27 December, 2016

The Bakhleone Chronicles : The Nagpur Nuptials

Disclaimer: This is an account and a tale entirely inspired from fact and stretched as much as could be allowed in the realm of fun. Very little is fiction. This writer was assigned box seats and an insider kin pass for close in observation.
This is a closed group account and not an open read. Only those associated with the Bakhleone family in any fashion would be able to relate to this and it should not be made compulsory for the author to fork out explanations on what, how or why...he just may not answer and is not legally bound to either.

Circa 1st Dec 2016

A light wind rose up in a sunny afternoon on the island city that is the commercial capital of this country. It blew all around in tufts and gusts. It sneaked in through an open slit into the apartment and ruffled the pages of a book and the cover of a DVD lying on the table. Godfather was the book and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge the cinema disc cover.
The tail end of the same wind found the apartment’s occupant boarding a flight. It went right in through the ears and nose as the doors closed behind him. He carried it with him in his journey. This wind was mischievous and his soul traversed all through New York, Sicily and some yellow flowered sarson da khet in the North while the plane flew on high in the easterly direction.

An hour and some minutes later
The flight taxied down a runway, albeit 45 minutes behind schedule. Firm hands held on to wrinkled mature ones and the pair negotiated steps and slopes. Anybody watching would assume from this picture, that they knew who was supporting whom. Reality though was in complete variance. It was a symbiotic support game. Youth, aided the resolve of maturity to negotiate a distant geography and meet a decided objective while maturity held in check the wayward flights of exuberant youth.

They were kin. It was a happy occasion and a celebratory event that this party had flown over to attend. A Sicilian marriage insisted the wind in the youth. Closing his eyes for a moment before calling up his contact there, he just imagined the set that would await them. Was it a movie? The wind inside answered in the affirmative. He just raised his hands up heavenwards and gave up fighting with the wind.


Location                                : Village Corleone, Sicily commonly known in these parts as Dhantoli, Nagpur

The Movie                              : The wind inside insisted it should be “Dilwalene dulhaniya pataa to li, aur dono baapon ko mana bhi liya, ab woh usey ghar laa riyaa hai” he subdued the wind saying this was too ridiculously long a title. It should be something short, such that the viewers can recount it easily. Even the acronym was much longer than a DDLJ… it must be something nicer like say “The Winter Wedding” (He had to call it sumthin…MayLaka, LakaMay naa naa … ChinSha???? huhhh yessss it was “ChinSha Express ”, the card had declared it so...that was perfect.

Producer                               : WinWonChin productions

Main Assistant Director          : Don WinOye

Directed By                             : Lady WonDonna


• ChinmOye Bakhleone: (The Lead) 
The handsome young lad headed into everything with his chin out; Brave, Heroic, Charming, Impish, Talented yet he could also be a smiling bumblebee… one who bumbled first into a sticky situation, took a quiet yet hard sock on his chin, yelled an “oye” and then fought his way out of the same in his trademark style.

• Shawl a.k.a. TeaWorry: (The Leading Lady)
She was the princess of the Orange Orchards. She could and did squeeze out the best orange juice from a fruit. Chai though remained her single largest concern. She need not have ever been disturbed by this at all, because the world liked what she did brew, but somehow though her worry persisted and refused to go away. Her single point agenda in recent times was to keep ChinmOye warm. Like the charming and visionary vixen she was she had devised a technique. Wrap arms around ChinmOye like a shawl and create cosy warmth. So we call her Shawl a.k.a. TeaWorry, now you know … so please don’t ask again.

• WinOye Bakhleone: (Main Asst. Director)
Don Bakhleone was what he was respectfully addressed and known as. The Don had an intense, quiet and calm manner and then he would make everyone an offer that they could not refuse. The offer would be cool and balanced as was his forte; he was Dhantoli’s book keeper extraordinaire and ruled the Accounting, Banking, Hospitality syndicate of the Bakhleone Empire also called the B'Company.

