Close Encounters: Hajira

(Dearest) Hajira,

I am writing to inform you (regretfully) that you will never be a doctor. Today, when I came to your house by chance (because you saw me passing on your street and I will always remember how I heard a delighted “hi” – you were imitating what I had said while meeting and leaving last time – and looked up and there on the rooftop, your energetic, eager, bespectacled face) and met your brother and asked him if you would work later, he shook his head quite firmly and said that it was out of the question. You were going for tailoring classes only as a ‘hobby’, he informed. His eyes were hard and his face was closed even though he was extremely polite and hospitable to me (despite the questions — “but you are traveling alone?”). Your mother said you will be married next year. At that moment, I looked at you suddenly, swiftly, and your face was cheerful. Remember? I was surprised that you didn’t show any emotion. Perhaps, you are used to the dissonance between dreams and destiny.

So I hope you will not take this too badly. You will never be a doctor. Or even a nurse. In fact, you will never even go to an English college like you said you wanted to. You will, instead, be married next year to a man they choose and live the rest of your life in some other way (with your characteristic cheer, I’m sure). Here’s wishing you all the best! Take care.

Your friend,

1 Comment

Filed under Personal, Places

One response to “Close Encounters: Hajira

  1. Max Babi

    Hi Anandita,
    Very brutally brief but hard-hitting, this is a lost art, writing so deeply with minimum words and plain expressions. Your blog seemed like a stark B&W film from some of past masters of cinema.
    I thought I was there with you all.
    Food for thought too.
    Keep writing !

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