Monday, March 11th
Everything was a little stilted after Sonia’s announcement that we were to be married in the space of little over a fortnight. A fortnight!!!??? Oh, don’t get me wrong, there was happiness in the air. Mucho grandos, amigos. Hugs, laughter, a little tear here and there (not mine!) but both mummies.
We were all avoiding the big elephant question. Sonia’s explanation of a cancellation of a wedding on March 29 at her long cherished Surrey venue had logic, but not reason. I knew where everyone’s mind was going.
I sat there smiling inanely, pretending that this was a joint enterprise and that I knew exactly what my dear beloved had been thinking.
Was this what married life was going to be like…wife makes all decisions and you just agree? Less grief J ? In that case, Daddio all is forgiven. I understand you so much better and appreciate your own special relationship with Mr Johnnie Walker…it all makes sense. In fact, all married Asian men of a certain vintage, I forgive you for all crimes to fashion and taste…forever and ever. I understand now, what being with an Asian woman can do to your long term health…
Outside, Vinesh nudged me with a wink and a titter: ‘Big bro, who’s been a naughty boy, then?’ I put that right out of mind. I wasn’t exactly too sure myself…
There was that weekend when her folks were away from home up north.
On parting, I said to Sonia, seriously: ‘We need to talk.’ I gave her my hard man Tony Adams look. She laughed.
‘Oh Tony, I do love you,’ she said, planting a gentle kiss on my cheeks.
We agreed to meet up the next day, I had to get to the bottom of all this. She was in town, shopping.
In the car going back home that night, mum and dad went at it a little, but the elation was still overwhelming. Dad shouldn’t have had a drink….blah blah. There were rumblings about clothes and gifts – that was the least of it for me.
I arrived at Selfridges restaurant at the anointed hour the next day. She was late, 20 minutes and counting…
In she breezed, saddled with a few shopping bags.
‘Been busy I see.’
‘Yes,’ she said kissing me. ‘Poonam’s given us an hour.’
So now my quality time is being regulated by her bff? Wonderful – this married life’s going to be pukka-ing painful.
I told her straight up: like an Adams tackle, inside the box but clean and clinical as a surgeon’s scalpel.
‘What the f**k is going on?’
Another melodious Sonia laugh. My wife to be had turned into Paris Hilton or Mallika Sherawat…a giggling mass of nonsense. Great.
She hit me in the ribs again as we cosied up.
‘Oh, c’mon Tony. Aren’t you happy?’
‘Yes, course…but you’re not…’
‘What?’ she said merrily.
‘Expecting a little Tony Raaj or Sonia Singhal?’ Another hearty laugh.
‘Yes, Tony, I am pregnant.’
Oh, Muffa. How? I am going to sue Boots. I was ready to collapse. How could she be so cool, calculating. We cannot tell anyone about this child until they are two and we lie about its age and we have emigrated to Aberdeen (where no one will ever visit, because it is Scotland, where there are no other Gujus, and it is too cold and they all speak a weird dialect).
She saw the look of terror on my face, laughed even more.
‘No, you silly.’ I relaxed, finally.
I explained my torment – what had happened to December and time for me to appreciate my situation, say goodbye to my life as a sane person or accept happiness was now was dependent on five uncles, three aunts, two sets of parents, a bunch of delinquents from the next gen, two mad restaurateurs, a cat and a goldfish.
‘Tony, I want to be married. I did not want to be engaged for nine months.’
‘It’s kinda average. There’s a lot to plan and whatnot…’ I countered.
‘We are better than that,’ she declared. ‘It’s a test. I have taken some time from the practice. Just want to get on with it.’
What about afterwards?
A honeymoon, yes, then some house hunting. She had it covered: fittings, stag/hen, engagement party, wedding. Tell your folks. Showed me a timetable. ‘Let’s get married, sweetheart.’ A big smacker. Yeah, but I still had some questions…
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