A Better Wish
Banu’s only wish was to see Raja, her husband, in pants, instead of his regular attire – Veshti, the traditional South Indian garment that men of this generation hardly wore. Banu never told Raja about it, fearing she would blurt out the real reason behind her wish.
When Banu was twenty, two friends had rented the upstairs portion of her parents’ house. One day, Banu’s little sister handed her a letter from one of the tenants. The letter had a poem written in Tamil, the language spoken in the region. Banu was filled with a sweet panic that she had never felt before. That evening, she stood by the window and noticed the taller friend smile at her. He wore a gray shirt with beige pants and had thick hair that bounced as he walked.
Banu sent a letter through her sister expressing how much she liked the poem. This exchange of letters went on for weeks until one evening, Banu mustered the courage to walk up to the tall man with a letter.
He opened it and stared blankly at Banu.
“Sorry, I don’t know Tamil,” he said.
Banu froze for a few moments before running inside the house, filled with shame. The next morning, she waited by the window to see the tall man’s friend she had been exchanging letters with. He wore a plain yellow shirt with veshti and had short spiky hair.
The exchange of letters continued as Banu realized that she was, in fact, in love with the poet who wrote sweet verses for her.
Although Banu was now happily married to Raja, she yearned to see him like she once imagined her admirer to be. So, she cleverly influenced her kids to gift Raja a suit for his fiftieth birthday. The evening before his birthday, Raja met with a horrible accident and ended up in the hospital for weeks. Banu couldn’t bear to see him in the green gown reserved for patients. All she wanted was to see Raja in a majestic Veshti that playfully kissed his ankles with every step.