Last week I spent some time with Nirali and her family. They are a hilarious bunch to be with. Her grandma is adorable, and she loved being in front of the camera. The opposite could be said for her grandpa - he was mostly there for the trains. I was informed that he spent many years working on the railroads in India, so going to the Chattanooga Choo Choo was a natural choice for photo taking.
When I said that Nirali’s grandpa wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies about having his photo taken, I realized that there wouldn’t be a whole lot of posed photos. I was going to have to do this paparazzi style. In addition to that, he isn’t a very affectionate person. There was no hand holding, no whispered endearments, nothing like that. He is a man of very little words - at least while I was around. But as a testament to his reserved nature, both Nirali and her mom, at separate times during the evening, told me this story: during their 50th wedding anniversary renewal of vows ceremony, after the words “You may now kiss the bride!” were spoken, her grandpa made no move to kiss his bride. He just stood there. So instead she reached up and had to force a kiss from him - which he visibly fought against.
Once it had been declared that the photos were done, Nirali’s grandpa decided he had had enough of the dress shirt he was wearing. So he changed into his comfortable polo. Right there. On the spot. Outside by the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The women of the family ran around trying to get him dressed again, laughing all the while, and once that was taken care of, we set off for some ice cold drinks at Starbucks. I was returned home, and they continued on their merry way back to South Carolina. The whole ordeal was a fun event, and I’m glad I got to spend that time with them.
To Nirali: here are a few of the photos. Let’s cross our fingers and hope photos of you don’t end up on the other side of the world, with your grandma trying to set you up with a husband. (To clarify: she actually told me she was scared of this happening. Her grandma is very persistent - particularly about Nirali’s love life.)