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Red Indian Sun Zhanna Chalabayeva First-hand experience of a Kazakh girl who lived in India. The book is about culture, traditions, and life in India. ChapterI Moscow One day, Richard Gere said: People, you cant hide from your poison. It exists, and it will find you, so, as my friends mother said: If Iknew that my life would end this way, Iwould live it tothe fullest, enjoying everything Iwas told not todo! None ofus get out ofhere alive, so please stop treating yourself as something secondary. Eat delicious food. Walk inthe sun. Jump into the ocean. Share the precious truth that is inyour heart. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There is simply no time for the rest. Every person has one life. And everyone lives it intheir own way. Someone lives up toaplan, and someone lives asilly, strange, but interesting life, byhis own code. We never know what fate is preparing for us. This expression has acquired anew meaning for me when one day, unexpectedly for myself, Ientered into acorrespondence with astranger from India, whom Ilater married. Before the acquaintance with my future Indian husband, Iwas not interested inIndia, but since childhood, Ihave been afan ofthe work ofthe famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. My parents loved toread books. Almost all the cabinets inthe house were crammed with books byvarious writers. We had the several works ofTagore. As this great Indian poet, Iloved tobuy bouquets offresh flowers and put them on the table, then todrink coffee inabeautiful setting from good service and on abeautiful tablecloth. It made my life happier. As Rabindranath Tagore used tosay: Ofcourse, Icould live without flowers, but they help me maintain respect for myself because they prove that Iam not constrained byeveryday concerns. They are evidence ofmy freedom. * ** Before India Iworked for an international human rights organization. Iloved my comfortable life and my interesting job. Every day Iwent toacolony or prison and worked with convicts. From there Iwent tomy office and studied the appeals ofconvicts, making for them appeals, petitions, and complaints. Inthe mornings, pensioners, women usually came tome with their disabled children, towhom Igave my company car so that it was easier for them togo tohospitals. Isought for them free examinations and treatment ingood clinics. One day awoman came tome with her child. She asked me tohelp her with the examination and treatment for the child. Ipaged thresholds ofvarious instances and institutions, bored with letters tohealth officials. Inthe end, we managed tosend her and her child for free examination and treatment abroad. Isubsequently had alot ofsuch cases, and for everyone, Itried my best, regardless oftheir nationality or religion. American employees regularly visited our office tocheck our activities, because our organization was sponsored from the US budget. One day, when Iwas sitting inmy office inthe winter, my boss approached me and said that one recidivist inprison required ameeting with me. The next day Iwent tothe city prison. Iusually went tocorrectional colonies, where the persons sentenced were serving their sentences. This time Ihad togo tothe prison, where there were persons for whom they had not yet been sentenced, or who were waiting tobe sent toacolony. Everything here breathed uncertainty, gloomy and hopeless longing. Prisoners dressed inblack robes, behind the fence ofthe checkpoint, inside the prison yard, did their fatigue duties. There was agrim longing for freedom inthe air. Ipassed acheckpoint, then ayard, another checkpoint, another yard and entered the prison building. It was damp and smelled like mold. Iwas asked togo tothe prison wardens office. Agray-haired man with astern face and clear eyes sat inthe office. The person who wants tosee you is an old recidivist, awolf who brought alot ofgrief topeople. Why are you defendinghim? Ido not defend him, but his rights. If his rights have been violated, then we must correct the error. They provided me with two security guards with the Kalashnikov gun, and we went tothe recidivist. ARussian grandfather ofabout 60years old was sitting on achair, his face was arrogant, his faded eyes were sly, and his hands resembled sled-hammers. Hello. You said that you wanted tomeet with me todiscuss your criminal case; Isaid and then called my name and surname. Surely you are not the Jana, are you? The recidivist laughed. You are very popular here. Our guys inprison told me so much about you that you helped alot tomany people, Ithought that there such an adult wolf would come, but you look like akind angel. Ican leave if you no longer need my help, Isaid, shrugging my shoulders. No, let me tell you what kind ofhelp Ineed. Tell me what you need. The grandfather talked for two hours, Iwrote down for him, asked questions, then he said: Girl, Idont know why, but Ibelieve you. Ithink you really will help me. Iam an old man who reads people like books. You are apure soul. Iasked him toshow me all the documents ofhis case. Bring my documents from my cell, he asked the prison guard. When they brought the documents, we examined them together and discussed each piece ofpaper. Then he turned tome. Iwill give you all the original documents ofmy case, Ibelieve you, helpme. Ido not promise, but Iwill try my best. At that, we parted. Next week, after studying his case, Iwrote requests tovarious authorities, prepared complaints. When the preparation for appealing the verdict came toan end, Iwent tothe Supreme Court. The reception inthe Supreme Court lasted as usual; Iexplained the essence ofthe case, showed all my papers, the answers received tomy inquiries from various institutions, the complaint, and other documents. After some time, the answer came from the Supreme Court that the Supreme Court had considered my complaint and agreed with my arguments and therefore sends the case ofmy client for review at the first instance, that is, tothe city court. Inthe definition ofaSupreme judge, it was written that the person was subject tototal justification, and arguments were listed, including those that Istated inmy complaint. After some time, the court ofthe first instance was held. As aresult, the recidivist was acquitted ofall the articles on the case, for which he had already served three years and which was reviewed several times before me with the participation ofeminent lawyers. No one, except the most mistakenly convicted person, is interested inhis release. The state, byand large, does not care who exactly topunish for the crime committed. The truth is interesting only toone person tothe one who is undeservedly deprived offreedom. Tocatch areal criminal, toprove his guilt is acostly affair for the authorities. For this, there are human rights organizations. Human rights defenders are those screws inthe judicial system, which, indirectly, bythe very fact oftheir existence and response tohuman rights violations, force investigators tolook for the real culprit. Therefore, as long as we, human rights activists, caring citizens, movements, organizations, will remain indifferent, the government will be forced toperform its protective functions. Initself, it will not do anything, because it does not contain any guarantees. One day early inthe morning my phone rang at my house. Ipicked up the phone and heard the voice ofthe same grandfather-recidivist: Jana, Im home, Iwas released from prison, thank you very much. Three years later, at the age of63, he passed away. His friends called me and said that he blessed me before his death. * ** India An unknown, all-knowing force controls events and people. InIndia, everything is not going the way you wanted or planned. India knows what you have inyour soul and even more than you know about yourself. Wise India knows what togive and what totake. India calls aperson when his spiritual world needs tochange. Ido not know why it is India that has mystical power, why not any other country. On the Internet, you will find many reviews oftravelers who have visited India. The most interesting thing is that all the reviews are different and seem todescribe completely different countries, but all ofthem are true. Everyone has his own India. On the territory ofmodern India, there lived many different nations, empires, and principalities, which time took tooblivion. Each state had its own characteristics, customs, and habits. Each era has brought its own changes. Much has changed with the arrival ofthe European invaders. Therefore, India is such adifferent and