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First pages

Ch- 1

‘Every bit, her angry self’

A man in his early 50s is banging vigorously on a bathroom door. A girl opens the door. Her face painted green, while her hair in curls, she looks every bit, her angry self.

 

THE MAN

Why did you say a no to that guy?

 

THE GIRL

(mumbling, cannot speak clearly, because of the face- pack)

 

Why? Do you waunt me too to get beaten

Like Meghna didi?

Should I too come home crying to you and ma?

I haed toald

you daed, I will neaver

mery a noan- En.Ar.I. (N.R.I.).

Indian maen doant haeve

eny understanding.

I would rather remain unmaerried,

Thaen maery an Indian.

So please Search an Amaerican boarn

Indian foar me, daed.

 

Bangs the door shut.

 

HER DAD

Fuming with anger

 

American born! American born.

The same old story!
---

Back in America, Kunal is lying alone in his bed. With eyes closed, he is contemplating his to be bride, Swati.

My sweet dulhan - shy shy

Traditional Seedhi sadhi

covered from head to toe.

---

In Mumbai, India, a car door opens. Swati is getting off in her high heeled stilettos, her micro mini skirt revealing her shapely long legs. A ‘bat- bird’ tattoo, on her lower back mocks the onlookers with jeering eyes.

 

KUNAL

 to himself

 

My sharmili, walking

with her eyes lowered.

 

---

 

Dulhan- bride

seedhi saadhi-simple

sharmili- shy

 

 

 

 

Her friends watch her intently, as she comes closer to Café Mocha, their favourite coffee and ‘blending’ shop. The girls look intently, with a tinge of jealousy; while the guy amongst them is ogling, his mouth wide open.

 

 

She winks at them.

---

 

KUNAL

And her lips… biting, shy!

---

 

Her red smeared lips pout in delight, as her cleared washed off the green face pack face gleams bright. Swati, the gorgeous 24 yr. old, snaps her fingers in front of Gautam, the ogling guy. He is startled. Smiling confident, she shuts his gaping mouth, with the words, ‘Shall we party?’

 

 

 

 

 

The place is soon filled with smoke from the flavored hookahs, while the hissing sound of the brewing coffee refreshes the atmosphere. Swati & the group are sitting together. Another friend, who is almost an obese, & is, carrying her child, appears, from afar.

 

Swati, to herself

 

My God! She is over-taking a hippo!

 

PREETI

(The friend)

coming close

 

Kya yaar, you guys are here,

while I have been searching all over.

 

GAUTAM

hugging her

O! My pretty Preeti,

How are ‘you’ ?

 

---

 

 

kya yaar-what …. friends

 

 

 

 

 

SWEATA

(One of the girls)

 

playing with the baby

 

So, how is this cute little gentleman?

 

 

Swati, raising her eyebrow

My- my! Look at ‘you’, you have

bloated Preeti. What you were & what

you have become? From

a loaf, to a cake, I must say!

 

PREETI

Sitting down

 

Actually yaar! My mother-in-law

keeps feeding me, so that

I can feed my child well.

We Indians live on such a

stupid mentality. First a girl

is bloated to match her

 so-called ‘motherhood’, & then,

her husband moves out in

search for a girl!

 

Through the laugh, Swati sights a guy, sitting at another table, staring at her. She looks away…. Then looks back…. He is still staring, while sipping hot coffee…. She winks…. His mouth gets burnt with a huge sip. Laughs she, aloud!

 

SWEATA

God help you Swati.

These stares are so annoying!

 

No! Its okay. I'm used to guys

drooling over me.

It started when I was

about twelve. In school,

every guy would stare

at me when I walked in.

And I knew what they were thinking.

 

Looking at Gautam, sitting next to her.

 

Just like I know what some guys think,

when they stay close to me!

 

He stares at her, while she smiles.

 

PREETI

So Swati, how is

your bird watching going?

 

O! Good!

 

SWEATA

Tell me dear, how

are you going to choose?

 

(taking a deep breath)

 

Well, one can move around with many,

But marriage is for life,

And the person I marry,

will be ….Special!

