Pia was excited at the thought of visiting her maternal home for the first time after marriage over dinner.
She chose her favourite lilac sequined shimmer saree and gracefully decked herself for the occasion.
Her husband Raj was delighted at the prospect of a lavish dinner spread at his in-laws. He wore his favourite navy blue jacket complete with a tie and those perfectly polished formal black shoes.
Rajjo and Dhanpal’s home was embellished with fairy lights all over. Rose petals were arranged in huge brass bowls at the entrance.
An air freshener in the living room released fresh vanilla fragrance at regular intervals. They were exuberant with the prospect of inviting their daughter and son-in-law over dinner.
The aroma of rich paneer butter masala, vegetable kadhai, boondi raita, butter kulcha, vegetable biryani complete with saffron laced kheer lingered heavily in the air. The entire house wore a festive look.
As Pia and Raj entered, both Rajjo and Dhanpal welcomed the couple heartily.
Raj touched his in-laws’ feet seeking their blessings.
“Jug jug jiyo, beta,” the couple chorused their blessings
Pia rushed to hug her parents and expressed, “Mummy, papa, I missed you both so much. It’s been six months since we met. There’s so much to tell you.”
Rajjo hugged her daughter back and replied, “Oh! We missed you too beta.”
Rajjo observed a glow on Pia’s cherubic face but hesitated bringing about a conversation.
Pia, too, noticed that Rajjo was looking pale and weak. She assumed it must be from the long, arduous task of setting the house and dinner for their arrival. They had their girl-Friday for help but setting up the house wasn’t easy, after all.
After exchanging casual pleasantries, the dinner was finally served.
The aroma and rich flavour of food was undoubtedly tempting and everyone digged into the delicacies spread over the dinner table.
Half way through the dinner, Rajjo asked Pia, “There is a certain glow on your face. Seems like our damaadji is treating you well.”
Pia blushed and responded coyly, “Yes mummy, I wanted to inform you that you are going to be grandparents soon.”
With this news, the joy at the dinner table doubled up.
“This surely calls for a celebration. Let’s raise a toast to commemorate this happy news,” said Dhanpal.
Post dinner, as Dhanpal and Raj sat with their choice of liquor in hand, Rajjo and Pia got busy clearing the dinner table.
Unexpectedly, Rajjo experienced weakness and fainted. She was put to rest and the family doctor, Priya was called.
Priya did some basic checks and came out. She announced, “Dhanpal ji, I just heard from Pia that she’s in the family way. Arrange for a bigger celebration now because you are going to get a dual certificate. You are going to be a father and grandfather.”
It took a while for the message to sink in… leaving the entire family feeling sheepish.
What started as a joyous family dinner ended in embarrassing unsavoury moment.
Jug jug jiyo, beta- may you live long, dear child
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