So my heart stopped, literally, it stopped beating for a good while as I stared at my computer screen in utter shock. Three words killed me, and that too; a cardiologist killed me, simplistic irony at its core. The three words were muttered by my oldest cousin, the rock star of cousins in my family, the ideal ‘child.’ He was the star track sprinter with numerous newspaper articles written about him, went to Columbia University for engineering, then medical school at Jefferson. Outside of wearing red leather pants and trying to impersonate Michael Jackson as a child, Tarun could do no wrong.
And then it happened, he opened his mouth, the three words he uttered sent me straight into a panic attack, “love your website”….Emotions raged, questions boggled my head. What? Who? Where? How? When did you see it? But in the calm collected cool character that encapsulates me simply said “k, thanks.” Instant messenger hid my emotions even though the emoticons were dancing in my head and as the conversation progressed I probed into his wedding, his engagement, and eventually into the crux of the conversation. We talked, and talked, and talked some more over instant messenger, with intermittent breaks; me surfing websites and reading magazines, him diagnosing heart patients and coming back from surgeries. After hours of instant messaging which essentially amounted to 40 words total we decided to do an engagement shoot in the heart of Philadelphia, one of my favorite cities.
Upon reaching the city of brotherly love I texted my cousin, told him to “stop treating patients because I wanted to treat you to a beer.” His calm, cool, collected response was simply “Can’t Malini (his fiancé) just had surgery and we can’t leave the apartment.” Again a flood of emotions and questions entered my mind. Is she ok? Why didn’t you tell me? Is she bed ridden? Swollen? How does she feel? Should I bring her anything? Are we still doing the photo shoot? It’s Friday night, we need to party! His response to my bombardment of questions was simply, “she is good, had her tonsils removed-just can’t talk.” Relief calmed me and Neeva and I headed over to his apartment.
As he was lovingly feeding Malini soup and finishing her sentences for her, we chatted, exchanged stories, laughed and bonded. We spoke about their first date, his attempts at courting her, their chance encounters and how fate truly brought these two together. After a touching reunion that lasted into the wee hours of the morning I bid them good night only to wake them up again 4 hours later to shoot their engagement session at 6AM.
Although Malini’s was still recovering from surgery, she was a trooper! She was all dressed up, decked out and dragged my cousin with her. She was cracking jokes at Tarun’s expense and positioning him into corny poses which amused myself and Neeva to no end. We started the morning at City Hall, headed over to Love Park and then finally to the Art Museum.
I hope you two love the pictures as much as we do, and I can’t wait for the wedding.
This picture should have a blog post all its own. As we were walking around city hall there was a quaint little park with various game pieces all over the place. Monopoly pieces, dominos, checker pieces, chess pieces and SORRY pieces. Malini’s eyes opened wider than the exorcists and then she grabbed Tarun by the hand marched him over to the sorry piece, had him get on one knee and apologize. When he asked what for, her response was “you’ll mess up in the future; I just want a picture of you begging me for forgiveness and saying you’re sorry in front on the SORRY piece.” I started cracking up to the point where I almost dropped my camera. Malini I hope the picture is what you envisioned.