---

Later that night, somewhere else in Mumbai, a phone is ringing incessantly. Rashmi picks up the line. It is Kunal, who has stayed up all night, counting the moving seconds; only to break the big news to his mother. He didn’t want to call earlier and sound desperate about his decision to marry; the phone diary is still in the same place, just this time, Swati’s picture, instead of peeping out, is firmly clutched in his tight fingers.

 

Mama! I too am going to join you,

this vacation.

 

Rashmi waits for him to complete his ‘surprise’.

 

Do you remember you had sent me

a photo of a girl named, Swati Sharma.

I think, she suits me. I can consider

her for marriage…. I’ll like to see her.

Are you serious Kunal?

Remember then, no more Ritas & Suzys!

 

No pre- conditions mom!

Remember, I want an ‘Indian’ house-wife!

 

Bangs down the phone.

CH- 2

‘Daddy Cool it!’

Atmosphere is ripe amid the daily routine. The early morning bai (servant) is yet seeing through her everyday drill of washing and cleaning, while the cook is vigorously screeching through the utensils filled with dal and sabzi. Her one eye on the two, while the other on the chapattis being roasted on the tava. Glancing around occasionally is Mrs. Tara, Swati’s mother. Her daily supply of ‘English’ lies more in the supplement, ‘Bollywood’ Times! Oops, ‘Bo**ay Times, rather than the supposedly Main Newspaper. Since…… God knows when, she has taken an oath, to… herself that she is going to master with finesse, her ‘not so good’ spoken English language.

The insistent door bell is as effective in shaking the daily, as are flies in the open.

---

Dal-lentils

Sabzi-vegetables

Tava-a thick iron made pan used to roast chapattis

 

 

 

Mrs. Tara wriggles her nose expectantly and pulls herself off her cushiony massage chair to answer the door. Obviously it is her first daughter, MEGHNA, with her three year old son. Mrs. Tara welcomes him in her arms, & moves in. Meghna enters, shutting the door behind her.

 

GOPAL, Swati’s teen-aged brother comes out.

 

Who is it, maa?’

 

(Seeing Meghna)-

O!

(walks back to his room)

 

Mrs. Tara’s eyes catch the humming of the young maid, Soni, who is walking into the kitchen. Always dressed in colourful hues, she reminds her of the one particular Love bird in her maiden home, she had always despised.

 

MRS TARA

Oye Soni, ki hai? Why kitchen?

 

---

 

Ki hai -what’s going on?

 

(Soni, gleaming)

a… I thought…

you busy with Meghna didi,

so I help make your… favourite dish!

 

TARA

(Smiling false)

Thank you, but no thank you

(Sternly)

Go back to your work.

Clean the cupboards!

 

Gladly

 

I am talking about the

Cupboard, NOT the safe!

 

Tara’s gaze follows Soni, while the footsteps lead the way to the kitchen. With her head held high, she tucks her saree on her waist and pulls over her apron with the determination of an officer in charge of an ex- communication.

 

Tara is cooking, while her grandson is relishing a chocolate.

 

---

 

Didi- older sister. Often young girls address older ones as ‘didi’ as a mark of respect.

 

 

MEGHNA

(to her son)

Move! Move from here

 

The child, with a serious look on his face, walks out, then comes back, picks up 3 more chocolates & walks away.

 

SONI enters

(Scratching her head)

Kya bai?

When will you pay?

 

TARA

(Sternly)

tomorrow

Kal de dungi.

Huh!

Money- money- money

Thaets ol they are aaf’ter.

Bl**dy haeyd- ache!

 

SONI

(looking at Meghna, who is about to sob)

Today also, it will rain!

 

Whistling, she moves out. Looks at the kid, eating the chocolate. Smiles. Tries to pick away one from him. He gives her a stern look.

---

Kya bai- what ma’m

Kal de dugi- will give tomorrow

MEGHNA

(Sobbing)—

Ma! What do I do?

Life has become unbearable.

 

Mrs. Tara keeps cooking. Does not look at her.

 

Yesterday Kishore again slapped me.

