As the vapours of the incense sticks quietly burning in the room next to mine waft through the rusty iron bars of my open window, I pull my old woollen quilt about me, lean against the wall and close my eyes. Dawn is breaking outside, and Delhi is reborn in the mist, mud and masala mutton sizzles of a frozen January morning. Did you ever notice how when the world around you is rising from leftover frowns and patchy starlight to a new day -- all over again -- the world within you collapses so effortlessly, so artfully, you are led to think that it happens so that some sort of cosmic order is maintained?
I think of the expensive wedding silk awaiting me in the other room. And I think of him; he who is probably the only stranger to me in this household bursting with excited people from five generations of five families. Ironies used to be my favourite thing in the world.
I open my eyes and see a young bird fighting its way through a bunch of tangled clothes lines. The flutters become more agitated as I watch.
Do I really have a choice? Will I ever know? Is it too late? Can I just go?
I watch the bird give up, and settle tiredly on the ground.
Will I be a pawn? Can something be said? Will I be wandering between unfamiliar tangled lives, like these birds? Or become his silhouette?