Friday Fictioneer: Rani’s Dream

For Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge. 

Her name was Rani. It meant queen, Rani. But she was no queen. Her father was but a spice-merchant. She had dreams of marrying a white prince but her father did not believe in such nonsense, they were determined to find a “nice indian boy” for her.

Her cousin Shree was marrying a white boy and Rajesh Uncle and Poova Aunty were not so happy.

As local traders that run a provincial grocery store, their family had long been unhappy with the whites and their “Walmart nonsense”.

“All they do is steal, these white people, they want to steal our business now they steal our daughter,” aunt Poova would say.

Foreign chains like Walmart were trying to get into the Indian market and they felt threatened.

“Do not be like Shree, giving her body to a white boy like that,” her mother would warn her.

“What is wrong with that?”

“You all think the white skin is better, soon you forget your roots.”

Rani sighed and walked out to the water-hole alone. They used to do it together, Shree and her.

“Rani-ji, you should come here with me, over here we all have our own water taps, and not just one.” Her cousin would write her.

She envied Shree.

The village girls waved to her as she approached the water-hole. The girls giggled as they gossiped. Her ears pricked. But she could not help thinking how badly she wanted her own water.

A tourist rode past in a three wheeler. She twirled her braids with her finger and waved coyly.

“I won’t mind giving my body to a white boy,” she whispered to herself.

She daydreamed about her own water tap. That would make her a real queen.

“Rani!”

(Inspired by the news I read when I was over in Kerala last year. For the Fictioneers, thanks for stopping by and patiently reading and commenting on today’s slightly long piece. And I apologise if the piece had offended anyone.)

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