The clash of my
bangles is heard
as I rush down
the stairs, trying
to wear my jhumkas
while holding my
lehenga so that
I don’t trip and my
mother tells me
to hurry, because
she needs me to
hold the gift, some
mithai for the lucky
couple, along with
a delicate dinner
set. When my
grandmother sees
me, she beams,
telling me that
Indian clothes suit
me and I smile
because no matter
how many times
she tells me, I’m
always in jeans the
next day, I’m always
firmly in my comfort zone.
At the wedding,
old Bollywood songs
play, and waiters
move in-between
the crowds with
every single possible
food that can be
eaten from a toothpick.
Relatives I haven’t
seen in years tell
me that I’ve grown up,
that I’ve lost weight,
that I look beautiful.
I smile at them
over and over
again till my face
feels like it’s set in
stone. They do not
realise. They tell me,
I look beautiful.
The rest of the night
passes in a blur with
a few snapshots
engraving themselves
into my memory.
When I reach home,
I take off my earrings,
and half asleep already,
I slip into my pajamas.
Tomorrow will be
another event, another
outfit, another
profanity muttered to
myself. I fall asleep,
dreaming of my jhumkas,
dreaming of my
wedding, dreaming of
the future.


Jhumkas– Earrings
Lehenga– Traditional Indian Dress
Mithai– Indian Sweets

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