Wednesday, April 24, 2013

American ♫ Desi Girl ♫


Chapter 11

Yearning

The school year had ended on a bittersweet note. It had been a year she’d remember all her life or die trying to forget, it was one of those things, a conundrum,
a heaven-and-hell deal.

Mama had noticed the brooding and the lackluster eyes and thought it was time to take her baby girl out to the mall, and lunch, and perhaps catch a movie, to combat the first-day-of-a-long-summer-vacation-blues. Workaholics get those you know, and need a friend to help them snap out of it.

Summer dresses were especially pretty this year, and the roman sandals made you want to go off on a Roman holiday. They came with straw hats that came with matching straw bags and made the women giddy with all the matching and contrasting that suddenly became possible. If the LP hadn’t been so good at skating she sure had a future in fashion.

Mama and the LP made their way to the food court and sat down to “the usual”.
They couldn’t get excited about any of the movies at the multiplex so they dropped the idea of going to one. Instead they’d explore the new wing at the mall that hadn’t been there the last time and see how that had turned out.

This was a bazaar, little shops with little things, much like the bazaars of Hyderabad they had visited on their last visit to India, a refreshing change from the gargantuan chain store. Down-to-earth pottery in one, humble cotton rugs in another, copper pots in yet another, flashy earrings galore, even a bangle shop. The new age was being good to shoppers.

By and by they had matching bracelets and earrings for every dress they owned!
And the mother-daughter duo was walking toward the exit when they saw it. This was a store like no other. It glittered like no other. It beckoned like ones destiny does. They walked toward the glass storefront like a couple of iron filings toward a magnetic pole. They stood transfixed before the overflowing shelves of rhinestone heaven.

“That’s the one Mama, that’s the one I would love to wear. See the one with the stars,” said the LP pointing to a tiara adorned with seven stars. She needed a tiara to complete a costume for her next showcase, and had found nothing suitable yet. Mama looked at it, feeling a little doubtful, because it looked a tad small. She didn’t want to sound disapproving so she said nothing but walked up to the salesman and asked if he could get the tiara for them. And Mama’s doubts were not unfounded. If it were stretched to fit the LP’s fifteen year old cranium it would crack sooner or later. The LP was deeply disappointed, feeling ugly to a point of distraction, and feeling monumentally stupid at feeling thus, all at once.

Mama was walking toward her holding a very pretty tiara in her hands, one with a frieze of seven-petaled lotuses and said, ”Whaddoyouknow? This looks just the same ♫from a distance. ♫”

And that was the day the LP finally started writing in her journal that she, on a whim, had named “The Princess Diaries” and felt much better for it.

“Stars, lotuses, what does it matter. We’ll all be dead in a hundred years.” That was the first of the half-truths she wrote in her diary and completely believed it.

Allusions:
Roman holiday—movie
“In The Bazaars Of Hyderabad — poem by Sarojini Naidu
“The Princess Diaries”—movie based on Meg Cabot’s books
♫“From a Distance”♫—song by Bette Middler