Remember the time when you and I used to walk home from school, our sarees sticking to our thighs, in the Kolkata summer, the road pitch melting in the sun, creating a mirage, and how the neighbor boy tried to approach us, and we laughed, until our stomachs hurt?
Then your parents arranged your marriage, boy from Houston, smart, works in computers and you flew away. And I was determined to establish a career before I got married, and my parents were liberal that way. I studied, until I could not anymore and then flew to Boston, and studied some more, until I found a job in the University of Houston.
But now, you won’t talk to me, not much, you won’t invite me to your parties. I know, you feel jealous, I am a professor, and you are a homemaker. But what you do not know is that I do not have a child, not because I did not want one, but because I waited too long, that I stalk your social media posts, and hold on to news of your daughter Poulomi. And in the evenings, I take a glass of wine and imagine that Poulomi is my daughter, that she gives me a hug, that I make her favorite fish curry, and she relishes it, eating it on my dining table. And I inhale her sweet scent, as if she is mine.