The Good Girl

March 14, 2017      Longshot Island

Mainsamjha doonga ussey. I will convince her.

In our village in Northern India, where daughters are a luxury most families cannot or choose not to afford, my grandfather loves my sister Simran and me.

Baoji,’ my mother says softly to her father-in-law, ‘Neela is crying. She refuses to drink her milk.’

‘Let it be,’ he answers, putting away his newspaper. ‘Main samjha doonga ussey.’ Mother returns to washing the dishes, and my grandfather takes me into his lap and tells me a story. It is always the same story. I press my ear to his chest to feel it rumble up from his large, soft belly.

‘When the Hindu god Krishna was a little boy, the cowherds of his village milked their cows at dawn before he woke up. Then they filled the milk into earthen pots and tied them high up to the rafters. Do you know why?’

I know why, but I shake my head. I like how he tells it.

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