I told ma-ji (mother-in-law), & she simply chuckled,

like it was some joke…

 

Staring at her indifferent mother

 

I too have some self- respect!

 

I too have a breaking point!

 

TARA

(Shrieking)-

So do we! Faed up!

We are faed up! Tired.

Complain, always complains.

You only have self-respect, don’t we?

Did you even ask us before

 maerrying that grocerer?

………….Love!

(Louder )

Love!

Now what happened?

The devil Love got lost from your head?

---

Back at Café Mocha

 

PREETI

Why are you getting so tensed?

 

SWEATA

A’re yaar! I can’t help it.

Did you guys hear about Sheetal?

On her first night,

she bled so much,

That she had to be

admitted in a hospital!

 

Uneasy, Gautam looks away.

 

Swati, cutting across

 

What nonsense! How is that possible?

 

Meanwhile, Gautam stands up and quickly sneaks into the bathroom. Swati watches him amused.

 

SWEATA

Honestly yaar. No jokes!!

 

O! Come on!

 

PREETI

No! It cannot bleed that much.

But it’s true that it does,

At least in a small quantity, for

every virgin!

May be, for ‘you’, it did!

 

PREETI

What do you mean?

 

Just that, it’s not necessary

that every girl bleeds.

 

Gautam comes back. His face is hanging down.

 

SWEATA

Come on yaar. You are talking

as if it is not ‘she’ who

is married, but ‘you’!

 

Why? Do you need to be married

to experience all this?!

 

Gautam splurts out the drink.

---

Later in the evening, Giriraj enters home, humming his favourite classic,

 

Seene me jalan aakhon me…

(Why is there is a burning in my chest and a storm in my eyes)

 

Suddenly he spots Soni and falls short. She is cleaning the house, dressed in a typical Maharashtrian Saree. He smiles broad.

 

(Singing the catchy lyrics)

Dhak- dhak karne lagaa,

Mora jiyaara jalne lagaa..

 

(my heart is beating..I am on fire)

 

(hears Meghna’s sobs.)

 

Seene mein jalan,

aakho me tufaan

Sa kyu hai….is sheher me har shaks

pareshaan sa kyu….

(why is every person in this city worried)

 

(Sits next to Meghna)

 

- Same Sad Story?

 

Meghna breaks into tears. Hugs him

 

Daddy! I am so miserable!

 

Giriraj, picking up a smiling frame of Mrs. Tara

 

I know. Who isn’t?

 

The photo in the frame frowns angrily. He shudders.

 

Mrs. Tara comes out. Is about to say something. But looking at Soni, stops.

 

 

TARA

(angrily)

Go wash the utensils

 

(as she is leaving)

‘Eve- droaper’! Huh!

 

Walking to Giriraj.

Will have to speak to

her mother in law.

She has been slapped again.

 

From the mother-in-law?

 

No baba! From our son-in-law?

 

Then why talk to her mother in law,

why not with son in law.

Huh! Meghna, why didn’t

you return a Slap for a Slap?!

Afterall, you are double that idiot’s size,

then what is the problem?

 

O- Ho! Shut up!

What are you teaching our daughter?

 

The phone rings. Soni picks up.

 

Halloo…

RASHMI

Hello! Mrs. Tara?

 

(making angry faces)

Gone out.

 

O! Is your sir there?

(Smiling)

Yes, he is

 

(calls out)

O suniye ji!

Listen please.

 

Giriraj smiles at her mischievously. Tara frowns.

 

GIRIRAJ

on the phone

Ha! Okay…okay….okay.

 

A door bell. Soni opens the door. It is Swati.

 

SWATI

Hi! Sweetheart!

 

Soni Smiles broad.

 

GIRIRAJ

Keeping the phone down

 

Swati! What do you think

you are wearing?

 

 

 

Yes?. A… I am wearing a blue

Striped micro mini Skirt,

with a plain red Spaghetti top………

 

(Smiling)-

So, do I get full marks?

 

The Song- ‘Daddy cool it!’, rings softly in her ears, while she twitches at her own ripe imagination.

