The next three days went by fast. Jaya and Lalita spent most of their time catching up and shopping. While, Will went to his business meetings and Balraj worked on the cases his law firm is handling. Balraj felt bad that they were not able to spend some time in London but he promised to join them later in India and make up for it.
They are now at the airport, waiting for their flight to India. After an hour, they finally boarded the plane.
They arrived at the airport in the afternoon. Six months ago, as a surprised birthday gift for their, Lalita and Jaya bought their parents an SUV. They knew that their parents always wanted to own a vehicle and also, it would come in handy when they pick them up at the airport. After clearing customs, they spotted their Dad, Lakhi and Maya, already waiting for them outside. As soon as they were seen, Lakhi and Maya ran to Will nearly knocking him down to the ground.
"Whoah, easy there girls."
"Oh Will, we've missed you so much." Lakhi said.
"Only, Will? "
"Of course we missed you two, don't be silly."
"Come on, Papa is waiting in the car." Lakhi and Maya took the bags from Will.
"Mom's been cooking all morning. She's been yelling at me and Maya and saying that we are not helping her."
"That's because you girls weren't helping, I bet. Hello Will. Jaya, Lalita. How was your flight?" Mr. Bakshi greeted them.
"Hello Dad. The flight was good. We took a nap on the plane. These two ladies have been talking non-stop."
"Where is Balraj?"
"Oh, Papa he couldn't come with us on this flight but he promised he will follow. He'll be here next week"
"Come on, we better get going. You Mama has been anxiously waiting for your arrival. She's been talking our ears off for the past week. Just bear with her when she starts talking about grandkids."
"We're used to it, Papa."
"So Will, Lalita tells me that you're building a new hotel here in Amritsar."
"Yes, Sir. Actually, Sir I was wondering if you don't mind if I could invite you to dinner tomorrow night?"
"Will, remember I told you to call me Dad and not Sir. So will it just be the two of us?"
"Yes, and we can have drinks after."
"It sounds serious. But sure, why not, it'd be good for the ladies to catch up."
"I just wanted to talk to you and go over some things."
"All right. Oh, here we are. Your mother is already waiting for us."
Mrs. Bakshi couldn't hide her excitement as soon as she saw her son in-law and her two married daughters. Although she talked to them every week, she missed having them around the house. She's so proud of what they have become and the men that they married. It's funny, she thought, a little over a year ago, she was worried that her two eldest daughters would never find anybody to marry. It was known around town how picky they were and it didn't help that their dad always sided with them. Her husband loved their four daughters and he wanted them to make their own decisions when it came to marriage. Lalita, the most outspoken one, found herself a wonderful American guy, who has become like a son to her as well as Balraj. She never pictured any of her daughters marrying a foreigner but Will is everything she could ever want in a son in law. Its funny how Balraj and Will, best friends ended up with Jaya and Lalita, who are also best friends.
"Oh, Will, it's so nice to see you again. You look like you are losing weight Will. Is my daughter not feeding you enough?" Mrs. Bakshi hugs Will.
"Hi Mom, how are you? Lalita feeds me well. I've just been so busy at work."
"Hi Mama." Lalita and Jaya both said hugging their mother.
"Work, work, work. When will I see little Wills running around?"
"Mama. Will and I are enjoying are time together. We've already talked about when we will start planning for kids, right honey?"
"Yes, honey. So Mom, don't you worry, kids are in our plans. I told Lalita that I would like to have three or maybe four kids."
"Really, Will? I'm so happy to hear that. Come and let's go in the dining room. I have lunch waiting. We have the rooms all ready for you and we just put in new air conditioners."
"Thanks Mama." Lalita said.
After lunch, Will suggested to Lalita that she and her sisters talk about the party for their parents while he goes to the farm with her Dad, so he could spend some time with him. Will enjoys talking to Lalita's father and hearing his stories about Lalita and the girls growing up. There's so much of him in Lalita and their closeness reflects in how different he interacts with Lalita than his other daughters. It's because Lalita was the one that helped their father in the farm. He admires how he's able to raise four girls, and give them education and instill respect, love and values. When Will lost his father, he also lost a friend and someone he could talk to. Although his father was a businessman, he cared and deeply loved him and Georgie. He misses his father and he's so happy that Lalita's father has treated him like his own son. Since he asked Lalita's parents for her hand, they have made him feel like part of the family. And there's nothing he wouldn't do for her family.
Meanwhile, back in the house, Lalita, Lakhi, Maya, and Jaya are talking in the guest room. They waited until their Mama had fallen asleep to take a nap. They wanted to make sure they have everything down, before they tell their parents about a party they are planning for them.
"Maya, Lakhi we need to talk but first, Jaya and I got you both girls something from London."
Lalita handed matching purses for Lakhi and Maya.
"Oh my God Jaya, Lalita, how did you know?" Lakhi gave both Lalita and Jaya a hug.
"Well, we have heard you enough times about wanting a new purse, Lakhi so we got Maya one too. Do you like it Maya?"
"Of course I do, but isn't this expensive. It's Burberry, right? You know you didn't have to get me anything."
"Maya, don't worry about it. We only get to see you girls, twice a year and besides, I know that Papa and Mama have been depending on you more since Jaya and I got married. You deserve an expensive gift, Maya. And also you look out for Lakhi. Lakhi, you better be behaving."
"I am, Lalita. I promised you that no boys until after I'm done with college."
"Speaking of college, you're graduating soon right? Do you know what you're going to major in Lakhi?"
"I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm thinking maybe, Architecture or Engineering or Fashion Design."
"You better figure it fast Lakhi."
"I will Lalita. So, I know we're not in this room to talk about college."
"Well, you both know that Mama and Papa's 30th Anniversary is coming up right?"
"Yeah, it's in three months."
"Well, Lalita and I and our wonderful and sweet hubbies, want to throw them a party. But we need you and Maya, to make all the arrangements here. What we will do, while we are here is tell you how we want the house decorated. We'll ask Mama and Papa who they want to invite. We will hire caterers and also party planner, to make things easier for you both. We both know that you're busy with school."
"Oh this is exciting. Mama and Papa will be so happy."
"After we talk to Mama and Papa, we can start with the invitations. The ones here in India, you guys take care of sending them out. Jaya and I will be in charge of the ones in the US and the UK. Let's talk to them at dinner tonight."
"How about we start coming up with designs for the invitations?" Lakhi suggested.
"Then whatever we come up with, we can vote and see which one we like the best." Maya said.
"All right. Let's start now."
It was almost time for dinner by the time Will and Mr. Bakshi got back to the house.
Mrs. Barshi's voice could be heard from the gate.
"Lalita, where is Will? Why did you let your Papa take him to the farm? Now he's going to smell like the farm. That good looking husband of yours, I don't see how he enjoys going there with your Papa?"
"Mama, Will loves spending time with Papa. He loves helping him out at the farm. You know, Papa is like a father to him."
"I know Lalita but he should be resting. You guys had a long flight."
"Oh, Mama Will is so used to travelling, I don't think he gets jetlagged anymore."
"Oh, here they are. You two men, I don't know how you could spend the whole afternoon at the farm. You both better shower and change, dinner will be ready soon."
"Will, go get in the shower, I'll have your clothes ready for you."
Will walked to Lalita and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
"You don't have to do that, honey. Just stay here with Mom and help her."
"No, it's okay Will, Jaya is here. Go and have your shower."
"Thanks Mom. Come on, babe."
Will and Lalita left the kitchen holding hands.
After an hour, the table is set and all are seated at the dining table.
"Mama, Papa we know that your 30th wedding anniversary is coming up and we wanted to give you a party, to celebrate 30 wonderful and happy years."
"Really? But isn't that going to cost a lot of money, Lalita?" Mrs. Bakshi asked.
"Your mother is right, it will cost a lot of money. We can just have a private dinner, just us family."
Both Jaya and Lalita look at Will and nodded for him to say something.
Mom, Dad, on behalf of Balraj and your four daughters, we wanted to give you this party as our gift. Don't worry about the cost."
"Oh, Will, my son, this is too much. But maybe, if Mrs. Bakshi won't mind, we can limit our list to just close friends and relatives. Is that okay with you, Mrs. Bakshi?"
"Of course, Mr. Bakshi."
"Mama, Papa, how about you give us a list and then we will start working on the invitations. We only have three months. And those coming from the UK and the US, can ask for vacations ahead of time."
"How about you give us a day or two to come up with the list? Would it be all right, if we also celebrate Lakhi's graduation?"
"Really, Mama? But my graduation is not a big deal, Mama. We can just have a quiet dinner for that. Your 30th anniversary is a momentous occasion. You and Papa deserve to have the spotlight for once."
"Thank you Lakhi."
"Mama, papa, have you seen what Jaya and Lalita got for me and Maya?"
"No, what did your sisters get you?"
They gave us Burberry purses. Our friends are going to be so jealous.""
"Don't you girls think those purses are too expensive for them?"
"Mama, it's only one time."
"It better just be this once. Lakhi, Maya I don't want you bringing these purses to school, you hear." Mrs. Bakshi ordered.
"We won't Mama, we promised."
"Mama, about the party, if you and Papa want to renew your vows, I think that would be nice. We can get the same pandit, who married you and Papa 30 years ago, to make it even more special. But we can change it up a little by each writing your own vow. What do you think, Mama, Papa?" Lalita asked.
"Really? You father and I will talk about it and we will let you know."
Will looked at Lalita and smiled. He took her hand and leaned in to whisper "That was a great idea, babe." Lalita smiled back and mouthed a soft "Thank you."
After dinner, Jaya and Lalita offered to help clean up. But Mrs. Bakrshi told them to go to their rooms and rest. She said that she, and their two younger sisters and Vasily would take care of cleaning up. Jaya, Lalita and Will said their good nights.
Before going to bed, Jaya called Balraj and told him the good news about the party. Balraj updated her on the case he's working on and told her that he wished he were there in India with her. Jaya said she misses him too. They talked for another half hour before finally hanging up.
Will and Lalita are in their room talking. Will told her about the afternoon he spent with her father at the farm. And how he's looking forward to having dinner and drinks with him tomorrow. He said he's still a bit nervous about asking him to be the project manager for the hotel in Amritsar. Lalita assured him that it will be fine and to just ask him. They have to go to the city tomorrow morning and inspect the site. Will pulled his wife closer and kissed her good night.