• WonDonna Bakhleone: (director)
The basketball prima donna of the empire, she was the only one who could manage DonWinOye with panache by keeping her 32 pearls on constant display. They were lethal these teeth, when they flashed out into a smile, it was a killer smile, the world around her turned to putty that she could twist and shape into in any way she wanted. One often could, would and did miss the steel in her eye on most occassions. This lady was tough beneath her very charming shell.

• Pasha Bakhleone:
The younger brother of DonWinOye, had he been born in Arabia he would have been the Pasha, mounting white steeds and riding away into the wind with a smile on his lips and a world to charm into submission. Here he made do with mobikes and cars. The Pasha was a Banker and the Consigliore of this syndicate, he handled the banking vertical. His being charming and loquacious made him but the natural choice to head the reception committee, the role became him.

• AlpsAana Bakhleone :
The Banker Pasha was smitten by her the minute he saw her in the “Kanda-Poha+Tikhat Shev” programme he had attended many moons ago. As a banker, knowing Switzerland was vidhilikhit someday to his fate, he proposed to her in the only manner he could … “Mere saath AlpsAaana pasand karogi?” and how could the light eyed damsel ever have said no to that?

• She Wahh!! Lee:
Pasha and AlpsAana in their spiritual union conceived a wide eyed, smiling tot of a child who was so enamoured by the Bruce that whenever Bruce came on the TV screen and smashed somebody the child would exclaim loudly every time with a gleeful gurgle of a laugh…Wahh!! Lee…since the child was a She, they named her so, what real choice did they have?

• SuchIt Bakhleone:
He was the younger one, the first cousin of WinOye and Pasha…and they were close, all of them. They came from the “Esh” lineage of the Bakhleone branch…the Elder sibling had been Surésh. His philosophy was music or music was his philosophy, now this is a detailing lost in family folklore, while SuchIt’s dad is the venerable ROMésh . This could have been the reasoning behind the IT in SuchIT ( dad has ROM beta has IT ), but he had extended the syndicate into the healthcare vertical. Such was his quiet diligence to every single task assigned to him, It was a given, that show him a target and it would be hit. He naturally became famous as SuchHit.

• SuperrrrNaahhh  Bakhleone:
SuchIt had liked one of the girls he had seen. This one was an educationist. SuchIt had suggested softly to her that could they be friends first and marry later or maybe even try a live-in? To that the girl had so vehemently screamed a “Naahhh” at him in the inside room they were given to talk, that an elder sitting outside remarked, what a Superrrr pitch this girl can reach with her voice. They got hitched and SuperrrrNaahhh was what her title came to be.

• MannaLee & WarOn :
MannaLee was the elder offspring of SuchIt & SuperrrNaahh, one could speculate that the daughter had firmed up that she would branch out into designing structures having seen the way their dwelling rose up, and was an architect in the making. The younger kid was at once a combo of high energy & mild manners who gave an impression that he always needs a war to survive and thrive, he was named WarOn.

• The Council of Elders:
This council was a very well liked, looked upon with a lot of affection & respect and consisted of 4 dinosaurs. They were not Dino’s as much as Dhantoli was not a Jurassic Park, far from it; they were far more mature than the extinct species. They showered the Don, The Pasha, The SuchIt, their superior halves and offspring with equal and more, love, warmth and wisdom; As and when they felt it was necessary or required while most other times they stayed well away.
SueB or Sue Ricotta Bakhleone had her name shortened to SueRico because she didn’t like to be named after a cheese, she wasn't cheesy. She was the most calming, pleasant influence with a smile that radiated warmth on all those who came in her range. ROMesh we met earlier was a man of leisure now and happy to swat flies with accuracy on his ultra wide balcony when he was not out walking.
PromoD his younger brother, after ending his younger day association with Dilli had hunted around for another village where he could build a house and settle down. He had but one condition and was pretty fixed about this. The village name should begin with a D, he had grown to liking his name so much he didn’t want to remove the D in it and change it now. That’s why Dhantoli met all his criteria and PromoD(illi) became PromoD(hantoli) and none was the wiser.
UrrrrMeLawB was the final member of this council and equally pleasant as SueB, she was the better half of ROMeshB and generally managed him pretty well with an unbeatable poise. In their apartment her word was the law.

