“Ready Mala?” Rahul called. “Ma’s online.”
Mala applied sindoor, pasted a bindi and decorously draped a scarf over her head.
“Namaste Mother.” She folded her hands and greeted her mother-in-law from halfway across the world.
“Sacrilege! Your arms are bare!”
“The bangles make such a racket in the library…”
“Is the auspicious tinkle of bangles a racket? If the tinkle is silenced…” She choked.
“Ma!” Rahul butted in. “Let me show you our apartment.” Mala nudged him. “We just shifted, so it’s a bit messy.”
“Is that the kitchen? Where are the spices, pulses? All I can see are sauce bottles…alcohol?”
“Alcohol. This is why I was against you going abroad.”
“Look Ma, canned beans. Ready to eat, no need to cook…”
“What! No cooking? No wonder you are all skin and bones.”
“I am fine Ma.”
“Forget bangles, she can’t cook for you or control your drinking. How will she bring up her children? Look after us?”
“Book my tickets. I will teach her how to run a home.”
Written for PJ’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (a story in 100 -175 words) on the photo prompt provided by Maria of Doodles and Scribbles. Thanks Maria for the photo and PJ for hosting (and welcome back!).
A/N For those who are not familiar, in India, sindoor or vermilion is applied on the parting of the hair by married women. They are also expected to adorn themselves with other symbols of their wedded status (bindi – usually a red dot at the center of the forehead and bangles, toe rings etc). Unmarried girls may wear the bindi and bangles but not the sindoor. Traditionally, widows were expected to wear only white and shun all jewelry and color. Things are changing rapidly and today it is common to see widows wearing colored dresses and/or jewelry, yet attitudes and mindsets need a major overhauling.
And an announcement!
It’s Story Club time. This month, the story club is being hosted by Ramya and the story this month is “In a Grove” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Ramya will be posting her views and analysis of the short story on Monday, 17th October 2016. Do read the story (link given above) and drop in for a read here and there. But even better, post your own views and link it to the Story Club #4 post (to be posted on Monday) so that we can all head over for a read. Comments and views in the Reply box are also welcome. Anyone interested in hosting the next story club -please raise your hand 😀 If you wish to know how the Story Club works, click here or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for visiting – have a grand weekend 🙂