interesting country. Once Ireceived amessage from astranger ofIndian origin who worked inSaudi Arabia under acontract as awelder. For some unknown reason, Iresponded tohis letter, and we began tocorrespond. He was ugly and had no virtues that would make me fall inlove with him. Our strange correspondence continued byreason ofhis intrusiveness. We had abig age difference almost ten years. The young man was free and had the most dishonest views oflife. Ionce had avirtual lover from Thailand, he boasted. She was sixty years old. Iwill have many foreign women. From the previous, Iwill go tothe next and not empty-handed. And then Iwill marry an Indian woman with agood dowry and with her money Ill go abroad. Ill live for my own pleasure. But will you take the Indian woman withyou? No. We bring awife tosit at home and care for our parents. She will stay with my mom. Abroad, Iwill find another woman: arich, white, aged. Will you divorceher? No need todivorce. Simply, she will suddenly die from the poisoning thats all. Awidower can remarry. Are you kidding!!! No. Iam not kidding. Do you want me toshow you the correspondence with my women? We are all serious. Showme. Then Isaw how he wrote tomany women at the same time, how those women sincerely planned meetings, weddings, how he asked them for their money. It seems that he did not lie. Infront ofme on the laptop screen was areal marriage speculator, who treated me as his friend. One day, having casually talked, Ishared with him my plans togo toAmerica or the UK tostudy. As soon as he heard the phrase Iam going tothe UK or America from me, amazing metamorphosis happened tohim right before my eyes. From the lecherous rogue who revealed tome all his secrets about how todeceive women for money, the young man turned into adecent, wise, serious young man. He suddenly looked at me as awoman. Since then, Ihave noticed that my Indian acquaintance has become abit more persistent and intrusive incommunicating with me. He became more affectionate but secretive. Ihave never heard from his talk about women. Tomyself, Inoticed his efforts togain my confidence. The yesterdays cunning little boy, who used tocommunicate with me as with amiddle-aged elder friend, disappeared and today, suddenly, turned into my beau. Despite the seeming changes for the better, my new Indian acquaintance still strongly reminded me ofTenardieus spouse from Victor Hugos Les Miserables. Let me remind the reader how the author ofthe novel described Tenardieu and his wife: These were those dwarf natures that easily grow into monsters if they are warmed up byan ominous flame. Inthe character ofhis wife was bestial rudeness, inthe character ofher husband innate meanness. Both were highly gifted with that disgusting ability todevelop, which grows only inthe direction ofevil. There are souls like crayfish. Instead ofgoing forward, they continually move back toward the darkness and use life experience only toenhance their moral deformity, becoming more and more corrupt and more and more saturated with nasty. It was such asoul that the spouses Tenardieu had. For the stunningly exact resemblance ofthe character tothe character, Imyself began tocall the new acquaintance Tenardieu. Also it was surprisingly similar tothe real name ofhim. Iam ready tovouch that Sergeant Tenardieu was just like that person inhis youth. Indian Tenardieu spent all his working time inaroom with the air conditioning turned on, talked togirls on social networks, leaving for lunch and dinner. It was aslacker who at first wore aprotective helmet on the object, like afancy dress, but at the same time, he dealt exclusively with the fact that he spent all day running away from aconstruction supervisor with ahelmet on his head. The poor supervisor chased him all over the construction site togive instructions. The young man was well able torun with obstacles, so the supervisor never caught up withhim. Inhis deep conviction, work was something shameful, unworthy ofits origin. He said that inIndia there is adivision into southern and northern Indians. Im not afool from the south ofIndia towork and do what my boss says, he once told me. Iam from the north ofIndia, and Iwill not work, we are ashamed towork, we are not slaves. So you are from the highest caste? Why ashamed towork? No, Im from the carpenter caste ofkhati. But Im from northern India. This is not aslave south. Ingeneral, Ithink that working is unworthy ofadecent person. Ido not agree with you. Thinking like yours, people inEurope were many centuries ago. This used tobe the case inancient times: it was ashame for the lord towork, slaves worked for him. Then there was acultural leap, and for decent people, it became acommon thing towork. Thanks tothis mental and physical work, the technique via which we speak with you appeared, the airplanes we fly on, beautiful clothes and cosmetics that we use. Is it all created byslaves? No! This is all created byhardworking educated people. Tenardieu told me alot about his country and the people init. According tohim, only representatives ofthe untouchable caste are engaged inhard work and dirty work inIndia, officially the term untouchables is not used these castes are called registered, inEnglish scheduled. If aperson works, then he is one ofthe untouchables, wealth is good, therefore any means toget wealth is honest. Even deception and murder is okay. He also boasted tome that he himself possesses the art ofhypnosis, which intheir society is actively used along with reading mantras magic spells. Many ofhis countrymen possess the art ofhypnosis from birth. If aperson has become your enemy, then you can send him abad wish. What afunny medieval rule. Workers who sit inrooms without work are called standby people. They are paid aminimum salary, food and accommodation are provided. This resourceful comrade, before meeting me, has been living inSaudi Arabia for eight months. He spent all his days on social networks, having at the same time twenty virtual girlfriends ofdifferent ages and backgrounds, the main ofwhom was athirty-six-year-old Filipina with two children. The young man inall seriousness was going tomarry her and move tolive inthe Philippines, where she would make his life comfortable. She would work on two jobs, and he would sit at home and watch TV. Inthe rosy dreams ofthe youngster, there was also ajoint journey across the ocean and many beautiful mistresses, but his wife would not be jealous, but, on the contrary, she would praise him and shared with him her salary. The dream was constantly disturbed bythe wrong life views ofthe Filipina, who was jealous ofthis Indian gentleman tothe other girlfriends. He honestly told her about his other girlfriends, inorder toimmediately accustom his future wife tohis freedom. Inthis connection, the Filipina would block that Don Juan, and then afew days later unblocked and everything repeated, again and again, jealousy, tears, plans for the future, his declarations oflove. Once aFilipina promised tosend acurse on him for hurtingher: Iwish you awife worse than you. Then youllcry. And she blocked him everywhere. The next day, being blocked bythe Filipina, quite bychance Tenardieu could not log into his account. Therefore, he created anew one and, accidentally seeing my profile, sent me amessage. So wemet. We began tocommunicate. Afew days later, he confessed his love tome. We corresponded and called back with my flattering acquaintance many times aday. Sweet speeches flowed inmy address bythe river on the phone, and on the video camera, Isaw asly, almost villainous face. Sweet flattery and declarations oflove alternated with questions about my salary, the amount ofmy income. Once he said that he wanted tomarry me because Iwas hard-working, and he would stay at home and watch TV. He said that he wanted me tocome tohis home inIndia first, meet his family, we would get married. And from there we would have jointly applied for astudent visa inthe United States as spouses. Iwould get avisa for studies, and he would travel with me as my spouse, on avisa for spouses. After that conversation, Idecided tostop communicating with him and asked him not tobother me, explaining that Iwould never voluntarily provide aman with money, and also that Iwould never allow aman touse me for avisa or other material goods. After that, Istopped responding tohis calls and messages. My Indian friend called me every single minute. Iblocked his number, but he called me from other numbers. It seemed that he had at least athousand numbers and accounts. Aweek later, Iwas tired offighting him and we began totalk