The Crew
This consisted of extras who fancied themselves as stars. They handled the necessary and important tasks of locomotion and transportation of the guests. They also fed them by keeping the food ready as and when required; they were accomplished Drivers, Maids and Cooks. There was one though who acted above his station, the cook. He fancied himself to be so important in the hierarchy of things that in his own mind he was just as relevant as the priest who would conduct the marriage ceremony. Ask him any question and he would “pun” out an answer that could be read in ways more than one. After delivering his pun he would end it with ab khao or Eat. The family was quite  used to this foible of his and tolerated it generously. They even started calling him “PunnedEat”.

These were the animals that lived in this zoo. A few others lived there too but they were strictly the accessories, the main cast & crew is as above. Since all the occupants from time immemorial were for creation, re-creation, maintenance and nurture of this partially tame and  more wild of a life sanctuary that was their dwelling, they were all totally Pro it. Thus “The Indian Bakhleone Housing Apartments (TIBHA)” complex came to carry the nomenclature: ProTIBHA.

The B’Company:
The B’Company as the Bakhleone family was actually called is a very old and respected enterprise. This enterprise had its roots originally in a distant land, now that is a separate country altogether. This city was called “CarRachi”. The earliest founder was a dude blessed with a full head of hair that he passed on to his blood, but he sported a rather weird hair do; it looked forever rumpled n crushed…he was “BaalCrushedNa Bakhleone”. The venerable old patriarch had created a largeish brood and this stood him in good stead, a blessing in the days to come when the province got eventually partitioned. These were ten in all ,sons and daughters, subsequently who came over to this country. The company was uprooted from “CarRachi”. His progeny spread far and wide across the countrywide expanse and created two main home bases. The Patriarchs eldest & youngest sons made it to the Western Coast of Bombay while their other siblings found the Central Provinces with Nagpur as its epicentre more to their liking. Their sisters were wedded off and while one went about northwards the others were found hovering around the central provinces only. The Western provincial founders made their fortune in Tyres. The ones in the Central provinces made their bases firmer in Textiles, Media, Academics and what have you. The B’Company embraced change willingly and today as the ones in the West focussed on Technology & Healthcare predominantly the ones in the Central Provinces smelled the numbers and branched into Accounting, Book Keeping, Banking and Health Care monitoring.

The Bakhleones had arrived. The family had become a Company and where earlier it was considered crude and not classy to refer oneself by this nomenclature…the times had changed. There was an innate pride now in being affiliated or connected to the B’Company, whether by blood, marriage, friendship or allegiance.  Though Bombay historically has been and still remains the commercial capital of this independent country, it curiously was the Nagpur and Central Province branches that focussed on the commerce end of the educational qualifications of the family. The Central provinces are so accounts oriented that there are arguably more Chartered Accountants per square feet found practicing here than in the Bombay provinces.

Other Famous Bakhleone’s:
The first one to hit the headlines was a singer. He practised an art of crooning that fell into a genre called natyasangeet. He was a specialist who would get so carried away with his own performance that whenever his audience asked for a “once more”… he always agreed…but the gent had no sense of proportion. He went on and on and on till the same listeners had to scream “BussKar Bua”…this is how BussKarBua Bakhleone became a celebrity. The second one was this writer’s mater. She was a sly fox, at once charming and steely determined. She ruled with a chuckle and a laugh. The media discovered her skill at being unerringly accurate at pocketing every single wooden piece with an ivory striker on a boric powder smoothened wood board. This game had a curious name, CarROM. Was it because it originated in CarRachi from where the Bakhleones were launched on to the world? No one knows this for a fact. She loved wearing Nike shoes under her sari and was fast at everything she did like even ping pong. She was thus christened WhooSha Bakhleone. Nike then stole her name for branding their footwear but she forgave them. She was the first one to make a foray into & opening the eyes of the B’Çompany towards Banking as a vertical. She engaged with the biggest this country could muster up in Banks. ArabiAai… no… no… no… it had nothing to do with the Middle East, but if we reflect now as to why Pasha may have chosen this vertical, there could be some sub-conscious reasoning’s hidden here deeply, and can be determined if probed by a shrink.

