Waiting for Panav

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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