Everything about her had had to change after marriage. Her routine (she had to be up at 5.30), what she wore (no more jeans), hairstyle (“Oil your hair, plait them and wear flowers. You’re married now”, reminded the mother-in-law) and even what she saw on TV. The other day she innocently remarked how good-looking Aamir Khan was and it was met with a stern rebuke from the in-laws and a snide remark from the husband.
She clung to the one thing familiar – her name. She refused to add her husband’s name to her own. Everyone else seemed happy doing it but for her it meant something final. Which is why she wept when she received a birthday card from her mother. It had her name tagged to her husband’s. It was like looking at a scarred face in the mirror and not recognising it as one’s own.