Present Day - Now
He pulled out a phone and radio waves crackled on the hallowed soil of the central provinces. A cavalcade had come to receive them and out from it stepped the dashing Pasha. Two sets of youth and maturity were enveloped by and swept away into the local hospitality. The youth smiled as he now understood the cavalcade of cars. The B’Company was from CarRachi, this instinctive affinity for wheels was a given.


The Plot: “The Nagpur Nuptials” ( ChinSha Express unfortunately could not be used as there were copyright issues for this chronicler with the involved parties )

Cut to the opening frame:

Once upon a time in Dhantoli ( quite a few months ago )

Don WinOye looked out of his balcony staring at the leaves, laid wet by a burst of a seasonal rain shower. His son’s words rang quite clearly in his head. A droplet of water trickled down the spine of the jamun leaf held his gaze, as it finally hung on to the very edge of the leaf for a million moments…and then dropped on to the space below, lost out from his sight.
His concentration broke off and he looked back into his tea reflectively.
“Baba”his son had said tremulously but with a lot of hope in his voice, last evening. “I am going to make these two, staring at his own hands…four”.
He remembered his own reply. “We are accountants, Chartered too, not creative ones my son…our numbers have to balance every single time. That’s why we are engaged by our clients. You are not a trainee and an intern anymore. One doesn’t and shouldn’t make 2 look like 4 in any table. Had this been any other company it could have maybe been OK…but we are the B’Company and we have a reputation to protect.”
On this his son had frantically cut through…”No…no ...Baba, you misunderstood me. You know my friend Shawl…she and I are like …engaged.
Still in his business track thought he had asked “Who have you been engaged by? This is nice, the fact that you have gone and procured a new client“
ChinmOye his son had then said “Baba…you are not listening. Look here… I have asked Shawl to be my wife…is this understood now…I proposed and she accepted..OK…Got It…Clear ???... Fair ???”
He remembered his instant reaction “Does your mother know about this?” and When ChinmOye nodded it caused him an irritation way beyond anything he could comprehend and he remembered his rather curt reply “Fair ??? You ask me is this Fair ??? No it’s not Fair…its FOWL.
ChinmOye had laughed derisively and remarked “Baba, Foul the opposite of Fair is spelt as F..O..U..L  not F..O..W..L”
To which Don WinOye replied in his trademark style “Chimyaaaa…now you shall be teaching me spellings is it ? I thought you would get it. I said fowl because I meant fowl…you eat chicken , she is a pure vegetarian how will that ever ever work?” To which his son had got back stating…Didn’t you and Mum make it work…and he had walked out of the room.

He looked into his tea and his mind like minds have a propensity to in tense moments, took a flight to events nearly  3 decades ago. This was when his friends sister and her pearly teeth had caught his eye. She adroitly hooped the ball’s through the basket with ease and he was already reduced to being a basket case in her presence. While his thoughts were always quite clear and he wanted to make her his own, his tongue came out with unintelligible sounds when she was around. After a few tense, anticipatory days, weeks and months of needlessly hanging around her house he had plucked his courage and asked her brother to relay his ardour and fondness to her. Cupid was smiling on him then and she had managed to make sense of the sounds he uttered in her presence which he was sure was conversation. Life had been a song after her acceptance. 
(cut to a song in flashback mode)

Song 1 : DonWinOye & the Lady WonDonna      ( <- click on this to hear the song in the situation)

Yes it had worked out for him and while it was a difficult decision on many a plane, namely his son had found a girl for his own and not given him an opportunity to search one for him, he brushed this one away …since he was guilty of the same act with his father. She was a vegetarian and he had high hopes that someday his daughter-in-law would cook superb non-veg in the house…he brushed this thought away too, it was his son who was marrying her, that’s his business, he can go without Chicken…or order in. And then he came to the real reason for his irritation. His wife had known about this much before he did…why…how…hmmm and reluctantly realised that she always knew a lot many more things happening around them far earlier than he did. Did he really have a choice in this matter? He examined this question before him quite dispassionately. Shawl …was a very nice girl; haughty and sharp perhaps, but extremely well-mannered and very well qualified. She seemed to possess the quiet temperament absolutely essential to keep his energetic son in his proper place and yes she was extremely pretty too.  