again. We talked for six months. First, we talked occasionally, then more often, then every day. It was him who initiated the communication each time. The young man tried not totell anything about himself, but mostly asked me questions, emotionally and sympathetically commenting on my answers. He seemed tobe an absolute angel, who is always with me inany situation on my side. As it turned out, it was part ofhis psychological play. There were months ofour virtual communication with him. Ikept away from my diplomat and more often refused tomeet with him under various pretexts. Compared with the intelligent and predictable diplomat, the Indian acquaintance looked extremely mysterious. Tenardieu still ran away from his supervisor when the supervisor called him towork. He would sit inaroom with air conditioning, mainly engaged incorrespondence with girls. He said that he had long ceased tocommunicate with girls for my sake alone. Now he confessed his love tome and constantly called me even during my work. Still living inSaudi Arabia, he escaped from work, while receiving astable minimum salary. Then the supervisor got tired ofrunning after him. As aresult, it was decided todismiss Tenardieu. Tenardieu was fired inabout amonth. During this time, he ate and slept every day with acalculator, anticipating alarge last salary. He dreamed ofbuying one luxurious thing or another. But the vindictive supervisor counted the hours actually worked bythe sloth and gave atiny salary. The young man was furious. The poor supervisor still does not know how much dirt has fallen on his name. Iexplained tohim: What did you want? You had towork. My acquaintance, being sure that he was entitled toalarge sum for lying inaroom during months inahot country, went with ascandal tothe personnel department ofhis company. He shook papers at shocked employees, threatened togo tothe embassy and complain about the supervisor. Inthe end, so he flew toIndia with nothing. He returned tohis homeland, and other stories began. Istill lived inMoscow, went with friends torestaurants and exhibitions, from morning toevening Iworked inmy organization and inthe evenings Ivisited the pool or met with my diplomat. InMoscow, my closest friend was the daughter ofthe head ofthe administration ofalarge industrial city inSouth Korea. She worked as adiplomat inMoscow. One day when we were sitting inan expensive restaurant inthe south-west ofMoscow near our Moscow University, Tenardieu called me. At the end ofour short conversation, Itold him kiss you, bye. My friend askedme: Who called you just awhileago? Itold her that Ibefriended an Indian guy. She was shocked bymy words. Are you crazy? Oh dear, Imyself do not know what is happening tome. He does not leave me alone. He says he loves me and he is crying on the phone every time when Iwant tostopit. This is not love, Jana. He is cunning and he deceives you. His tears are fake tears! Dont you see it? Marry your diplomat and thats all. He is agood young man and loves you. Give me the phone number ofthat Indian guy, Ill tell him something. After that, he wont dare tocallyou. Do you think he is abad guy? When we talk he seems tobe very nice and goodguy. Dear, not all poor people are bad and mean. Maybe he has apure soul and brave heart. Jana, aRussian girl told me not tomess with Indian guys, they are all liars. Oh dear, inevery nation there are bad people. Dont judge them so strictly. If you give respect tosomeone, then you will be respected and loved. Isntit? Jana, before you many girls got into troubles with Indians, why dont you believe me. Many girls who studied with Indians inthe Russian medical universities, then married tothem inIndia, but all returned home mentally broken. Some ofthem died inIndia and returned home inthe coffins. Do you want tobe the nextone? Icannot believe that all are the same. You have tochoose. You stay with us, or withhim. How you can say that they are bad? What if you are all wrong, what if Indians are not liars, maybe those Russian girls were bad girls? They were good girls, who trusted those guys. They were inlove. They left their country for their boyfriends and husbands from India. And those guys treated them very bad inIndia. There are zillions ofsuch stories inRussia. Ijust dont want you become one ofthose girls, whose life was broken byan Indian. The Indian cheater wanted tomake you fool. Hahaha. Idid not give his phone number toher, but Ipromised her toblock him and never communicate with him again. My attempt toget rid ofthe welder was unsuccessful. After Iblocked him everywhere, he terrorized me from other numbers and cried bitterly. Ifelt sorry for him. So our online relationship wenton. Then Tenardieu asked his parents for permission tomarry me. Father toldhim: Its up toyou, ofcourse. Are you sure you want tomarryher? Yes. Sure. Icant live withouther. After talking with his father, he proposed me, said that he could not live without me, that he loved me tobits. He had plans for ahappy future for both ofus. He continued todream that we would live alittle bit inIndia with his parents, and then from there, we go tothe West. Iwould study, and he would stay at home. Every time after his words about the travel tothe West, Istopped communicating with him. Then it all began again with promises not tospeak on this topic again. With each new quarrel, Tenardieu threatened me tocommit suicide. Idont need the life, the young man told me. Here inIndia, people are not afraid ofdeath or poverty. We are afraid ofonly one thing an insult. Who insultsyou? Itold everyone that Ihave abride. Itold everyone that you will come tome inIndia. We will get married. And then we will go toAmerica. First, Irepeated toyou amillion times that we wont go toany America. Secondly, Idid not ask you totell anyone anything. Then Ill kill myself. One day he convinced me that he was really going tohang himself. Awhole performance with several actors was played for me. And Ibelievedit. Sometimes you need togive achance toevents unfold under their own power. When you date aman inreality, you can see all his flaws. When you meet aman on the Internet, inyour imagination this man has no flaws. On the Internet, he seems tobe perfect. The Indian guy was waiting for me inIndia, doing repairs inthe house, preparing for my arrival. On avideo camera, Isaw how his poor house was becoming more beautiful. Neither my parents nor my friends knew about my plans togo toIndia toavirtual acquaintance. Idid not know how tosay this. Ifelt shame. Only once did Ishare this story with my old friend, aprofessor from an American university. Inthe end she said: The more you tell me about him, the more scared Iam for you. There are too many red flags inthis story. Im pretty sure hes acrook and invites you toIndia torob. Please keep me posted. If you need anything inIndia, write tome. Iknow some big people there. It is better than going without warning anyone. Iand the Indian guy met online inOctober 2015, and inearly May 2016, Iapplied for avisa at the Indian visa center inMoscow and three days later Ireceived atourist visa. My future husband bought me aticket at the end ofMay, and we planned awedding and honeymoon trip toShimla at the beginning ofJune. Iconstantly felt that Iwas being cheated byhim. Moreover, Ifelt inmy heart that this deception was so huge, so dangerous for my life, that from the moment Ireceived my visa Iknew no peace. Obviously, he was amarriage swindler. He broke the fates ofinnocent women and girls and did not consider himself guilty because he did not consider women as people; their fates for him were not the fates ofpeople. He did not think about what would happen totheir lost, deserted souls, with their deceived hearts, what would happen totheir mothers and fathers who cherished their children like delicate flowers, protecting them from the slightest cold. Two weeks before my departure toIndia, Tenardieu told me the following: Today my friend and Iwere inHisar. Isaw abeautiful girl and fell inlove and immediately went toher father with my friend and asked for her hand. We talked with her father for almost two hours, and Ihave already been given consent. But my stupid friend suddenly told her father: Thank you, but he already has abride. She arrives soon from Moscow for the wedding. The girls father was shocked, and Iran away from there without saying goodbye. As aresult, that evening Ifelt ahuge relief and said tothe young man that Iwould not go anywhere, and Iwish him tomarry the one he chose: It is very good. Thanks god. So many times Iwanted tocancel this trip. This is the happy end. You