We changed our train back to Metro Town station after crossing some stations. I was unable to believe the cleanliness, warmth and plenty of light in the train. We got off the train.

I had enjoyed myself a lot traveling by the train. Then we strolled through the mall. Sam bought a jean and a jacket for himself. When we went to the parking, we forgot where we had parked our car. We could find it after a lot of huffing and puffing. Sam told me if we didn’t remember the parking and stall numbers, it would happen so.

I was very happy that day. I thought I would call mom and dad and tell everyone how beautiful Canada was. Even edible stuff was taken care of like goldsmiths take care of jewelry in Ludhiana. There were no flies or mosquitoes. How different and beautiful Vancouver was from Ludhiana!

24. Tide turned against me We reached home by 9 P.M. My mom-in-law seemed horribly mad. “Sam! Listen to me.”, saying so, she took Sam upstairs. I went to the washroom. I used the one beside the living room.

“Sonia, come upstairs!”, Sam yelled so loudly that I was awfully shocked even sitting in the washroom. I quickly finished and went into my room upstairs where badly-infuriated Sam and his mother were waiting for me. I was shocked to see them so much angry.

“Why did you take so much time?”, Sam asked me in an extremely rude tone.

“I…I was in the washroom.”, I replied surprisingly.

Sam slapped me so hard that I felt everything dark and revolving around me.

“What’s this?”, Sam asked showing me the charm I had brought from India.

I had just opened mouth to speak the truth that Sam slapped me a second time even harder than before. Sam’s slap was so hard that I couldn’t control my pee despite coming back from washroom. “Chachi was saying that you and your mom were visiting some pandit in the Chaura Bazaar of Ludhiana. Is it true?”, Sam asked me grinding his teeth.

“Sam, just listen to the complete reality.”, I entreated before Sam.

“Who are you planning to mingle with here right from India? You had hidden this under my pillow to kill me? Luckily my mom remained alert. God knows whom you were going to kill in our family! You whore! You witch! What hadn’t I done for you? Tell me who your lover is in Canada. Where does he live? I’ll chop the bastard’s legs…”, Sam leveled several false allegations of disloyalty against me and almost broke my face and ribs with his rock-hard punches. “I and Daljit just got an opportunity to rummage through your room. I took it out from your pillow in Daljit’s presence. Your dad had been warning us for long that we should find a nice family. I, like a fool, fell into his bhua’s trap who claimed the girl was very nice and the family was very decent.”, my mother-in-law kept yapping like a bitch.

None of them listened to me. Sam smacked me almost half-dead. “Come on, bibi. I’ll see what to do with this bitch.”, Sam again hollered.

“What to do, make her a mother as soon as possible so that she stays at our home. If she eloped from here, we wouldn’t be able to face anyone in the society. Thank god she didn’t flee from the airport or we had to suffer terrible embarrassment. I had pledged to god that she should reach our home without any hassle. I kept my promise on the way home from the airport taking her to the gurdwara and paying my obeisance there.”, my mother-in-law screamed. Both of them went out of the room. My ears and cheeks were hot from Sam’s slaps. My side ribs were aching from his strong punches.

“Damn the pandit! May god curse you! Your charm had my ribs broken. If this charm were not there, I wouldn’t be in this condition. What the heck time I hid the charm in the pillow! Why didn’t I throw it away then? O’ pandit! Your charm has ruined me.”, I kept cursing the pandit.


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