India, she now knew, would not be content staying in the background, was nobody's wallpaper, insisted in interjecting itself into everyone's life, meddling with it, twisting it, molding it beyond recognition. India, she had found out, was a place of political intrigue and economic corruption, a place occupied by real people with their incessantly human needs, desires, ambitions, and aspirations, and not the exotic, spiritual, mysterious entity that was a creation of the Western imagination.
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None of it made any sense to her - the deceit, the betrayal, the sheer chutzpah of it. Like something from a movie. Who in real life acted this way? But then she remembered this had happened in India, and India was not real life. The most heartbreaking, most desperate, most bizarre stories she had ever heard all came from India. Every story was epic; every emotion was exaggerated; every action was melodramatic. Desperate love, mad obsessions, outbursts of rage, bizarre self sacrifice, self immolation. Young women eat rat poison, jumping off buildings, or burning themselves alive. Young men throwing themselves onto railroad tracks in the path of oncoming trains. And all this self destruction over issues that in the West would be solved by a simple elopement or estrangement from one's parents or a move to a different city.
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This is love-not what we say to each other but what we not say. Sometime it just one look exchange. Sometime one word. But underlining everything we say or not say, something else. Something heavy and deep, like when we in bed and looking into each other's eyes. For six years, everything between husband and me was on top, like skin. Now it hidden, like bone and muscle. [... ] He care for me now. He finally see me. And he like what he see.
She wanted to explain everything to him-how certain notes of the Moonlight Sonata shredded her heart like wind inside a paper bag; how her soul felt as endless and deep as the sea churning on their left; how the sight of the young Muslim couple filled her with an emotion that was equal parts joy and sadness; and above all, how she wanted a marriage that was different from the dead sea of marriages she saw all around her, how she wanted something finer, deeper, a marriage made out of silk and velvet instead of coarse cloth, a marriage made of clouds and stardust and red earth and ocean foam and moonlight and sonatas and books and art galleries and passion and kindness and sorrow and ecstasy and of fingers touching from under a burqua.
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We are earthbound creatures, Maggie had thought. No matter how tempting the sky. No matter how beautiful the stars. No matter how deep the dream of flight. We are creatures of the earth. Born with legs, not wings, legs that root us to the earth, and hands that allow us to build our homes, hands that bind us to our loved ones within those homes. The glamour, the adrenaline rush, the true adventure, is here, within these homes. The wars, the detente, the coups, the peace treaties, the celebrations, the mournings, the hunger, the sating, all here.
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First time since I come to Am'rica, I not with husband or Rekha or in restaurant or store or car or apartment. I's all alone and I loves it. First time I feel everything not borrow. What I mean by that? When I with the husband, I seeing everything through his eyes - moon, sun, sky, tree, parking lot, store, everything. If he feeling sun too hot, I feeling upset. If he cursing the cold, I angry with snow. My brains not thinking my own thoughts.
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Or perhaps is is that time doesn't heal wounds at all, perhaps that is the biggest lie of them all, and instead what happens is that each wound penetrates the body deeper and deeper until one day you find that the sheer geography of your bones - the angle of your hips, the sharpness of your shoulders, as well as the luster of your eyes, the texture of your skin, the openness of your smile - has collapsed under the weight of your griefs.
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This is love-not what we say to each other but what we not say. Sometime it just one look exchange. Sometime one word. But underlining everything we say or not say, something else. Something heavy and deep, like when we in bed and looking into each other's eyes. For six years, everything between husband and me was on top, like skin. Now it hidden, like bone and muscle.  He care for me now. He finally see me. And he like what he see.
What she had believed was indignation or rage or a deep intolerance for injustice came down to this: she was irreducibly in love with this bewitching planet, this thrilling life, this heartbreaking species she belonged to, with its capacity for stupefying destruction and breathtaking magnanimity.
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All these tears shed in the world, where do they go? If one could capture all of them, they could water the parched. Then perhaps these tears would have value and all this grief would have some meaning. Otherwise, it was all a waste, just an endless cycle of birth and death; of love and loss.