marry that girl. Istay inMoscow. Iwish you get married and live ahundred years together. Goodbye. No, dont leave me! Forgive me, please come toIndia tome. Icannot live without you. Iwill never meet agirl like you, told me Tenardieu on the phone. But you do not love me. You said you proposed the girl. Ilove you. Iwill commit suicide if you wont come. My father will. Two people will die because ofyou. Idont believe you. Leave me alone please. He cried on the phone and screamed: My love, please, please, do not leave me. Icannot live without you, babe. Idisconnected the call. Every day he was sending me photographs ofhis face full oftears. It lasted one week. And Iagreed tocome toIndia. What did you do all week? Isat alone inmy room and cried all the time, he answered inatrembling voice. When we were reconciled, the young man asked me all the time: What will you bring me from Moscow? What shall Ibring? Bring gifts toall my family, Ineed vodka, and Ihave alittle niece, buy her adress. Vodka??? Yes. What kind ofgifts tobuy? For my mom jewelry, for dad leather purse or expensive watches. Inour country, aman would not say so, asking tobring alcohol is ashame, it is considered indecent. But Iwrote off everything on the peculiarities ofthe culture ofhis country or family traditions and therefore Idecided tobuy the gifts he askedfor. Iremember how, before leaving, Iwent shopping inthe center ofMoscow and bought gifts tohis family, which he ordered. Ichose something beautiful for all: for his niece, Iordered an Italian dress, for his father awatch, for mother bracelets,etc. My future husband would not let me rest and called me every five minutes. At first, Ipolitely replied that Iwas busy, then disconnected the calls, and then turned off the phone. Itoldhim: Lets cancel everything. Please explain toyour parents that Iwas sick and missed the flight. Do not be afraid ofanything. If you do not come, my father will commit suicide. He said so. And bear inmind that his death will be your guilt. Just trust me and do not be afraid ofanything!!! Can you believeme? Iallowed the thought that the story with dad was ahoax. But since, earlier, inthe conversations with this guy, accidentally Icould give him hope for more, made me feel guilty. The idea that Icould cause someones death was so terrible for me that Idecided tocome. After all, what was worth some trip compared tothe whole human life? Iwill come because Ifeel myself responsible for the situation with your father. But if you deceive me, you will regret. You dont know who youre messing around with. And then came the day specified inthe airline ticket Aeroflot. Isat at the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport and waited for the invitation toboard the plane. Tenardieu called me endlessly while demanding toshow me the airport on the camera. But since Iwas sitting inacrowded room, Idid not do this but only took apicture ofmyself against the background ofsigns and shops at the airport. Eventually, he did not believe me that Iwas really at the airport, and decided that Iwas deceivinghim. India From the plane, Idid not see where the border between the ordinary world and Indialay. India, magic India gave me alot ofunforgettable pleasant impressions, alot ofagood many interesting meetings, and inthe most dangerous moments oflife, good people came tohelp me from nowhere, and absolutely strange saving circumstances arose. The person who invited me tohis country brought me alot ofmisery and suffering while Ilived there. He alone inthe whole country made me shed rivers oftears. The rest ofthe population ofIndia brought only good and happiness. Therefore, inmy memory, this magical country remained bright and good. Maybe Iwill never be able tovisit India again, but this is not so important, because India remained inmy heart as something living, rational and magical. Like an invisible friend who saved me from an evil demon, India led me through the darkness tolight. Once, as alittle girl, Ilooked at the fairy tale Aladdins Magic Lamp together with my parents, after which they began tocall me aprincess. InIndia, Ifelt like aprincess from the fairy tale, when my illiterate mother-in-law taught me tomilk acow, cook roti flatbreads and forced me towear adupatta. All seven hours, when Iflew tohim on the plane, he sat at home inhis village and checked my messenger inthe hope ofseeing me online. What would be proof that Idid not leave Moscow for India. Ido not know why he always suspected me tocheat or lie. So that day he decided not topick me up at the airport. On the plane with me sat amarried couple from India. My seat was near the illuminator, Ilooked out and imagined that maybe he was waiting for me at the airport. Inthe meantime, my future husband was sitting inhis village and was not even going togo anywhere, staring at the Facebook messenger, waiting for me tocome online. He wanted tomake sure that Istayed inMoscow. And he would say: Well, Itold you, she is still inMoscow. Ido not know why, but he thought ofme as adishonorable person. It is true that aperson sees only his own reflection inthose aroundhim. His parents said tohim: Go tothe airport, what if she flies toIndia? His father was angry, he actually planned toleave for airport several hours before my arrival, but the person who invited me tohis home country said that no need its not necessary toarrive on time. For some reason, he decided that Iwas adeceiver and probably would not go tohim after so many ofhis mean tricks, prank with the second bride inHisar and new online girlfriends. At some point, the plane began toswing from side toside, and suddenly we began tofall! Oh, God, Ididnt say anything tomy relatives, Ididnt even say goodbye toany ofthem. Iwas very scared and lonely, Icould not even talk toanyone, we just all prayed and shouted. Iexperienced such afear that Isimply could not calm myself down. But soon everything returned tonormal, and the air passengers calmed down, includingme. What was most memorable when we landed inDelhi the flight attendant reported that the weather inDelhi was good. Only +30C. So, India met me with good weather. The temperature was plus thirty degrees ofheat, according tothe Vaishnava calendar was the month ofTrivikram. Around there were people inturbans, colorful sarees. Wet warm air smelled with sweet rot. Inthe eyes ofpeople, Isaw peace and happiness ofthe child, beloved bythe mother. Inall the contrast with Moscow was felt. InDelhi absolutely everything different from Moscow. Asweet-rotten smell hung inthe air, beat right on the nose. It seemed tome that Igot into the fourth dimension. Here everything looked unreal. Have you ever had tolook at someone through the hot air near the fire? That was exactly what Delhi Airport and its inhabitants looked like when Iwent out with asuitcase tothe reception hall. Taxi drivers, tourist agents, and locals stood inasemicircle at the glass sensory doors. Since Iwas alittle late, Iwent out tothe hall after other passengers. But Icould not see my future husband. Everyone from my flight has already gone home and inhotels, and Iwas sitting on abench with my suitcase andbag. Indian men began toapproach me with questions. Idid not know what toanswer. Inadeaf whisper, despair and fear twisted my neck and began tochoke me from both sides. The hall was empty. Out ofsadness, Isettled down more comfortably on the bench, put my legs on the suitcase and angrily sang asong. Then an Indian man approached me and said: If such agirl came tome, Iwould be at the airport five days before her arrival and would not keep her waiting. Do you have this idiots phone number? Allow me tocall him and say something unpleasant on behalf ofwhole India? At the same moment, Isaw my future husband, who was slowly walking along the airport without flowers, shuffling along the floor with blue sports sneakers, not even hurrying anywhere. The guy who wanted tohelp me saw my future husband and made agrimace with the words: Oh my god! This one? What did you see inhim? I, too, made aface, laughed, and nodded my head. But Idid not have time toanswer. Ilooked around for aplace where Icould run away from him, but it was too late. He was aguy about twenty-five years old. His face was cunning, but radiant with joy. He was thin and slouching, with adeep saddle, ofmedium height. His eyes were huge, black, with long, curled up flirtatious, lively eyelashes, which contrasted so strongly with the almost dead, terrible abysmal eye. On the head was akindergarten hairstyle which we call Phillipok with along fringe slicked tohis forehead. Ablack T-shirt hung