I am married. I aaaam married. I didn’t give my B. A. final exams but I am married.

     Married to a sensible man. He can’t fix a light bulb or lift a suitcase. He blows his nose and coughs out his mucus on roadside. So what? In due time, I will straighten him. His family will see. I am surprised they didn’t reject me when he and his sister visited my family with his marriage proposal. I was not dressed in traditional cloths. I was wearing hip bellbottoms. Ha! Now I am married.  I am Mrs. Shashi Arora.

     Unlike my younger sister Manju, I am free. I don’t adhere to his Punjabi family traditions. Stuffy and old traditions. What do they know? They are refuges. They think just because Indian government gave them land in New Delhi, indicates that they are Indians. They will always be refuges-from-Pakistan. Thank you lord Rama, this idiot had some sense and moved us to Bombay, away from his family.

     His backward family does not understand that in 1972, unlike the brides of my mother’s era, newlywed can wear western clothes. I love this mini dress; my legs are so fair. I know due to with my white skin, I can get away with everything. I am so slim that you can contain my waist in two hands. Best part is that nobody realizes I am pregnant!

     On our , this idiot with his leaky nose would not stop.  Now two months later, I am pregnant. Who gets pregnant on their wedding night? This thing is going to take away my freedom. Do I have to keep the child? What about me? Right now, I know I am the prettiest girl here, even in this shady parking lot. But what if after I give birth, I am fat like my elder sister Kamlesh.

     This movie was not that bad. I like that he holds my hand. He is not Rajesh Khanna—my dream movie-star-husband. Still it is brave that he holds my hand. Is he? Or, he likes to show-off, how he acquired me?

     I hope we go to Juhu beach for an ice cream. I don’t know. He doesn’t like to waste money on things like ice cream, maids, flowers . . . Lord Krishna, this man is so ridiculous. He expects me to keep a daily diary of my every minute expenditure. Who does that? I know who. Him—Mr. Arora! At my father’s home I could spend whatever, whenever.

     Big deal if he is a big miser, a bit of a non-entity, and ten years older than me. I know my future is safe with him. Manju asked me, why I chose to marry him when I had so many marriage proposals. Of course, I had multiple marriage proposals; I am beautiful. I am not like her; I have a fair skin, thin nose, thin lips, and straight hair. He is not like me. He is so dark that you can’t see him at night. He has thick nose and unruly hair. But that is it. Compared to him I will always be the beautiful bride.

     Kamlesh married her dream husband at seventeen. At twenty, I was too late and too old. I still feel young; young, but with a child in my belly.

     He is so slow. Why is he taking forever to start his scooter? It is irritating to see him kick-and-kick-and-kick. He is an engineer of some kind but he can’t start a fucking scooter. Just give it to me, one kick and it will roar. One kick each and both of them will start. At last. Let me sit on that rusty thing, put my arm around his waist and slide it down his thigh to his precious area; I am sure he will spend his money for an ice cream.

     Huh! What? Where is he going? Doesn’t he realize that I am still standing here?

     I don’t believe this is happening to me! His bobbling helmet-head is driving away.

     Should I scream?

     Is he talking to himself? Oh lord Rama, he thinks I am sitting behind him, and he is talking to me.

     He is such a moron. He is not realizing that I am standing here. Wait until he comes back. Every night this hairy mosquito climbs on me and wants his thing. He leaves me to clean his spills. I still don’t understand how his little-okra can get me pregnant. Idiot. Rode off and left me here? I know what to do. No climbing-on-me tonight.

     He will come back. Right? He has to come back. He can’t leave me here? After all, I am his wife. I am sure he will come back.

     What if he doesn’t?

     I am alone. I am pretty. I am slim. He has to.

     What should I do?

     I feel like crying. Others are staring at me strangely. I am sure they are admiring my beauty. Thank you lord Krishna that they don’t know I married a fool.

     They won’t see me cry.

     Thank you lord Rama, he and his helmet-head are coming back. What? He is laughing. What is he laughing about? Is it funny to leave your beautiful wife stranded in a movie theater parking lot? How I wish I was born a male.


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