notes of a shehnai waft into our bedroom from the party plot behind our house.
mithi: what's that music for, mama?
me: someone's getting married mithi.
mithi: like people do in films? a boy and a girl?
me: hmm, something like that.
mithi: like papa and you? you have "done marriage" haven't you?
some wedding music blares at alarming decibels in the party plot.
mithi: mama, one day i have to "do marriage" too? with a boy?
me: yes, mithi.
mithi: mama, then i will marry papa so i can always stay with you.
again some music wafts in.
me: mithi, come look at the mandap from the window. a wedding's on.
mithi: mama, it's so well decorated.
me: so, you will marry papa one day?
mithi: WHY? why should i marry papa? i will also marry a boy and go away somewhere else.
me: where will you go?
mithi: why, like bombay, delhi, calcutta!
mithi's dad: i will make a bakra of some junior so you can always live with us.
mithi: why? i will live in my own house. like cinderella and her prince.
mithi: mama, bittu didi and i have made a strong resolve.
mithi: we have decided that...we shan't get married!
me: but, why?
mithi: it's a very silly thing to do that's why.
me: so what have you decided to do?
mithi: we have decided to live with our parents and take care of them for the rest of our lives.