I Smiled

After the Laxmi Poojan on the night of Diwali, the next day, I am affirmative that like me your house would also be flooded with guests that come and ask things like, “How are you?” and I say ,”I am good”. They all ask the same questions everytime that “How are your studies going?” and I say “Good”. I greet the guest by touching their feet as a mark of respect. My brother is not even expected to greet although he touches their feet for ashirwad and goes to watch TV. I go the guestroom and before I could sit I am asked to bring water for them. While my brother watches TV(That’s what I wanted to do on a holiday ). I also wondered why wasn’t he asked to serve the guests since we are of equal age. So I bring the tray of water accompanied with a forged smile.
After a brief conversation that lasted not more than 5 minutes the ladies of our house get up and head towards kitchen except grandmother obviously. I wonder how long it must have taken for her to earn that respect.
The lady guest also gets up, goes to the kitchen with the ladies of the house. I heard the echoing noise of the AC making it clear that it was put on and since the outer of it is in balcony, next to kitchen and in the kitchen there is always a lot of heat already. I thought there is no need for more heat. I go and ask to switch it off. But I am given a rare stare by everyone in that room. I could see in their eyes, though everyone turned a deaf ear thinking that I am a kid. I simply walk out embarrassed and confused as to what have I done.
Then I too want to sit with my brother and watch TV, but I am scolded to go to the kitchen and help in chores. I go back and with 4 women in kitchen I am not even required but I smile and serve tea and snacks. Someone from the guest said to me, “You are so well mannered and will become a wonderful wife and make this family proud”. I froze but did not break the smile. I wasn’t sure if that was a praise intended for me. Words of gratitude weren’t coming out of my mouth. I smiled until I was asked to leave the room. Pretended as if I …. Then I move away from the hall. Still trying to watch TV with my brother but I am summoned again. This time, by a guest who sees my paintings and is awestruck. Then he appreciates my talent and says, “You will bring pride to this family when your in laws will come tell us about how talented you are.” From the insideI froze, I choked again and I smiled. I went to the room and started watching TV, I smiled.

The story is made up. It is inspired by what I have seen but it isn’t about me. I just didn’t wanted to use any name so I have use ME as the protagonist.


16 thoughts on “I Smiled

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