Monday, June 7

Life Is Funny...

I have a bronze anklet. One I keep hidden at the bottom of my jewelry box. It's simple: made with little glass beads and tiny bells. It is pretty. It was a present from the boy who proposed to me two years ago. I remember the night he gave it to me.

We were staying at Gorashal in my uncle's guest house and had just gotten back from a boring dinner party. I was in a bitch of a mood. It was the eighth consecutive event we *had* to attend, for my father's sake, for my grandmother's sake, for the sake of the whole motherfucking Chowdhury clan. I was bored shitless. The entire evening was spent away from my cousins, away from him, mingling with strangers I didn't care about; all the while attempting to move elegantly in a sari. Not cool.

That summer, we spent many nights on the rooftop of my Uncle's bungalow playing poker, smoking, swearing, daring each other to do stupid things--- all the things we couldn't when the adults were in sight even though all of us were of age. It was dangerous. It was fun.

So that night, we were congregated on the roof, talking until it was past 4 am when most of us decided to call it quits. Not us. He and I were deep in conversation over politics, over books, over life, over love. We didn't even notice that we were the only ones still there. By now, our limbs had somehow managed to tangle together and the moonlight had a strange affect of highlighting the depth of his features. His broad shoulders and strong chin seemed even more prevalent with the dancing shadows around us. I rested my head on his shoulders, content.

That's when he took a parcel out of his pocket. It was one of those tiny brown bags you'd get from shopping at the village market.

'You look like you could use a present.' He smiled, shaking a string of beads and bells from the packet. He wrapped it around my ankle, handling the clasp and letting his fingers linger far longer than was necessary. A present, he said, so I'd think of him when I was back home, surrounded by the American boys and their big guns and games. I should have been swayed by his charm. I should have swooned. I didn't. I thanked him politely and kissed his cheek goodnight.

In a month, he'll be married to his betrothed and my eldest brother will be the 'best man' at his wedding. I don't really feel anything about any of this. It was summer. Everyone knows summer flings never last. Besides, a man like him---a man who was destined to head his father's corporations, destined to run in the same circles we both said we hated that summer---needs a trophy wife who he can frolic about with at those stupid dinner parties I detest so much. Keeping up appearances has never been my forte...


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