All women have types. It’s programmed in their genetic material.
Astrophysicists believe God plays dice. So he creates yin a dark, cold female power and yang light, warm and male to balance the world.
As of today the world population i.e. total number of living humans on Earth is estimated to number 7.063 billion by the United States Census Bureau.
Think of your genetic counterpart struggling to find you in this human maze…
Since it’s a game of big numbers, there are clues. That’s the good news.
The bad news is the signs are so subjective they are open to all kinds of interpretation.
Claire rolled her eyes, “good news is you have imagination. Bad news is you are a nerd with imagination.”
Angara agreed glumly. Bad news was she was also sucker for any male with dimples. Good news that he was just an infatuation, puppy love, momentary obsession, passing fancy…
Claire snapped her fingers in Angara’s face. “Are you done thinking synonyms and reached the antonyms yet?”
Everyone was sympathetic. Everyone included the world, its wife and children. It excluded her immediate family.
Mom smiled as Angara pushed open the door, “how’s my doctor?”
That right there, in a nutshell, was the stereotype of her life.
She was a paradox- that extremely rare specimen, possibly the only American of Asian Indian origin in the US of A who hated mathematics and had no ambition whatsoever to dedicate her life to a Hippocratic Oath.
“How’s tricks,” asked her grandmother sitting by her mother on the cushy sofa in the living room. They were shelling peas and watching television. It was a Hindi soap opera of a family that was completely beyond the realm of Indian experience. It mainly consisted of performances where actors spoke little but the camera moved rapidly to capture twenty different facial reactions to one sentence. The background music jarred and emotionally charged moments were liberally scattered in the script.
It was also a marvel how little the story actually progressed yet how loyal its expatriate audience was.
They were the traditional Asian Indian family one should have encountered in the heartland of Punjab, India. It was a glowing testimonial to the grit and determination of her father a first generation immigrant who had ensured nothing of value in their philosophy and culture was lost in translation the twenty odd years her family had been living in California.
“Great,” Angara muttered, feeling her stomach grumble. She could smell her comfort food. Blessed were those that had a mother who could cook. Too bad Moses had not brought that one down from the mountain.
“Why won’t she talk to me biji,” her mother complained to her grandmother. “Aren’t daughters supposed to be a mother’s best friend? Even her brother has more to tell and the whole world agrees in a day men speak less than women.
Ask her anything and the response is- great!
Thank God nobody is putting the onus of continuing our great literary traditions on her. All generation Y Punjabis walking about saying great, great- just imagine!”
Angara’s mother Tara was gifted the muse as a family legacy. She was an eminent novelist and the daughter of a famous poet of Punjabi who wrote under the penname Masti. Her father always loved to brag he had married above him.
Tara soliloquized as she rattled spoons and pots in the kitchen. She asked rhetorical questions nobody was supposed to answer to.
Angara dropped her backpack on the floor. Pulling out a chair at the dining table she seated herself and waited. Her mother appeared with a plate loaded with yellow tuvar dal, boiled rice, fried okra and a papad.
“Here, your highness,” she glared. “Don’t forget to ask if you need anything. Please consider this as your home.”
Angara’s dad thought nobody looked prettier than her mother in a snit. Angara smiled and took the plate.
“Thanks mom. Mmm this smells heavenly.”
Her mother glared still suspicious of the girl who used to flush her food in the water closet when she thought nobody was watching.
“Eat every bite. No wastage. Remember there are children in Ethiopia who don’t get one square meal…”
“I remember when my family reached the refugee camp after partition in Ferozepur. The tastiest meal I recall eating in my entire life was that one bajre ki roti with two spoonfuls of maa ki daal.” Biji added not to be outdone, from the living room.
Biji had no idea how to act the matriarchal heavy of orthodox Punjabi families. She was supposed to feud, vie and denigrate with her daughter-in-law not be her staunchest ally.
Angara smiled at her two favorite women in the world not that she would ever be moronic to share it with them and give them more power on her life.
“And for heaven’s sake clean the attic. The boy is here and we don’t want him to think the daughter of our house is a slob, do we?”
Angara gulped her food down. She had been meaning to do it, clean the attic that is but life came in the way and homework assignments and science practical and assessments. She dashed up the stairs taking them two at a time.
Her mother and grandmother were talking in low voices and chuckling.
“My favorite part is where Kul told him- keep your shirt on at all times. We have an impressionable girl in the house.”
The attic was Angara’s research lab. The masterpiece of chaos that was life- she visualized herself telling an impressionable TV anchor. Edit, insert adjective- a starry eyed impressionable TV anchor. (Question to self: did one bestow on said TV anchor tall, dark and handsome or was that being shallow?)
She had not started with any concrete plan really. Just a manuscript here, a poem there… Pens and pencils to delight a collector’s heart… Pity, most didn’t work. Books… she gazed about her dolefully…
Where did her mother think she was going to move them?
All the rooms were taken and the garage was out of bounds.
Her father and brother would throw a fit if she took even a shelf of space in their neatly labeled and alphabetically arranged from A to Z Everything a Well Stocked Household Needs Almanac which the uninitiated called a garage.
Except that one could not touch a thing there.
Who took the stapler from this red drawer labeled Office Supplies?
Enough procrastinating… she admonished herself. She could be quite firm if she set her mind to it. And motivational- how would you eat an elephant? A bite at a time.
Which frog did you eat first?
The ugliest one.
So she sat on the bed to contemplate who met the criteria for… it had been a long day and one needed to study the problem from varied angles… now, if she lay down… so she did dangling her feet over the bed’s edge.
It was then that events registered.
The sound of a shower turning off and the bathroom door opening.