GIRIRAJ

trying to control his temper

 

Swati! Atleast think a

little about other people

while dressing up.

Change yourself …please...
 

You know…. That N.R.I. proposal

you had got two years ago,

has come back, &

they are coming on the 15th.

….By all means, it is your

(sarcastically)

‘dream’ proposal.

 

O! Wow!

 

Now you better stop

wearing weird insane pathetic

clothes & spoiling your name!

 

I think you are forgetting

that the proposal is from

America & not Ulhasnagar

And, besides, this outfit

also resembles the American flag!.

The chap will certainly be pleased,

infact impressed, to spot a girl

like me!!

 

Swati, the man is looking

for a wife, not a model!

 

Now, that’s the difference between you

Indian male chovos & the N.R.I.S.

Tell me, if you don’t like

Such outfits, then

why did you praise my friend,

wearing a micro mini the

other day?

 

Tara looks with interest at Giriraj.

---

Later that night, the moonlight is peeking through a window ajar. Soft wind is quietly dancing the chiffon window drapes….. Seen through the swaying gaps is a girl, lost in thought. Her clear honest eyes are searching the walls for her unknown future. Her skin like porcelain can hardly contain the conflicting thoughts, edging the surface a rare pink. Swati moves the waiting pen from her lips to her friend, her confidante, her diary spread out at the study table.

‘Dear diary…I think my D’ day is nearing.’

The ink lightens. Swiftly, she jerks the pen.

 

Continues

‘The proposal from the U.S.A which I had got 2 yrs. ago has come around once again & am so thrilled! From today, I promise to write only happy events.’

The ink lightens again; she jerks the pen yet again, but it doesn’t help. …..pulls out the drawer, searches, finds one pen, but it too doesn’t work…… Gets up, goes out of the room. As she is walking to the living room, she hears her mother’s sobs. Walks she close to her parents’ room….. A slight push & the door, gives way…

TARA

leaning on Giriraj’s shoulder

 

So maeny boys we Soe for Swati.

Par kabhi gal nahi bani.

She eis twenty four.

In theis aige, I waes a mother of two.

And my poor girrl is noet even

blaessed with a maerrige.

 

 

GIRIRAJ

Patience pays Tara. It is more

important, to whom our daughter

marries, than ‘when’ She marries.

 

Swati smiles

(Giriraj continues)

 

Look at Meghna. What was

the sense in getting

her married at an early age?

Nor is she happy, nor anyone else.

That Kishore

has ruined my daughter’s life.

I just hope & pray to God

that it clicks for Swati.

Kunal will be right for her. Bright

Handsome, rich,

It should click Tara,

This time, it has to click.

Par kabhi gal nahi bani- things didn’t work out

 

 

A tear rolls down Swati’s cheek, as she shuts the door.

 

‘Sleep’, sleep is one factor that the more you think of, the further it drifts away. Too happy or sad, excited or nervous, the effect is the same; inability to drift away in that stage of passive activity, one of the fundamental biological needs.

After fighting tough to conquer the ever so important ‘Beauty sleep’, her other self, finally gives way. Lost she is in another world, as are moving the sleeping eyelids;

The Statue of Liberty emerges from amongst a flurry of clouds. She seems to be moving faster and faster towards it. Scared she is and thumping is her heart. How? Where? When? And then her one half swiftly moves back and sees herself in a red coloured wedding dress, flying on a silver horse. Sitting ahead of her, the reins in hand is her groom in a White coloured sherwani, his face covered with the sehra. Strains she, to glimpse the hidden face, but fails. Swoosh they fly over the statue of liberty; her bride self clutches the arms of her groom tight, while she sways away her face in fright; cold moist wind hitting across her ..… soon, the droplets on her face dry away as she is standing in front of the wedding fire, awaiting the feras. The pandit instructs them to start the feras. ….. he puts the varmala around her neck. She looks up while doing the same, hoping to end the torturing suspense, but Alas; the flowers are webbed too thick. ……. … time is ticking, moving forward.

