Family Karma: Bali Hi (and Shaan Hi too!)

Welcome back all of you geniuses who recognize a gem at first blush. As you can see, my excitement for this show hasn’t waned one iota. If anything I’m more pumped and grateful that Bravo discovered this fantastic cast. In this episode our Karmic Family is expanding and we finally get to meet Bali and Shaan. Spoiler alert: they are as amazing as the rest of the group! Let’s get to recapping, shall we?

We’re back witnessing Richa’s mom Lopa’s insultaganza towards Vishal. Boy, she is not holding back. So far she’s accused Vishal of being after her money, being a leech, a moron, and weak. Brian’s dad Mike says he needs a drink, and I don’t think for a second he was making a lame excuse to leave. I would’ve needed at least two after all of that.

Monica is scoping out the girls at the gala trying to find Brian a “wifey.” She’s happy in the roll of wing-woman for her bestie. Amrit thinks what many of us do…that Brian and Monica would make the cutest couple. I’ve already gotten the “Auntie” moniker on Twitter from Monica for envisioning their beautiful future babies, so I’ll drop the topic for now since she’s getting pressure from all sides.

Chitra and Lopa talk off to the side and we start to delve into a chicken or the egg type scenario as we try to suss out which came first between Lopa and the Parvanis? The insults or the standoffishness? I’ve just met these folks and have no inside info, but it seems pretty clear to me that Lopa’s comments about Vishal (that are still continuing in the present) are reason enough for Reshma not to be a fan of Lopa’s. Anyone speaking that way about about my son would get so cold of a reception that they’d be convinced they were in Antarctica instead of Miami.

Speaking of cold, a week after the gala Vishal is still icing out Anish and refuses to talk to her about what went down between his family and Richa’s mom. Anish looks for guidance from Lourdes, her spiritual healer. On the golf cart ride there, we’re treated to some underwear color insights based on what you are seeking. Red is for love, yellow is for prosperity, and green is for harmony. I’m not the designer that Anish is, but I mocked up my way to have it all:

Love, Prosperity, and Harmony

Anish goes on to tell us that she contacted a psychic in Wyoming named Charles once. For sixty bucks he informed her that she would be married and have a child. Three years later she’s single and living back at home with her parents. In Western culture, I’m pretty sure that translates into a refund. Lourdes breaks out the Viking runes (my people, by the way, so Anish and I are now bonded in my brain.) If my ancestors are speaking properly to Lourdes, there will be not only a successful business, but a child in Anish’s future. Chitra looked thrilled at the prospect.

Brian admires his parents love marriage and because of it is now looking for his “Jasmine.” Producers remind him that Jasmine is Arab, so he clarifies that he’s looking for the Indian version. Is anyone else picturing Monica in this moment, or is it just me? If she and Brian do end up together, I can use my not-so-psychic powers to predict that their bedroom will be a lot cleaner and the dirtiness of their clothes won’t be determined by a smell test.

We finally get to meet Bali and let me tell you, she was worth the wait. She’s 44 and straddling the age groups between the young ones and the Aunties. Her personality allows her to fit into both worlds. She’s been divorced twice and gave up “eff you” money (her words, not mine) for happiness as a single mom to her teenage daughter. I can already tell that had I not found my other half on my second go at love, I’d totally want to be Bali. Fun, gorgeous, and hysterical are on the menu when she’s around, and the occasional broken shoe or two.

A deeper look into Monica’s relationship with her dad Raj is on tap next. The self described Bonnie and Clyde minus the bank robbing shared how Raj’s divorce from Monica’s mother caused him to withdraw some from the Indian community. Divorce was almost unheard of at the time it occurred and Raj still has feelings of guilt for what he sees as ruining Monica’s life. His loving daughter is quick to reassure him that she doesn’t see that as the case. In fact she’s used the experience to learn and grow, although it has made her cautious where relationships are concerned because she wants one that will last.

In our second introduction of the episode, we meet Shaan Patel. Shaan’s family is one of the original Indian families to come to the Miami area. His family has a beautiful compound with some….hmmm, how do I describe them? Interesting statues. Joking aside, Shaan shared the backstory of the marble manifestations on Insta. It’s very endearing and if you want to check it out click here:

Shaan and the other guys chill at the barbershop with some Jameson on the rocks and chat about dating. Shaan and Monica actually went on a date together, but it wasn’t a love match. That may or may not be attributable to his Aunt and Uncle spying on them through the window of the restaurant.

We’re taken deeper into Bali’s world and her mind as we follow her around at work. She’s a sales and marketing exec for fresh cut flowers. We’re soon clued in that this is not her dream job…nor is any job to be honest. She resents the first chick that burned a bra and would like a more old school set up where the woman doesn’t have to work. She is grateful though for the job she has and for what it’s allowed her to provide for her daughter.

Chemistry is finally visible between Vishal and Richa as we see them celebrate their 7th anniversary at Jungle Island. Lemurs, parrots, a kangaroo, and penguins make for one of the most adorable dates I could ever imagine. After hanging with the furry and feathered friends, Vishal tells Richa that he’d like to plan a traditional Roka ceremony to make their engagement official. The underlying reason that didn’t need to be spoken is that he’s hoping it will smooth things over with Lopa and his family.

Our final stop for this episode is a pumpkin patch complete with flannel shirts in 90 degree weather. I’m sensing several themed events in our futures as Anish shares that life is all about The Gram and FOMO. Bali got the flannel memo, as did Monica, but they both ignored it. We meet Shaan’s girlfriend Pooja, who they perfectly describe as an Indian Selena Gomez. She’s adorable. Paddle-boating and pumpkin painting pepper the party, as does speculation about the relationship status between Brian and Monica. See, I’m not the only one shipping them! All they’ll share is that they’re carpooling, but like Vishal I’m hoping it becomes carpooling with benefits. After their chat, I’m not sure Monica is quite willing to change the status. Especially when you consider she tried to exit the friend zone two years ago and Brian wasn’t interested. Don’t give up yet, Brian. The best things in life are worth working for and they can take time.

The episode closes with Reshma’s confessional after being filled in by Chitra about Lopa’s talk at the gala. My heart is breaking for Reshma. It’s beyond difficult to be stuck between your child’s happiness and your own contentment. I hope as the season progresses that she can have both.

Next week we go from freezing cold eggs to relationships and drama heating up. I hope to see you then!

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