He went to Google and typed "Orange flowers grown in the South of India"
"Crossandra" Google returned with a generic name of Fire Cracker
He made a new entry in his phone book First Name: Fire Last Name: Cracker