Anjali’s POV con’t.

As I drifted away, my thoughts went back to where I had left off thinking about my past.  That day after the race car driving we had spent the better part of the evening at the bar eating and drinking.  I met several of the other race car drivers and there were a few of the professional drivers that were at the event.  I was thrilled to meet them.  I had a great time at the event.  Raj on the other hand was miserable and the ride home was even more miserable.  The entire drive home Raj kept complaining that I should be more ladylike.  He couldn’t believe I had drunk beer with the guys and ate Buffalo wings.  I know he had wanted to leave earlier but I was enjoying myself.  I was irked with both Raj’s comment about coming up with a story of how we met and Anna’s comment on how arranged marriage didn’t seem so bad if you end up with someone like Raj.  To add salt to my wounds, Raj told me I should dress more like Anna and that I could learn a thing or two from her in how to look and behave like a lady.  I of course had dressed casually in jeans, a white tee-shirt and motorcycle riding boots and a few accessories.  I loved to dress up once in a while, but my signature outfit was either yoga pants or jeans when I wasn’t working.  I usually chose comfort over sophistication.  I wasn’t a complete girly girl but neither was I complete tom-boy.  I liked doing both and I liked mixing both.  I hated and I still hate being put in a box so I can confirm to someone’s image of me.

Raj was an ambitious investment banker who had plans of making a name for himself before he turned 35.  Which meant he was constantly on the road working on some deal or another.   He was often traveling and it seemed like he spent more time out of New York than in it.  Even when he was in town he had long hours.  He also had an image of what it meant to be successful and what it meant for me to be the wife of a successful Investment Banker.  He wanted me to quit my job after we got married and become a lady who lunches.  We still hadn’t agreed on this point.  I loved being an architect and I found many of the wives who were of the lunching crowd to be boring.  I didn’t mind going once in a while and usually I could fake my way through it but there was no way I could do this on a regular basis.  My mom loved going to the kitty parties with her friends.  In fact she still continued that tradition.  I hated when she dragged me along.  Growing up many of the Indian housewives would get together once a month and have lunch at someone’s house and then they would rotate.  Ladies who lunch are just an upper scale version of the kitty parties my mom went to.  It’s a way for women to gossip, dress up, and compare new purchases, brag about something or another.  It just wasn’t my cup of tea.  Maybe because Raj had such different expectations of what a wife should do I didn’t mind that we had been engaged for a year and had yet to set a wedding date.  For an arranged marriage this was a bit strange and my parents weren’t too thrilled about this.  They wanted us to hurry up and set a date.  But, Raj always had some project he wanted to complete before we set a date and I didn’t push the subject. 

We finally reached my apartment and I was about to get out of the car when I remembered that I needed to see if Raj was free for the Indian Classical Music concert.  Ali had two tickets for him and Salma to go to this amazing concert that was going to have the top Indian classical musicians and singers performing.  It was a fund raiser for literacy in India.  But, unfortunately, Ali was going to be on call that weekend so he wasn’t going to be able to go to the concert so he had given me the tickets. 

“Raj I know you aren’t a big fan of classical Indian music, but I really enjoy it and I’d appreciate it if you could take me to the concert.  This is a once in a life time opportunity to see so many of these artists come together to perform.  It’s exactly a month from today so you have time to brush up on your Hindi and your knowledge of Indian classical music.”  I said teasingly.

“Fine.  I’ll take you.  Will there be alcohol there so it will be more bearable?”

“Yes there will be a bar and food catered from Tabla so you’ll be able to make it through.” I quickly kissed him and thanked him before he changed his mind and got out of the car.  I was beat and I was teaching an early morning yoga class so I needed some sleep.

One month later, I was getting ready for the Indian concert.  I had bought a new sari, jhumka earrings which are traditional Indian earrings that are bell shaped and have small dangling beads off of the bell, matching bracelets, payal which are silver ankle bracelets.  I loved wearing Indian clothes, especially a sari and all of the accessories that go with getting ready.  I had to hurry getting ready knowing Raj would be picking me up in 15 and he hated when I was running late.

Because I am a dancer and a yoga instructor I was so excited to attend this event.  One of the reasons I wasn’t so ambitious at work was because of my hobbies of yoga and dance.  I didn’t mind I wasn’t on the fast track because to be on the fast track would have meant working lots of late nights and many weekends.  I spent my spare time dancing, doing yoga, and choreographing Bollywood songs and sometimes a few sequences for Broadway especially when they wanted a little more spice and a bit of hip action.  I loved my job, but I also had a life and interests outside of architecture.

My phone rang and I picked it up.  It was Raj saying he was still at the office and he didn’t know when he’d be finished so we weren’t going to be able to go.  It would be rude to go in the middle of the show that is if we would even be allowed in.  I tried not to sound disappointed and hung up the phone.

I sat on the bed all dressed up in my sari which had taken me forever to get on.  I fingered both tickets in my hand and thought – why shouldn’t I just go? So what if I was going alone.  This was a chance in a life time to hear so many incredible musicians.  Many of them had traveled from India.  Damn it why should I miss out just because Raj was always too busy! I grabbed my purse and went out the door and hoped I would be lucky catching a cab on a Saturday evening!

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