---

sherwani- traditional attire for men

sehra- a string of flowers covering the groom’s face

With each passing second, her heart is leaping far and ahead as she awaits patiently her groom, on the flower- strewn wedding bed. Soon, she hears the door click a shut. He is moving towards her. Through the ghungat, she sees him sitting close to her on bed. He turns her towards him. She twitches her toes in anticipation. He moves her ghungat carefully over her head. She looks up, waiting with bated breath. He slowly moves aside his sehra, finally. She shrieks in shock, it is Gautam!

Her younger brother, Gopal, screams back. He was lying next to her, wanted to scare her with his pranks, but instead, is hurt by her swaying arms.

 

GOPAL

(making a face)

Dreaming about the ass

On a silver horse, again?

Giriraj rushes in

What happened? Kya hua?

Swati, exclaims

Nothing, dad!

Okay then. Bye.

I am already late for office.

 

Ghungat- end of the saree, covering her face

 

He is about to leave.

Dad!…..

Hmm?

 

I am sorry about yesterday!

I was rude to you!

 

What’s new?

(laughing)

will you ever change?

(She frowns, angrily)

Fine! Fine!!-

She looks at his trouser. His zip is open. He looks down, startled.

Hey! Ram…

Standing Sideways, he fidgets with his zip, which is not closing.

(irritated)

I have to tell your mother

a thousand times before she

fixes my clothes.

 

‘Dad!..

(louder)

Dad!

 

He looks up

 

You are wearing your pant inside out.

 

He looks down, slaps his forehead.

CH- 3

A ‘desi’ bride in making

The breezy cold night is ripe with the aroma of freshly baked pizza, while the giant sized L.E.D. screen is pushing sights and sounds of a sci- fi Hollywood film, onto the walls in the otherwise vacant Living room. A paid Pizza slip flies off the center glass table, trying to peep at its accomplice pizza box, sitting comfortably on the bed inside. Stretched out liberally on the Master bed is Kunal; his one hand within reach of the obedient pizza box, while the other, holding Swati’s desi (Indian) attired picture.

 

My desi bride.

Eyes lowered - shy…..shy!

 

with a smile spread on his face, he springs out of bed. Makes a call… an urgent call.

(on the phone)

 

Yes mom! Any progress?

 

Ha beta. On 15th is the meeting.

So come before that.

 

Beaming with joy

 

Okay mom! Love you. Bye!

---

 

The sun rises in the East. A playful music is humming on the Music system with a huge cut out of Pamela Anderson, over the bed. Swati appears from the bathroom, folded in snow coloured bath robe, hair swaddled. The waiting mirror is filled with her image; the mistress questioning, commanding, almost threatening to provide her with the very best. With a sweeping glance, she turns her gaze to the calendar hanging adjacent, with an image of a clear blue beach and a bold red tip pen attached. Circles she, the 15th, crossing on the way, clear and large, the 1St. Turns she back her gaze at the alarmed mirror. To its relief, she turns her gaze to the door. Shuts… locks… turns around. The mirror gazes wide eyed, as she walks towards it. Then suddenly, looking eye to eye in the mirror, she drops the bathrobe…..

Looking confident, she stands tall…. looks at the posture of Pamela….. then back at herself. Sneakily, out from behind the piled library books, covered in a paper bag appears the infamous Breast Enhancing crème. She smiles, looks up… while the mirror sways its head, a ‘No!... No!’

Somewhere…. Someone’s voice rings in the air, ‘My desi bride!’

---

The whole of next few days is exhausted in shopping for clothes, cosmetics, footwear; the stilettos and the jogging shoes, as Swati continues to hit the gym, with an increased fervor and attack. The dates on the calendar increasingly are soaked with crosses, until at last the date 13 is approached. Now all that remains is looking good. And what else can better a day long visit to a beauty salon. Although Woman and Beauty is synonymous, a little push from the experts to help ‘maintain’ thyself wouldn’t hurt, right?..

---

The night brings along the calm and content, the satisfaction of a day well lived, so as to plunge in rest, a deep sense of joy to rejuvenate the self. Rashmi is looking out of the window, at nothing in particular. Suddenly she feels two hands around her, the touch of whom never fails to draw a smile on her glorious face; the arms that have always promised to shield her through all these years, as well as have drawn the benefit of support from the same. The mutual advantage of couple-hood, a whole that they continue to share is nothing short of a marvel in today’s times.

