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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gotra

"She had not told Raakha yet, since nothing was fixed, nothing may come of it yet."

"Of late he had taken to speaking about life in the big cities. In Dilli and Lahore, he said, men and women talked freely to each other and no one made much of it. And in London and Paris, men and women went out together and even decided whom they would marry on their own. No one there, he said, knew he word 'gotra' or what it meant and yet the sun rose and set there every day just the same. They had water in their houses and food on their tables and laughter and children in their homes, just the same as everywhere else."

"God didn't care about gotra, Raakha said."

"But Raakha cared about gotra, she could tell. He cared more and more each passing day. Though the word had not passed between them recently, she could hear it in the sudden, unexplained exhalations of breath, see it in the shadows that passed across his face, touch it in the furrows that formed on his forehead. Because Raakha knew they didn't live in London or Paris and never would. And in Kala Saand gotra rules were written in stone."

"She knew the moment she told him about her prospective groom, everything would change irrevocably between them."

(ord 'gotra' or what it meant and yet the sun rose and set there every day just the same. They had water in their houses and food on their tables and laughter and children in their homes, just the same as everywhere else."

"God didn't care about gotra, Raakha said."

"But Raakha cared about gotra, she could tell. He cared more and more each passing day. Though the word had not passed between them recently, she could hear it in the sudden, unexplained exhalations of breath, see it in the shadows that passed across his face, touch it in the furrows that formed on his forehead. Because Raakha knew they didn't live in London or Paris and never would. And in Kala Saand gotra rules were written in stone."

"She knew the moment she told him about her prospective groom, everything would change irrevocably between them."

(Manjul Bajaj in 'Come, Before Evening Falls,' p. 159 Hachette)

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