over bony shoulders. Tight-fitting jeans showed sharp knees. The whole image was completed byenormously large ears, bulging tothe sides, somewhat disproportionate tothe small head. The hands and feet also looked too large inrelation tothe arms and legs. We greeted, kissed each other on the cheek and went tothe exit. We were met byhis father, asister with achild and her husband. Iextended my hand tomy future father-in-law toshake it, but he just kindly hugged me like his daughter. Unlike his twenty-five-year crumb snatcher, my future father-in-law seemed tobe agood person. Ifelt so relaxed and calm that Istopped worrying. We waited some time for acar inthe street near the airport. Inthe black heights, the stars and clouds danced Boston. My future husband and Iwere standing nearby, and his relatives were alittle away from us. Awarm night wind was blowing. Then awhite jeep drove up, we plunged and drove tothe village. Iwas very tired from the flight and constantly fell into adream. The road tothe village took six hours. On the way, we stopped at acafe, silently drank tea. Ifelt their eyes on me, and Imyself looked away, somewhere on the tops ofthe trees, hiding my face from embarrassment. Iremember green trees against the black sky, the sultry air, despite the dark time ofthe day, the coolness did not occur. * ** Haryana is located inthe north ofIndia, and its name means the abode ofGod. Haryana became an independent state in1966, and before that, it was part ofthe state ofPunjab. The capital ofboth states is the city ofChandigarh. The population ofHaryana is over 25million people. The state has ahighly developed engineering and agriculture. It is inHaryana where most crimes against women occur. Inantiquity about 30001300BC Haryana was part ofHarappa civilization, on apar with Egyptian and Sumerian. Already at that ancient time, sewerage and drainage systems existed inHaryana. Civilization fell into decay, and then completely disappeared with the arrival ofthe Aryans. It is believed that the creation ofthe universe began from this place, so pilgrims from all over India come toHaryana, inparticular tothe sacred pond Brahma Sarovar. It was on the territory ofHaryana that the events described inthe ancient Indian epic Mahabharata took place. My future husbands village was called Samain, it was not far from the city ofTohana, inFatehabad district, Haryana state. About ten thousand representatives often different castes lived init. Brahmins, Jats, and Banya belonged tothe higher castes. The lower castes were Khati, Kumharas, Lohars, Nai, Chkhipi. Registered, that is, untouchable castes Chamari, Balmika. Half ofthe population ofthe village was engaged inagriculture, almost 40percent ofthe population was not engaged inanything. My future husband and his family came from the lower caste ofKhati, whose members were engaged incarpentry and agriculture. The father ofmy future husband was acarpenter, as Khati should be, the family also had asmall cotton field, and my future husband himself had the profession ofawelder. He was shy ofbelonging toalower caste and subsequently lied tonew friends that he was from ahigher caste ofBrahmins. Castes arose with the arrival ofthe Aryan tribes inIndia. Aryans were nomads. There are many theories about their country oforigin. They came toIndia inancient times. The Aryan entertainments were divided into two groups gambling and music and dance. The Aryans brought their views and customs, including the division ofsociety into four castes, or classes ofsociety. The highest ofthem were priests and scholars the caste ofthe Brahmins. Steps below were warriors and nobles, the penultimate class ofsociety consisted ofartisans and merchants. The lowest consisted ofagricultural workers, as well as workers ofother professions. Representatives ofdifferent castes did not have the right tomarry among themselves, and it was impossible tomove from one caste toanother. Iremember one feature oflife inthe Indian village. Bytradition, residents ofthe same village are prohibited from marrying each other. The nearest village, with representatives who are allowed tomarry, must be within aradius ofat least ten kilometers. Often, the girls parents begin tolook for her as soon as she comes ofage. Sometimes it happens that, living inthe same village, young people fall inlove with each other and, without obtaining the consent oftheir parents, they come toan agreement and run away from their native land. Toprevent such adevelopment ofevents, parents try not todelay their daughters marriage. According tothe stories oflocal residents, because ofthis, many young people have committed suicide, unable tocope with the loss oftheir beloved. Currently, before the arranged marriage, the bride and groom first look at each others photographs. If they like each other, they are introduced toeach other, then they communicate bytelephone, though it happens sometimes that they do not communicate at all and are not even interested. Also inIndia, there is atradition toconsult with an astrologer before the wedding. All people are divided into Manglik and non-Manglik. Mangal dosha is one ofthe major deciding factors inHindu marriages. AManglik marrying anon-Manglik is considered disastrous which can even lead tothe death ofones partner. Mangal dosha is the combination inthe birth chart or horoscope where Mars (also known as Mangal or Kuja) is placed inthe 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th or 12th house inthe Ascendant. Aperson with mangal dosh inhis natal chart is called Manglik. Mars is considered malefic when it is positioned inany ofthe mentioned houses and it leads totensions, dissatisfactions, and disasters inmarried life. My acquaintances had acase when the groom changed his mind about marrying his bride already at the height ofthe wedding preparations, when gold and adowry had already been bought, and guests were invited. The girl was slightly plump and groom did not like her. However, at the first meeting he agreed totheir wedding, then something went wrong. Relatives said that he had agirlfriend at work. He was tormented for several months, overcome bydoubts, but did not dare tocancel the wedding. He was unhappy but did not reveal his grief infront ofrelatives. At this time, the brides family, highly respected inthe city, purchased all necessary, furniture, and gold jewelry. Few weeks remained before the wedding. One day abrother asked the groom why he was so sad. The groom admitted that he actually did not want tomarry because he did not like the bride. But he still was going tomarry her, because it was too late tocancel the wedding and upset parents. The grooms brother was an impulsive man. He just immediately picked up the phone, dialed the number ofthe father ofthe bride, and said that there would be no wedding. The groom was relieved, but his family lost credibility. InIndia, the most terrible for aperson, for afamily tolose the respect ofsociety. Id like todescribe another case from the life ofthe village inwhich Ilived. Inthe village ofmy future husband was ayoung family. The father ofthe family sold alcohol, and the attitude tothe family was bad. The young man, the son ofamerchant, was ahandsome, kind and cheerful guy, about two meters tall. But because ofthe past ofhis father, no one got married tohim. Eventually, when the guy was already over thirty, he married avillage girl, divinely beautiful, young and very tall like amodel. They got married and after awhile selflessly fell inlove with each other, and had adaughter. And then his wife started having bouts, during which she was bleeding from her mouth. Her husband was unhappy about it and was afraid oflosing her forever. Ialso know ofacase when ayoung girl from arich rural family. She had an arranged wedding, but love did not come during their life together, and she filed for divorce. Then she re-married the one she chose and was happy with her husband. Inher defense, the villagers always said that since she was rich, she was allowed todoso. It happens that agreat love comes tospouses after the arranged wedding. Sometimes two loneliness live under one roof for the whole life. It is much more difficult for girls tolive inanew family. Because they live inastrange family, where mother-in-law often mocks her daughter-in-law, and the husband doesnt intercede for his wife if they dont have agood relationship. Her parents are very far, and it is difficult tocomplain about the phone. Not for nothing are parents picking up awife for their son. InIndia, life is often so formed that the husband works five days aweek inanother