 

RAM

Trouble?

 

Rashmi smiles to herself as yet again, as usual, his confidence in knowing her so well, makes her twitch her lips in delight, even flattered.

(Sighing)

I don’t know Ram, I really wonder,

I mean…. Kunal might marry soon… but…

will he be able to make her happy,

 whoever she is, I mean…

 

O- come on Rashmi!

You are doubting our

own son?

 

Yes I am. But how can I help it?

Contrary to us, Kunal was born &

brought up in America.

We tried our level best`,

that he gain the

Positives from both the

countries; of his origin and

his experience. But instead,

he seems to have imbibed

only the Negatives.

And… and now this double standard

of his…….

It is disgusting, don’t you think?

CH 4

‘For Virginity and Fresh Pakodas

A woman’s magazine brings along a lot of benefit for a lady, especially the one about to marry, and especially when she is reading along within the sham, the ‘Play Boy’!

Through the French windows of the balcony where she is sitting, she glimpses at the T.V. After the smiley lady has sold a pressure cooker of half the nation, emerges an International make-up show. And the episodic theme is, ‘How to apply a theme based style nail polish.’ Wow! She throws ‘the’ magazine aside!

Soni appears; at such times, she normally does appear. God alone knows from where, but she almost always does…..

 

SONI

Make-up show?

 

Ha! Aaja. And get that

nail polish from there

---.

Ha.. aaja.. yes..come

Swati starts applying nail polish to herself. Soni is looking engrossed. A door-bell buzzes somewhere in the background; twice. A shrill voice of Tara breaks the pleasant playful day.

TARA

sarcastically

Soni maharani

The queen of Sheeba, pleease Open the door.

 

Soni does not move. The doorbell rings yet again. Gopal looks at the door irritated.

Soon, all of Swati’s nails are painted, while she continues watching the show. Gopal escorts Neha to the room. Soni stylishly walks out, while Neha looks on amused.

 

Swati, beaming with surprise

Neha!! When did ‘you’ come?

 

Hugging her, gasping.

My God! This is really a surprise!

But when did you come from States?

No call, no news, just like that?

 

---

Maharani- the great Queen (a sarcasm)

 

 

 

Soon, through the pleasantries, the two jet pass to more serious issues.

 

You know Swati, life isn’t as simple as we think!

He is so different now. I can’t believe my

husband can treat me like dirt!

 

O! come on now Neha, be matured!

How can you say it is ‘his’ fault,

you know you are so lucky

to be married there. …………

It isn’t possible sweetheart.

I know American men.

They are So..o.. understanding,

and cultured……

 

Neha looks angrily at her.

 

…….. No! I am not against you, or may be,……..

you don’t really know how

to make men happy.

You should learn a few bedroom tips

from me, you know!

 

Through the high end female chat, the two long time best friends are oblivion to the presence of Gopal, who quietly is sitting in a corner, swaying his head left to right and back, in symphony with the warm and soon hot play of words between the two.

The last blow however, takes him completely by surprise and he looks stunned, wide eyed.

Swati, agitated

 

You stupid! Don’t you have any manners?

Get lost from here!

 

Neha does not know how to react. She didn’t expect her friend’s younger brother to ‘eavesdrop’ on what was supposed to be, her private affair!

Gopal quietly walks out, while the two weigh the heavy silence of awkwardness between them. Soon they resume to other activities and simply chill out. Watching T.V. seems to be the safest bet, as they dive in. Coupled with eating, it seems in every way, a cool ‘‘chicks’ day out!’

Finally, Neha leaves. As Swati waves a bye, from her door-step, the two exchange a glance of the trouble, the pain, the solace in words which yet remain in the air, awaiting to be told.

Quietly, she walks to her bedroom. Gopal is watching the soap, ‘Kyuki Saas bhi….’ Before she can word her objections;

 

 

Without shifting his gaze

 

The Living room T.V. has

broken down once again!

