Agni-nakshatram. The star of fire. Chennai in June.
The relentless, sweltering heat abetted by the elusive rains was adding to the misery of the denizens. Fronds of the coconut trees were crackling with dryness and dust. Luscious ripe mangoes hanging low from trees were enticing the fruit bats and Drosophilae.
Oblivious to all this, Meera lay on her bed, in another world ,her waist-length hair strewn over her face, with a book lying open next to her.
“Meee-raaa! Are you ready yet? ” her reverie was interrupted by the high-pitch voice of Sowmya Athe (father’s sister).
Sighing, she sat up with a look of resignation, knowing what was coming her way. Her other two aunts, Sudha and Saroja Athe soon followed their sister into the room.
” Dreaming as usual, Meera! We knew it. That’s why we’re here early” said Saroja Athe triumphantly as they wafted into her bedroom, carrying piles of kanjeevaram sarees from their own wardrobe.
Meera had come on a vacation with her father to her aunt Saroja’s house in Chennai and the 3 sisters whose tentacles spread all over the world, had taken it on themselves to find her a suitable groom. She had already met a string of non-descript men back home in Bombay and was looking forward to a restful break.
But it was not to be.
Today, a prospective bridegroom was coming home to see her.
” I wish I were fifty years old and not have to go through this annoying rigamarole of meeting strange boring men! ” thought Meera to herself.
Note:The most common uses of the subjunctive mood in English are conditions, suppositions, wishes, demands, suggestions, and statements of necessity. At least once in our lives, we’ve all muttered, “I just wish I were…” or “If I were more like…”, knowingly or unknowingly invoking the subjunctive mood.This week, the Daily Post has asked us to finish the following sentence for the writing challenge: “I wish I were.” This is a piece of short fiction inspired by the ‘arranged marriage’ system .