city, arrives home for the weekend at the village. Therefore, his wife spends most ofher time with her husbands parents, and not withhim. InIndia there are few divorces, families are built for life, many Indians but not all are wonderful family men. But, as Iwas told, there are few divorces, because incase ofdivorce, the husbands family will have toreturn the brides dowry, and not everyone can afford it. Iwas told byTenardieu that there are many tragic accidents with wives, after which the widower will remarry without problems. Iremembered very well how, at the beginning ofour story, my future husband told me about this, not seeing anything reprehensible inthe murder. As now Ican see that he quite often lacked sincerity, Ialso guess his theory about dead wives could be false. But who knows. the beautiful village ofSamain On the way from the airport, Ifell asleep again. Finally, we arrived and stopped at atwo-story house with beautiful wooden carvings on the facade. There were still mirrors on the doors and all kinds ofwhorls ofwood. My future father-in-law talentedly made them with his own gifted hands. On the outer wall ofthe house, Isaw aswastika. Then Inoticed that swastikas were also painted on the neighboring houses. Then Iread that aswastika is aSanskrit word that means well-being. He embraces the idea ofthe four cardinal directions and the four seasons, the fusion ofthe male and female. The swastika is asymbol ofthesun. There is an important little detail the position ofthe swastika. The vertical swastika is asign ofgood, sun, and well-being. But the swastika, located at an angle of45, is asymbol ofevil, striking out and destroy. The Nazis used just such aswastika. Houses inan Indian village are not at all the same as inRussia. Ingeneral, the principle ofbuilding avillage is different. Houses inIndian village are two-storeyed, connected byacommon wall with neighboring houses, there is an open sky inside the house between the rooms, you can put achaise lounge inthe corridor and look at the stars, as well as at curious neighbors, and they can look at you. It often happens that there is ahole inthe wall totransfer food toeach other. Ineach house there are wicker beds charpai, they are hard touse. But inthe heat it is very good that the base ofthe bed is wicker: the air circulates. We went inside. It was acarpenters house. Everything inthe house was done byhis hands, even wooden sofas and beds. When we arrived from the airport, it was early morning, they carefully brought me tea, after tea, Ilay down totake anap, the flies would not let me rest, and Icovered myself with ablanket right on top ofmy head. Iheard some people come and the room was filled with people. Some woman pulled the blanket off my head and looked into my sleepy face, looked at me and covered again with the blanket. Ihad the feeling ofunreality ofwhat was happening, some kind ofmagic, the kindness ofnature towardsme. Then Iwoke up, took ashower and had lunch. Inthe evening ayoung man, my future husband, was glowing with happiness. Iam very glad that you came. And my dad is happy, he said with tenderness inhis voice. Im glad too, honey. Tell me, did you like me? He asked looking into my eyes. Yes, and you? Yes, my dear, Ilike you very much, he said and kissed me for the first time. During our dialogue, Inoticed that he did not say aword about my mother. Probably, his mother is against me, Ithought, and fell asleep carelessly. The next morning Isat on the bed, and alot ofpeople entered the room. These were the villagers. Iwas sleepy and felt shy. They were local women, grandmothers, and children, all ofthem, except for children and girls, were wearing Punjabi suites and dupatta, they had numerous bracelets on their hands, and good-quality Indian gold glittered intheir ears, neck, and fingers. They lined up against the wall so that everyone had enough space inthe room, and looked at me insilence, not smiling and not blinking, as it seemed tome, some people looked at me. Iwas so shy and didnt know where tohide from such attention. Ilooked away inconfusion. They stood silently and did not move. Then Ismiled at them, and they smiled back at me. Their visit ended, they turned around and left the room. When they came the next time, on the advice ofmy future mother-in-law, Itouched the oldest womens legs as asign ofrespect. Inresponse, they touched my head as asign ofblessing. Then I, the young man, his brother, his sister, and her daughter went toTohana toshop and bought me beautiful Indian clothes Ichose shalwar-kameez inmarine blue and ashawl over my head dupatta. On the way back, his sister, apleasant girl, got off the bus, and we drove on tothe village. From now on, Iwore an Indian national dress. Inthe village, none ofthe married women wore European clothes. Previously, Iwas not interested inIndian culture. Therefore, Idid not know that asaree is not the only traditional outfit. InHaryana, women are rarely seen inasaree on aweekday. Rather, it is festive clothing. Ineveryday life, Isaw only women insalvar-kameez and dupatta. Salvar-kameez means pants and shirt. Infact, akameez shirt is most often abeautiful dress just above the knee, with different types ofnecklines and sleeve length, decorated with embroidery and gold threads. It is worn with salwar, which are often the same color as the top, but there are also different colors, there are form-fitting, it all depends on the design. Instores, shalwar-kameez are sold inone set with adupatta color inharmony with the outfit. The most magical detail inIndian womens clothing is dupatta. It creates amysterious image ofawoman, hides her face, protects from annoying glances and from thesun. Dupatta is along scarf ofthe finest fabric. Married women cover their heads with adupatta, and unmarried girls fashionably oblige ascarf around their neck and chest. Inoticed that when amarried woman sees aman older than her, she covers her face with adupatta. Inparticular, my mother-in-law covered her face as soon as some grandfathers entered the house. At such moments she looked very feminine. Fabrics inIndia are always ofgood quality. The production offabrics there has been calculated for thousands ofyears, cotton has been used since the third millennium BC. Inancient times, people living inthe territory ofmodern India discovered the special properties ofplants that give different colors tofabrics. Since then, the paint has been used inthe manufacture offabrics. Thus, India became the first country on the planet where multicolored fabrics appeared. It is also known that inIndia men painted their beards inthe most unexpected colors. Salwar-kameez, or Punjabi Suite, which Ibought on the second day ofarrival inIndia, Ichose myself. It was aquamarine, satin, chiffon and with gilded patterns sewn onto the fabric. Dupatta was the same color ofchiffon. Inthe village, men ofdifferent ages wear awhite ensemble ofalong shirt and pants. Inthe cold weather inIndia, Isaw alot ofmen who walked wrapped inablanket. Urban youth most often dress inthe same way as inthe West. The shops inTohana sell all kinds ofclothes: national outfits and fashionable dresses, tops and jeans. Compared toother countries, clothing inIndia is cheap, but the quality is at its best. Footwear inIndia is also national and ordinary. Inthe village, people walk inshales, wear national shoes or European shoes embroidered with stones and rhinestones tocelebrations. My future husband inthe heat and inthe cold, at the wedding and the police wore tight sports sneakers, put on thick socks. When Ioffered tobuy other shoes, he bought himself new sports sneakers, which differed from the previous ones only inthe color ofthe laces. His friends who came tous were shod ingood-quality mens sandals and fashionable shoes. Together with salwar-kameez, Ibought gorgeous ballet shoes inthe national Indian style, embroidered with gold rhinestones, through which colored threads were intertwined with snakes. On the streets, you can see men with abeautiful turban on head. Iwalked through the market and looked at the passers-by. Icould not believe that Iwas inthe real world. It seemed tome that Iwas inan oriental tale or on the set ofafilm. Inoticed that Indian people have rare beauty, delicate features, large eyes with infinitely long doll eyelashes. Inthe village ofSamain, Isaw the stunning beauty ofawoman ofabout fifty. She had huge emerald eyes framed bytwo-centimeter velvet eyelashes, olive skin color, and all facial features harmoniously combined with each other as if painted byatalented artist. On her head she carried ametal basin, not