A few months after moving to Delhi, Joy was flooded with photographs procured by his mother. There were pictures of all kinds of women. Doctors, lawyers, masters degree holders, arts graduates, teachers, and even a tribal woman who couldn’t speak a word of Bengali or English. My cousin was asked to rate the photographs and then narrow down his choices to two. He asked his mother what each woman did. His mother said that didn’t matter.
“A good wife doesn’t need to be good professionally,” she added.
Joy didn’t press the matter, knowing it would go nowhere. He had noticed the change in his mother since his return. She had always stifled him to a great extent. She would say who he could play with – nobody made the mark. She decided how he would eat his food – dal first or potatoes first. But now in his twenties, he was sick of it. Maybe a wife would give his mother less opportunity to suffocate him.
He hastily chose two photographs, one was of the tribal woman from some obscure Indian village, and the other of a lawyer from Delhi. But Joy didn’t know any of this. He just wanted to get this out of his way. He needed his mother to stop breathing down his neck.
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