Tania is 31, moody, beautiful, independent, temperamental, egoistic,...a perfect example of an 'in-your-face' modern woman stuck with a family with the 18th-century-traditional-indian-values. [?!?]
Everything's pretty much the same until somewhere between a loveless marriage taking place she comes across the beautiful Ursula. But apart from being beautiful, Ursula is a completely different human being. She's a jerk. A childish, silly, timid jerk who gets on everyone's nerves and make
''I'm in love with Ursula.'' Tania almost blabbered it off.
''You said something?'' Anita looked up from her dinner plate.
''Uhmm...no.'' Tania got up from the sofa, gave one look to the other woman, and dragged her feet to where the fridge was kept.
''You shouldn't be eating too many sweets, Tania. Your weddings just three months away...just be sure [you] don't gain any more pounds.
-Anita started off.
Tania felt irritated. She really didn't like that sassy old hag.
'' You have a whole lot of responsibilities, now, baby. You'll soon become a married woman. And how much ever freedom Arun gives you, he'll really not take your wild behaviour so well anymore. You'll have to cut down on your booze parties and pubbing nights.
- Tania raised her eyebrows, with a certain renewed curiosty.
'' Marriage comes with a whole set of responsibilities, its a new life. Don't take it so lightly now. Before you know, you'll be struggling to keep up with it all!''
Anita opened the salad tin and poured a giant quantity into her plate. It made Tania feel so sick she wanted to puke. She had this sudden urge to dump her plate on the kitchen platform and run to her room. But Anita would never really shut up. She had this thing about constantly being at her, whether it was her work, weight, or the colour of her eye. And now well.., marriage. But Tania wasn't really so sure. She'd even said yes to him [after three years, that is] and it seemed all hunky-dory. But somewhere within some deep old shitty corner of her mind, she wanted to back off, desperately, for no apparent reason. She wasn't 'desperate' for Arun. Like she didn't really 'want' him. Hell, if he didn't call her for two days she'd go on with her life. But she was 31 [like it was a taboo!] & well,..her family would really go beserk if she'd change her decision. Tania was in a fix. But marrying Arun was no big deal and she was sure he'd give her a hell lot of freedom. She could still go on night-shifts after the marriage, cut her hair short or wear bikinis. Of-course, all this made her feel like an alien zoozoo waiting to be rescued by someone as capable as her & it was a big jolt on her ego. It made her want to laugh crazy. She really didn't know whether to be happy about marrying a man who seemed no different than herself. But according to people like Anita- and her parents- marriage was so very important for an Indian woman to survive. Like her mum used to say -''Pah!...wait till you get married...then all my worries would vanish...[&] I'll be able to die in peace.'' [?!?]
Would her worries vanish if Tania were a man instead waiting to be married? Sometimes she wanted to break down the walls of her room and run away somewhere...even though she could still go out now and work, party, or as Anita would taunt her ''booze around''. She really wanted to be free from them all, from the awful tag of 'a-single-attractive-woman-ready-to-mingle'. And sometimes she wondered how life would actually turn out to be if she were a man. She could party till the age of 70, have 100 partners in 5 years, or color her hair green. Her wife [or whoever] wouldn't be able to control her that much, after all. And then suddenly she'd have a strange wish. To get out of the 'woman's body' she was stuck with and be a man instead. Wouldn't life be so much better? And would it be any different...then?
While on one of her office trips, Tania came across Ursula, her boss' daughter. A one-hell-of-a traditional-jerk, timid and clumsy. She was into books and classic movies and hated rock music. Yet somehow, Tania couldn't help finding her attractive. There was something about her deathly pale, almost transparent complexion, and her beautifully curved tiny palms that she began to find irrestible. Ursula had very timid habits, like she was into biting her nails and chewing the tip of her pencil at night. She was only 19, but she seemed so much younger. She was, like, stupid. Ridiculous. Sort of. Helpless. Like she desperately wanted something she could get hold of. And somewhere down her heart, Tania felt she could help her with that. She really wanted to. There was something about that kid that made her want to laugh and ridicule her. And something that made her want to cry.
Perhaps, she saw her own rock-hard self fit into that awfully sickly child. It made her feel so detatched and so uncomfortable sometimes that it cut her to bits. She was forced to hate that tiny, clumsy, unmannered, irritating hell of a kid. And then when she'd wonder about it, it made her want her even more. Sometimes in the nights, Tania wondered if she could ever get so close to Ursula. A little bit closer...maybe a little closer than that?
She would never know. But she really wanted to.