I woke up early, what choice I had. There was a lot of noise in the house. I called my mother, but my voice went unheard. I didn’t like when my sleep is disturbed. I sat on the bed, and looked at the big photo frame of my parents, they were happy in it. I stood up in front of the mirror, and had a great look at myself; in no less than one month I was going to be eighteen, an adult. I was excited about the fact that by eighteen I would be able to go alone anywhere, no bodyguards, and no uncle dropping school, nothing. I tied my hairs up in a bun, and walked out of my room.

For a moment I didn’t even move after what I saw. We are a big marvari family, with all the uncles and their kids living together. Ours was a big family house, just like a castle in which all the prince and princesses lived. The head of the family throne belonged to the elder brother of my father after the death of my grandfather. His wife was no more, and hence all he had was his two children; a girl and a boy both living in London. What I saw was that our castle was decorated as if Queen Victoria was coming to visit my uncle.

There were a lot of people helping to decorate the castle, and King was nowhere to found, but I was searching for my mother who was missing as well. I called out again for her from the balcony I was standing in a loud voice, because of which the common people started staring at me, as the princess is not allowed to shout like that. My mother saw me and came rushing to me, ‘What’s the matter with you, why did you shout?’ she asked. ‘Why the hell everyone else is shouting, you know I can’t sleep in this much noise. And what is going on, this preparation and all that, anything special?’

To which she replied, ‘somebody from London is coming. Anyway, enough with sleeping get up fast and get ready, guests are expected in an hour or so.’

I got the idea that either my elder brother or elder sister was coming. But they come every year, what’s so special today I asked myself to no answer. My mother has already selected clothes and jewelry for me. Ours was a traditional family, for any function we would decorate ourselves with lot of clothes and lot of jewelry. I covered myself with all those clothes and went down in the big hall. I wanted to know who was coming, so I started searching for my uncle. I finally find him in the garden behind the castle. He was happy; I can see the smile through his mustache. I finally asked him, ‘Tauji, who is coming?’ and he put his hands on my cheeks to tell me that my sister-in-law is coming.

My elder cousin married a British girl in London, and my uncle wasn’t that supportive for the same. His comment made me smile, that finally my uncle is accepting things, and getting out of his narrow-minded thinking. I was very excited that finally I was going to meet my sister-in-law, I had seen her pictures, my brother shared those with me, but I wanted to see her in person, I wanted to listen to her British accent. I rushed to my room to get the ear-rings that I purchased last week myself, they were beautiful, I  decided to gift them to my sister-in-law. Finally everyone in the house was happy, yet no one knew who was coming, other than me and my uncle.

I took the present with me. I was eagerly waiting for the first married couple from our generation in our family. Then suddenly I heard everyone saying Sonia came, Sonia came. ‘How come?’, I asked myself. Because my brother was supposed to come with his wife, then I thought that maybe both of them would have come. Means it was going to be a big treat. I was making my way through the crowd when my mother asked me to bring the aarti ki thali. Being younger in a big family is not always good, I thought. I ran to the temple and was back to my mother in a couple of minutes.

I still wasn’t able to get a glance of my British sister-in-law, as everyone was standing in front me, restricting me to move further. Then I hear a British accent, ‘Thank you for having us auntie,’ my sister-in-law said. ‘Really auntie,’ that was Sonia, my cousin. Then people started making way for the newlywed couple, and started showering rose petals on them. Then I finally I saw the married couple, my sister Sonia, and her British wife Leni.

Oh my sister-in-law was so beautiful, just like the beautiful accent of hers. I went directly to her, introduced myself, and gave her the present. She opened it in front of me, and was so happy to see it that she hugged me. I then hugged my cousin, and whispered in her ears, ‘Tauji is no more narrow-minded and she smiled.


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