Waiting for Panav

hyderabad-2707439_1280

Hyderabad, India (Photo: Pixabay)

 

“Can you see him?” Aashi danced on the balls of her feet. “Is he here?”

Her sister slowly passed the binoculars over the crowd.

“Maha!”

Maha sighed and adjusted her sari. She had taken Aashi to the roof because the girl’s incessant buzzing got on Dādī’s nerves. Grandma was anxious enough for Uncle Panav’s arrival without her youngest granddaughter upsetting the chapati.

“He’ll be here soon,” Maha allowed. She didn’t really think she’d be able to spot him. Still she kept the binoculars trained on the market hive below.

Heat rose from the street, stirred by hawkers’ calls and drivers’ horns and the indistinct hubbub of people that had made Hyderabad home.

Aashi’s bangles jangled. Some were Maha’s till this morning.

She touched her nose ring. A gift from Uncle Panav, who will be Chaacha no more. Her chest tightened. Tomorrow, after they wed, she’ll call him Pati.

 

 

Hindi Glossary: Chaacha – uncle; chapati – unleavened Indian bread; Dādī – Grandma; Pati – husband

 

For What Pegman Saw: Hyderabad, India

 

13 thoughts on “Waiting for Panav

    • If it is an immediate uncle, yes, it will be. And yes, it is an unfortunate reality. In the real event this is loosely based on (my friend’s mother from Mumbai had been married to a much older relative at 14), the “Uncle,” though he was referred to as “Uncle,” wasn’t a brother of a parent but the cousin of the mother. Still very close in relation but not literally incestual. Important comment, Abhijit, thank you!

  1. Super story! You capture Maha’s ambivalent feelings so well, and the contrast with young Aashi’s unalloyed excitement is very effective and powerful. Lovely, skilful. humane writing!

  2. Oh! I do not like where this is leading only because of the content, not your writing. You brought the city and these young girls to life with sights, smells and the feeling of extreme heat.

Feedback welcome! Please leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s