"Shreya, I've reached!" and he disconnected the call. He was resting against his car as he waited for Shreya to come. Two windows from the neighbouring bungalows had opened and people were already peeping out. It wasn't every day that such an expensive car would be seen there.
"Please sit beta", Mr. Kulkarni said, "So you are a businessman, eh?"
"Yes uncle", Hrishi smiled. Shreya smiled proudly.
"Hrishi deals in carpets, Baba", Shreya added.
"Oh, that's nice", Mr. Kulkarni smiled, "I'm glad to meet you, Hrishi. Shreya has made the right choice indeed."
"Uncle, We'll take your leave now. Shreya and I are going to shop today", Hrishi smiled again at the end of this meet-the-parents evening.
"Oh ya, I'm sure Shreya will love some kurtas!"
"No uncle. She hates kurtas...", Hrishi remarked.
When Shreya and Hrishi left for the mall, Mr. Kulkarni waved them goodbye from the balcony.
He remembered Shreya's words on her recentmost birthday when he had gifted her an ethnic kurta. "Wow, dad...I love it!! Thank you!!", she had said before giving him a hug.
He remembered Shreya keeping the regular cutlery away and pulling out the expensive set from the cupboard just before Hrishi had come today.
The empty expensive tea cups on the table was like a footprint of an arrival. An arrival of a new person in their life.
A 'meet-the-family' evening brings a lot of changes. It's the arrival of a person, beginning of the adjustments, iterations of the pleasant 'oh-that's-so-nice-beta's and certain astonishing change of choices in the sons and daughters. Hence a father like Mr. Kulkarni only smiles when he no longer knows his daughter as well as he used to. After all, when new bonds are formed, the existing equations have to be adjusted a bit.