holding it with one hand. It was evident that she was engaged inphysical labor, but even her tired look did not hide her natural beauty, but, on the contrary, emphasized. Often Ilooked at my Dadi and admired her. Athin, toned face with large blue eyes and astraight nose. Grandma was already ninety years old. But the sculpture ofher face has not changed since her youth. There were deep wrinkles on her face. And inthe bottomless eyes, the naughty light offormer youth played. Still, only the body is aging, and the soul remains forever at the age when the person loved the last time. * ** Before bed, Itactfully asked me tobring asheet and aduvet cover. But Tenardieu said that they did not use sheets and duvet covers inthe house. He slept on asynthetic bedspread and covered himself with athick blanket. All the guests visiting the house were lying on the same bedspread during the day or sitting with their feet. The next day, the young mans mother smiling brought me abeautiful sheet ofyellow satin fabric with blue flowers and agolden pattern. But she said that they were not sleeping on this, but, on the contrary, they sometimes covered the bed for beauty during the daytime. How did Isuffer inmy soul when guests came tothe house and lay down on our pillows with head, and someone did not hesitate tofold unwashed feet. The fact is that there was no spare pillowcase either, and instead ofapillowcase, Ilaid out one ofthe new hand towels that Ibrought with me. But it was still unpleasant, and it seemed tome that then the pillow smelled ofsomeones feet. For many years, Idid not wash byhand and did not wash the dishes with my hands, as Ihad adishwasher and an automatic washing machine. Inthe house ofmy future husband, almost everything was done manually. Small things were washed right on the granite floor, soaping and beating on the floor. The washing machine was semi-automatic and assumed aconstant presence todrain and pour water into the tank, and then shift it tothe centrifuge. There was also no trash can inthe house. After peeling vegetables, the peel was dumped inacorner ofthe kitchen, cigarette butts were thrown right there on the floor next tothem. Then when cleaning the room it was all swept away inaheap, shifted tothe basin. Basin put on his head and carried tothe dump. The dump was spontaneously located. That is, at the end ofour small street, one needs togo out onto alarge road, cross it, and rubbish was thrown onto the side ofthe road. There were already piled mountains ofgarbage, and no one took them out for recycling. We did the house-keeping with my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law every day, so it was clean. Ioften saw the old grandmother insome kind ofhomework, such as cleaning vegetables or sweeping the floor. InIndia, you will rarely find garbage bins. The local population throws small rubbish everywhere, but not near their home. Large waste is carried toan arbitrary landfill, which, as arule, is located every 500meters. But inIndian houses, cleanliness is impeccable, even the poor wives have dusty clay floors indugouts for days onend. Drainage was also absent. Infront ofour house, the pavement was dismantled, and the car was pumping waste from the pit. At such moments, you begin toappreciate what you have not noticed around you before the livability and comfort ofmodern apartments. Inthe kitchen, huge cockroaches constantly crawled out ofthe pipe into the sink. Ihave never seen such big ones before. Each cockroach was four centimeters. There were also ordinary small cockroaches. The first time Isaw them was when Ibrewed tea inan aluminum scoop on the stove. My future husband was standing nearby. Then he suddenly said: Next toyou crawling cockroach. For fear, Iscreamed so loudly that people could hear me inthe next village. Ijumped onto the back ofthe young man and hung on it, continuing toscream with fear. His father entered the kitchen, frowned and asked: What happened? She saw acockroach. He looked at me, laughed, and left. Much tomy surprise, Ilearned that my future husband was not at all afraid ofcockroaches. Not even the slightest hostility tothem. So what if cockroaches. They are also living beings. As achild, we even played with them, planted them inour palms, he said good-naturedly and smiled, as if recalling his childhood friends. * ** Inthe evening, Iasked the young man and his family tocome down. Isaid that Iprepared something interesting for them. Then they came into the room and sat around the table. Ilaid out agift for agift, brought from Moscow, and presented them toeach family member. When Igave my mother-in-law bracelets, contempt flashed inher huge tarry-black eyes. On the face ofmy future husband was apainful disappointment. Immediately after the parents left the room, the young man arrogantly stated that the Italian dress, which Ibrought tohis niece, he can buy from aflea market for ahundred rupees, but not for many thousands, and all the other gifts are cheap. Then, squinting, he toldme: You dont seem tohave money for astudy inthe USA. On what money were you going togo toAmerica? What do you mean? Why are you talking about thisnow? Well, once you told me about the plan tostudy inthe West. Ithought there would be such arich woman. Isaid nothing and did not answerhim. The only person who showed respect was his father. He thanked me and proudly wore watches on his hand for several days; Iwas very pleased tosee it. After all, the watches were good. * ** Inthose days Imet my husbands second cousin named Kamlesh. It was an educated thirty-year-old married woman. She came toher native village toher parents from another city, where she lived with arich husband and children. She was happy inher marriage. She and her husband had two children aboy and agirl. Among all the relatives ofmy future husband, Kamlesh was the most conscious. She did not communicate with relatives ofmy husband and himself. Inalarge family ofmy father-in-law, many relatives did not speak among themselves for many years. But inthose days she broke this rule. Afew years ago, arelative ofmy husband committed amisdeed connected with agirl. After that, the whole family became an outcast intheir own society. Once we sat with Kamlesh on the couch and chatted nicely. Then she toldme: Now everything depends on him. If he wants, he will make abig wedding inarestaurant. But the young man did not want todo anything. He only said that he had no money. And besides, he said Idid not bring adowry totheir house, and this was important forhim. Iactually had adowry. But did it really matter, if everything turned out this way? So Isaid nothing. And the next day I, my future husband, his father, sister and child got into the car ofhis friend Mandip an intelligent young man and went tothe regional center Tohana. Right at the bus stop inTohana, there was asmall, cute Hindu temple ofwhite marble. We got out ofthe car and headed towards the temple. Bus stops inIndia are equipped with comfortable, wide benches, some with backs, some without backs. Nearby you can find apublic restroom. Not far from the benches there are trade shops, where right inthe open air inlarge cauldrons they fry delicious dough products, for example, samosa. Other products are also tasty, but Ido not know their names. Directly behind the shop, there is asmall room with tables and benches, there is also arefrigerator with drinks. Travelers sit inthe cool at the tables and eat the delicacies they just bought from disposable plates, seasoning them with ketchup. * ** The Hindu temple is aseparate world, an amazingly beautiful architectural ensemble ofmarble, granite, limestone, and stone. Even the smallest temple insome lost Indian village is built as asmall copy ofits grandiose original with the repetition ofall the necessary elements ofstyle, with statues ofKrishna, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesh, Kali. Inadifferent way, the statues ofthe Indian gods are called murti, that is, the material form ofGod, otherwise it can be expressed bythe word idol. During the installation ofthe statue, the clergy from the highest caste ofthe Indian society, the Brahmans, conduct aspecial pran-pratistha ceremony, during which they ask God toincarnate inthis statue. Every detail ofthe statue, every attribute ofit has aspecific meaning. For example, the crescent moon inthe hair ofLord Shiva is avessel with the nectar ofimmortality, it symbolizes control over the mind. InHinduism, the spiritual principle is called Brahman. Brahman is the absolute beginning ofeverything existing inthe universe, it is neither good nor