gold saree

Arranged Marriage

Where my family comes from, arranged marriages are still very much the norm. It’s really not what most people think when they hear “arranged marriage”; it’s more like going on a blind date set up by people (usually your parents) who know you, love you, and have your best interests at heart with a very clear endgame. My parents always said that my opinion would be the only one that mattered in the end and that I could say no to whoever they brought home, no questions asked. A love match also wasn’t entirely off the table, even if it wasn’t their ideal choice for me.

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girls in constant motion

inspired by:  there’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls. - megan abbott

i.

running down corridors, darting into classrooms
the swish of your skirt as you skip down the stairs
a sea of heads bowed in prayer, eyes closed
our father and hail mary spilling from our lips
there is viciousness in the voices of girls,
echoing in corners of a convent school.

ii.

walking in the rain, ripped jeans and dirty converse
your best friend tying a braid that tugs at your mind
pens used for doodling on the insides of wrists
a blood pact with no blood spilt.
teenage girls promising each other,
forever and always and friendship.

iii.

stealing your brother-in-law’s shoes and hiding them
your didi’s pleased laughter as she grins at you
a bold red lipstick that incurs an aunt’s disapproval
the pink and gold saree your mother chose for you
you are not yet twenty, no one knows it yet,
but when the time comes, you will not marry.

iv.

blowing out the single candle on the cupcake
a face illuminated by the light of a laptop screen
singing a quiet ‘happy birthday’ to herself
eating the cupcake before her phone starts ringing
she’s nineteen - determined, happy, bored,
she’ll never be as dangerous as she is now.

m.r.