My mom asks me to show her my clothes since we’re going to a wedding the next day. She looks at all of it while making politest groans she can muster. Then she says we will have to buy something fancy, you know something with a lot of shimmer and shine. It’s 7 by this time and my curfew is 9; it’s dark outside and I was told to avoid traveling as a girl once the sun sets. But there’s a wedding tomorrow, and Indian fashion takes sacrifices. We end up at this relatively expensive shop, in rupee terms, and I find myself really wanting to make my mom happy, so I buy a flashy shimmery outfit and spend more money than I have in the last two days. My host mom loved it though, and I felt so pathetic wanting to please her. I felt so pathetic wanting to please her, but my host mom loved it. I couldn’t help being happy that she was happy. When we get back home, it starts thundering and pouring, super rare for the desert state of Rajasthan. Half the lights in the house go out and my father jokingly says that we will have to have a candle light dinner. Then all of the power goes out, and he says very somberly and seriously “now we must really have one.” My first meal with just my family is a true candlelight dinner. How intimate.