 

Making a face, Swati glances at the wall clock. It is Three- five. Kicks she Gopal, on the hand. The remote falls down. She turns to Star World to watch ‘The Bold & the Beautiful’!

 

(A Shout)

Swati!!

 

Come on Gopal, act your age!

How can you

tolerate such Saas bahu bakwaas?

Start acting more youthful,

 for heaven’s sake!

---

Saas bahu bakwaas- mother in law, daughter in law nonsense fights

 

He tries to pick up the remote, she drags it to herself, with her feet.

 

Grow up kid! I always win.

 

Swati, Give me the remote!!!!!

 

Shut up you jerk! Brook is

about to kiss her father- in- law.

---

 

 

Gopal makes a face…. Spots the ‘Play boy’ magazine, fallen in the balcony.

 

Hey! What’s that- A magazine?

 

He moves forward to have a LOOK. Swati realizes that she had forgotten all about it…. Gopal picks it up…. she tries to catch him, to snatch it off. They are going round and round the sofa and the center table. The phone starts to ring. Nobody bothers. Finally, Swati dives & snatches the magazine, does a double up over the corner table and picks up the phone, panting.

---

Somewhere, sometime, a man eager to marry wishes to listen to the voice of his soon to be bride. He finds it sweet, romantic, even erotic. However, what he never expects is the gasps of quick breaths, and more still, what he never expects is the reaction they are capable of drawing from him. Far far away, connected by unseen waves, just that gasping ‘Hello’ shakes him like nothing else. Falling short of breath himself, he quickly disconnects and answers his urge to use the washroom.

Returning from the same, he sits down heavily on the sofa, smiling to himself. Glances he at the diary, where the page is spread wide on the ‘P’ Section- proposals- Swati’s name is sprawled with red ink. A picture is peeping out from under.

 

 

He needs to talk, to share his feelings. He needs his friend. Soon, he is video chatting on the laptop.

 

JAVED

Why India?

Aren’t there pretty girls

all around in America?

 

Going to India for

My desi bride, in short,

 For virginity & fresh pakodas!

 

 

-What? What do you mean?

 

 

Scratching his head, Kunal contemplates whether to share this or not. Then finally, gives in

 

I basically want a girl who

is a virgin, & who can cook well.

And I am sure, I can get

one only in India; after all, American girls lose their virginity at the age of twelve, & besides, they can never cook good Indian food.

 

 

Don’t be too sure!

I am talking from experience.

India & Indian girls

are no longer what you think.

You think your ‘proposal’ girl

will be a shy dumbest ‘cow’?

 

 

Yes! A shy dumbest cow,

to take care of my home. Who would

be mine & only mine. A virgin,

waiting for me, and who would cook

fresh pakodas, like my mom does, when

I return home, every evening.

 

 

and you are sure you’ll get all this

in this Indian girl?

 

 

But of course! After all, Indian girls

still consider their husband as God!

 

 

-You have gone nuts!!

 

Before Kunal can react, the phone rings

 

 

RASHMI (on the phone)

Hi! Kunal bete, all ready to leave?

 

 

Yes Mom! Leaving immediately

by the next flight. I shall see you tomorrow.

Have only one transit in Hong Kong.

 

We are very keen to see you beta

 

And I am very keen to see ….

Giving a sharp look to Javed on the web chat.

 

Swati!


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Having completed her Bachelors in Psychology, Fatema later attained her Masters in English Literature alongwith a Diploma in Journalism, Film and T.V. Video Production and Fashion Designing. A creative writer by aptitude, she has also written features in newspapers and magazines. As a Film script writer and a documentary film maker, her P.S.A., ‘The Right Choice’, on H.I.V. A.I.D.S, won as a competition film. An Artist by passion, Fatema derives solace by creating life on canvas.

Q. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from this book?
A.
Jaqueline Fernandez for 'For Virginity and Fresh Pakodas' and Kareena Kapoor for 'Love lasts for one and a half years'
Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
Nobody is perfect.. Not even Love!
Q. What books have influenced your life the most?
A.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

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