Chinmyyaaaaaa he called out and his son came in looking quite sulkily at him, yet with a question in his eyes. Arrange our meeting with Shawl’s parents. His son had impulsively hugged him and that made him stifle a smile..Ok..Ok..enough…go now..congratulations.

Cut to Scene 2

ChinmOye was mighty kicked…as he looked around. It had all worked out after all.
Those weeks of waiting and worrying and hoping and then the sudden distance that had sprung up in their association with her shifting away on some silly work assignment, had shaken him then. She had given him a vague reason that he never understood her. He had never quite figured out the contrary conflicting completely addled messages, that girls give out as signals to the boys, that they actually are interested in. It was a harrowing time for him that had pushed him towards the stage of decision making.
(Cut to a song situation)

Pensive song as imagined by ChinmOye     ( <- click on this to hear the song in the situation)

This was the only time when the movie plays a serious reflective mood song. All along their journey they had gambolled around like Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh…nahh... he thought that is too old a pair, while our pair is much younger, our songs, the ones that we sang were really more like this

( Cut to additional song in the same flashback)
ChinmOye & Shawl going at it with a gusto  ( <- click on this to hear the song in the situation)

Scene 3 and the present:

Shawl a.k.a. Teaworry and WonDonna had met and were quietly chuckling about the two men in their lives who thought they ruled. The male of the species is so naïve, both had such knowing smiles as they discussed the redecoration of ChinmOyes room that would soon become Shawl & ChinmOyes room and how should the wardrobe be partitioned. 

WonDonna too had to yet completely get the hang of the mother in laws role but she was glad that she would finally have a civilized companion in her house who was a female at that. Females are inherently so clean, hygienic and well groomed and their interests are so detailed and varied. She was itching to go out shopping with someone of her own who could understand the truest pleasure in minimum three hour shopping binges, one who could understand the art behind the Chikan embroidery. Unlike the males, for whom Chikan was Chicken and she never could make them understand...infact the males never understood or got it that "rani colour" was "rani colour" and not some shade of "pink", why are the bed-sheets to be tucked in just like so and properly too at that or why after taking a bath it is actually necessary to put the wet, soiled clothes into the laundry basket or bucket and not tossed about here, there and anywhere. There were women in the dwelling but not someone who she could notionally own and boss around, there was a niece somewhere in the dwelling who did understand some of this but now she would have real help to discipline the boys properly too. WonDonna was a happy lady. 

She had decided that she would be more a mommy than a saasu mummy simply because she did not know how to be a Saasu mummy.

cut to Song situation 

Reflective song in the Shawl & WonDonna space.  ( <- click on this to hear the song in the situation)

Climax, the end and the new beginning :

Then Don WinOye, ChinmOye and WonDonna they practiced hard, enlisted the support of all in the B’Company, invited all their relatives made arrangements for their stay and hospitality, booked the Hall that belonged to a Rani (yes, it was her kothi) and not a Raja for the final nuptials, similar stuff was happening quite frantically at Shawl’s place too.
They also arranged for round tabled spiritual communions on the terrace with friends who were closer than kin and the visiting kin, in a regal and labelled manner both red and black. Age brought in some decorum to this august gathering but each one around the table was singing the signature song of such milieus. It also marked this occassion splendidly.

cut to song : Romance, fun and zing ( <- click on this to hear the song in the situation)

The Mehendi, the Sangeet and the Haladi climaxed onto a marriage and reception... and before they knew it…
ChinmOye and Shawl a.k.a.Bakhleone were saying a deeply respectful Hi to the Lady Mahalsa at Goa.

And thus they began their journey to live happily ever after.


Circa 5th Dec 2016

The youth and his entourage of living fossils made their way back to the same airport and like earlier they were fated to be on flights that never took off on time and so they whiled away some of their time at the airport, boarded and returned to the Maximum City many hours after midnight and predictably. The City was still awake, awaiting them. 

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