Friday Excerpt: Indian Flare

If you’ve read my Dev Dreams, Vol One collection, you may have noticed that two of the stories have Indian main characters and involve Indian culture. Not many people know that I grew up in an Indian based community and that the culture is deeply a part of me. This excerpt is from a free story (that is also in Dev Dreams) and I wrote it entirely while I was in India.

Word Count: 500


There was nothing Priyanka could do in the bathroom to quiet the fury of nerves in her stomach. In just a few minutes she would meet the man she would spend the rest of her life with and all she knew of him was printed on the back of his photograph that was in her bag. She had spent the nights since she found out looking at that picture and trying to imagine what kind of person he was. He was older than her, but younger than she expected and he looked a bit shy in front of the camera. She was surprised by how handsome he was and she hoped it was an up to date photograph. In situations like these, you never knew what people might do. It was not the usual way, to go sight unseen to a new place.

Ever since her parents had been killed in an accident, Priyanka had lived with a distant aunt. She brought with her a bad horoscope, additional expense, and the taint of tragedy. Daksha Auntie worried how she would marry Priyanka off from the time the girl arrived at eleven years old. Daksha Auntie wanted people to believe that she loved and cared for Priyanka, but in reality she wanted nothing more than to be rid of her and she resented any expense that Priyanka took as coming from her own children. Daksha Auntie and Babu Uncle started looking for matches when Priyanka turned eighteen, but found nothing until she was twenty.

Daksha Auntie had not told her much about her groom. He was an NRI, living in America. He was a doctor. It all sounded like a very eligible man. There had to be some catch, something Daksha Auntie wasn’t telling her for him to agree to her horoscope.

“You will go to America and meet him there,” Daksha Auntie told her, “This is the best offer we will get for you.”

“What’s wrong with him?”

“What makes you say something is wrong? You are an ungrateful girl for all the work that we do for you. You will go there and you won’t make a fuss. Lucky girl that you should go to America and marry a doctor. Everyone we know will be jealous.”

But Priyanka knew something wasn’t right. A man as good as Auntie described would have no need to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find her, poor and with tragedy in her horoscope. Most NRIs returned to India to find their brides, married while there, then brought them back. Why had her groom insisted she come alone to the other side of the world with only his picture? This was not how things were done. Daksha Auntie didn’t care, she would take whatever offer she could get for Priyanka.
Read the whole story free here:

And make sure to come back on Monday for a review of the collection of stories Paradox!

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