The bangle seller has entered the tunnel, waking Roop from her musing.
He carries two jute bundles, dingy brown, with the promise of sparkle inside. They oscillate from three ropes tied to each end of a long stick with its fulcrum on his shoulders, supporting the fragile hidden circles of bright coloured glass. Rolled tight under his arm, a reed prayer mat awaits his need to kneel before his Allah.
He rests his bundles on the floor of the tunnel and squats. With a practiced flourish, he unties the first bundle before Roop. Colour prisms splash, shoot and shimmer on the haveli's mud-plastered walls.
Gujri comes, wiping her hands on a corner of her chunni. Seeing the bangle seller, she returns with three small bruised bananas and lays them on the ground before him. "Give her a dozen bangles," she orders, then retuns to her rasoi. . . .
Vermillion reds, mustard golds, purples and green glass. Red glass, pink glass, glass that has passed through fire, melted, then spun down a wood cone to Roop's size, cooled, till it formed a hot skin that could bear the touch of a paintbrush tip, dotting it with gold, threading it with silver.
Such tinkling, shimmering fragility, doesn't she want a few?
Just finished The Time Traveler's Wife which I really enjoyed (some time traveling, a love story, some humor, some pathos, some good music discussions) but which I would not recommend to readers with delicate sensibilities (some juicy, racy stuff). It was kind of like Memento meets When Harry Meets Sally. Next up: What The Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin. The debut novel is about two women married to the same man and the drama swirling around all of the characters in the days of pre- and post-Partition. So far, so good. This excerpt is dedicated to everyone's favorite chooriyan-hound, Chai: