Sunday, January 20th Continued
'Are you okay?’ Dr Gurdip Singhal, my prospective future father-in-law asked, looking concerned that his daughter may be about to marry the Hunchback of Harrow.
Vinesh sensed an opportunity. ‘He gets overexcited whenever he sees pictures of Cheryl Cole.’
Vinny, I can see you at the Apollo, bro. You, Russell Peters and my Dad. Both fathers looked confused. ‘Is she the one that does the TV weather in the mornings?’ asked my Dad.
Poor old Dr Singhal. Welcome to my madcap family, The Raajs, never a dull moment. Family of comedians, intentional or not.
Dr Singhal then proceeded to hug my Dad…this was quite a sight. Dr Singhal is not a small man – a little taller than me at about 6’1 and probably about 90kg …my Dad is 5’3 and is wiry but for a little paunch. He's not good with physical contact. He removed his big coat and handed it to this 20-year-old, lovely looking Italian lass with flowing black locks.
‘So wonderful to meet you all’, said Dr Singhal, looking at my Dad in admiration. ‘I love your pyjamas'.
My Dad appeared hurt. Vinesh was about to step in again. I mouthed, shut it.
A short, fattish guy appeared at the end of table as Sonjs was doing was the female introductions.
Sh*#! Karisma was there. Miss Feminism 2013 and ‘he (as in me) is not good enough for you (Sonia)’. Had hoped she might boycott the whole thing and wouldn’t dare get into a barney with Sonia about her, so just hoped…against hope. Dashed. Again.
'Hello, weelcome, I ama Luigi, this is mya daughter Isabella, we are here to serve you with same care that my dear friend and doctor gave us – he a saved my life, identified a weak heart, had a bypass, now everything totally wonderful'.
'Best doctor in di world and what happiness his beautiful daughters bringa him'.
'Now Sonia get a married to Antonio …a little joke' he said tittering and gazing right at me. 'We weelcome you all here. Sucha wonderful occasion'.
I eased into my seat. Sonia told me off for looking at Isabella. I wasn’t, I said. ‘You should have told your parents an earlier time,’ she bristled.
Too late, wasn’t it? Been psyched all week about this and just forgot the basics. Our relationship was not in the best of shapes. I’d let her down over NYE by being ill, and then going to work on the 2nd had only raised her suspicions that I was avoiding her for a bit. Then, I’d injured myself at football. We hadn’t even seen each other all week because she lived down in Surrey and didn’t have time to come over.
Dr Singhal wanted to know what wines my folks liked. Don’t say, ‘Blue Nun’. Dad said anything red, which was a bit of a surprise.
He ordered a 2003 Chianti Classico …my Dad nodded in approval as though this is something he knew about.
Mum looked at me and whispered: ‘Why so old, what’s wrong with something from this year?’
Sonia wasn’t impressed with me. We were at the head of the table, with her clan down one side and mine down the other. What a start…
@asiangroom on TwitterTo be continued this week…