Archive for October, 2008


She was dizzy with the smoke. The traditional wedding had
lasted almost three hours, and the heat and oil fumes from the
ever-present lamps had combined to make Raji feel slightly queasy.
And the chanting. It went on and on and on in Hindi incomprehensible
to a girl who’d grown up with a New England accent. She was suddenly
homesick – for America, for Connecticut, for forests and hills and
snow and people you didn’t have to watch every word around for fear of
treading on some custom you didn’t understand. Despite the cold and
pain that had driven her to this wedding in the baking heat of New
Delhi, Connecticut was home. And it was much, much too late to go
back. She was married. The wedding reception was ending now, and it
would soon be time to leave with this kind-seeming stranger, to go to
the house of his mother (whom Raji already despised), to go to his
bed. And all her American casualness about sex, the casualness and
experience she had counted on to see her through this ordeal, suddenly
was meaningless. She was scared. Why, oh why had she agreed to this?