bad, it is impassive, infinite and unchanging. It is nirgunam or qualityless. Brahman consists ofthree gods Brahma-forces, which creates, Vishnu-forces, which protects, Shiva-forces, which destroys. You enter the Hindu temple and walk on cool, white, pure marble, walk towards asmiling Indian god and smile at him too, the sweet aroma ofIndian incense hangs inthe air. The atmosphere ofgoodness, love envelops like acloud, and your heart thaws, everything that is outside ofthe temple is forgotten. Then comes the understanding that you are alone with this Earth with God, that you come into this light alone and live alone, and around you only him, God, exposed inthe bodies ofpeople, phenomena and events. It takes the form ofdifferent people and circumstances, and each time it asks you its own questions. According toIndian philosophy, the soul is ignorant. It will be reborn again and again, participating inthe cycle oflife and death, which is called the wheel ofthe Sansara, until it knows the truth. One soul inevery life is born indifferent bodies it can be amicrobe, an insect, an animal, aman, at the end ofrebirth apure soul becomes apart ofBrahma. Inthe process ofcirculation, the soul goes topurgatory, where it is toredeem sins for the acts committed, or, on the contrary, it finds peace for good deeds inlife. * ** So, we went tothe temple. My future husbands sister and Istayed inside, and he and his father left after talking with the temple attendant. Iand his sister and her child sat for along time on aclean white marble floor. What we did and why we sat there, Idid not understand, there was no one toask, his sister did not know English, except for some well-known words, and Idid not know Hindi toask her. From time totime we smiled sweetly at each other and looked at each other sympathetically, complaining about the incredible heat. Afan was driving hot air. They brought me aglass offresh juice, which Idrank with pleasure. Acool stream ofcold drink was most welcome. InIndia, they make juice right infront ofaclient. There is asmall shop on the street with ladles and ajuicer like ameat grinder, near the shop there are alot offruits. The shop assistant immediately prepares ajuice from any fruit you like. Two hours passed, and then ayoung man came with his father. Iwas asked togo tothe altar. The priest hung us on the neck inaflower garland and said something inHindi. Then each ofus put aspot on the forehead with red paint. Ithought it was some kind ofpreliminary proceedings before the wedding, because inweddings usually there are many guests infancy dresses. But we were alone. We moved away from the altar, and Tenardieu with disgust wiped off the red spot on his forehead, fearing that anyone could seehim. Now everyone thinks you forced me tomarry you, wipe off the paint from your forehead too, he hissed viciously. What? Ijust got married toyou. He answered rudely, turned around and left the temple. When we left the temple and got into the car, afriend ofmy husband, Mandip, congratulated us and said that now we were acouple. Inthe evening, my newly-made husband bought abottle ofcheap wine and samosa. Samosa is like our modified samsa, just not flat, and instead ofmeat, there are vegetables inside. My mother-in-law, who was radically opposed toour marriage, never for asecond left us alone, and my husbands attitude towards me always changed toasharply negative one at her presence. Iwill make ashort digression and describe my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law, according tomy calculations, was eight tonine years older than me, and my father-in-law was exactly ten years older than me. My husband was ten years younger than me. Mother-in-law was about forty two years old, but she looked like fifty. She did not study anywhere except inseveral classes ofschool. Her face which used tobe fresh and pretty years ago, her huge, shiny, sapphire-like eyes framed bylong, terry, fan-shaped eyelashes was wrinkled, and once the lacquer-black thick hair was almost all sparse and gray. When she was angry, she was distinguished byalmost bestial rudeness inbehavior and forced loud laughter. She wore salvar-kameez and she covered her head with atranslucent dupatta fabric, as befits all married women. Her right shoulder was always noticeable below the left because ofhard work. She almost always wore the same clothes as it is normal invillages all over the world. On athin, wrinkled neck, she wore agold pendant on ablack rope; inher ears, she wore small gold hoop earrings. As for the point on the forehead, my dear mother-in-law drew it toherself only when she went tothe city tothe bazaar. She had one trait that gave her charm: when she was inmy presence quarreling with someone and screaming, making scary eyes, at the same time she laughed with acoquettish, unnatural laugh. So she never left us alone. And on our wedding day, it was the same. The three ofus sat inthe bedroom on our bed me, Tenardieu and his mother. It was late, but she did not leave. They talked about something inHindi, it even seemed tome that they were cursing, trying not toshowit. We did not celebrate this event inthe restaurant. There was nothing festive neither guests, nor abeautiful sari, nor gold jewelry, nor ahoneymoon. Igot married inthe marine blue Punjabi suite Ibought when Icame toIndia. And instead ofthe restaurant, Tenardieu bought cheap wine with samosa, and so we were going tocelebrate together. And even this mother-in-law did not allow us todo. Mom, go toyour room, we just got married, let us sit together and celebrate the wedding, said my newly-made husband. Im not going anywhere, his mother replied and looked at me viciously atme. Go, Isaid, he insisted, and my mother-in-law eventually left, so we were left alone and sat silently. My mother-in-law went and the husband poured the wine into glasses. We sat for awhile and went tobed. Night covered the village with aheavy veil. Aminute ago, the voices ofpassers-by were heard on the street, an angry dog barking could be heard from afar, and suddenly everything died down at once. Initially, Tenardieu quarreled with his mother and her relatives, stood up for me. He even quarreled once on the street with my mother-in-laws sister and her family, who lived next door, and toldme: Iquarreled today with the whole family. Do not betray me ever. Ipromise. But over time, he went over tothe side ofhis own mother, who hated me and began toresemble atyrant feudal, who had only me insubmission. He slandered me at any suitable moment when Iwas not around. He came tothe bedroom and tormented me with his sullen silence. Iunderstood that his mother was discussing me with him. What he said tome after talking with her was disgusting. You have the face ofaperson one cant trust. Iwill not go with you alone for the honeymoon. Im afraid ofyou. You look like aChinese woman. Mom is afraid tolet me go with you. What if you are an agent from China? Ilaughed inresponse. Iwas invited toaman, and he himself was scared. Ithought it was abad joke. The young man kept saying the same thing. Ido not trust you. Mom says Im too young, Im younger than you and married being avirgin toyou. Is it you avirgin? You tell this fairytale toyour mom. And Ialready know all the stories about you. You yourself told me everything. Thats it, tomorrow Im leaving. Stay with yourmom. Leave. Take asuitcase and go on foot, if you know where togo. Iwill not give you acar. You know perfectly well that Icannot leave without your help. Take me tothe airport, please. But it is you who wants toleave. Why should Ihelpyou? Then he dissuaded me from leaving. As it later turned out, he was afraid that the neighbors would laugh athim. * ** India is acountry, only one-third ofwhich is visible tothe ordinary human eye. The rest ofthe country is invisible. However, the indigenous population is aware ofits existence. Hence, many rituals, prayers, mantras, temples, priests. There are alot ofdifferent strange events happening on Indian soil Idont know what kind ofpower is behind these events. The priests say that India comes into the life ofacertain person for one mystical reason known toher. Also, the priests add that if India does not come toaperson, means the person is not ready for thisyet. If India loves the person, then it gives him asacred knowledge. Aperson is endowed with aspecial gift. Many Indians have innate abilities for hypnosis and magic, are able topredict the future, they see prophetic dreams. Once Inoticed after myself that for some time after arriving inIndia Ibegan tohave dreams that came true inthree tofive days. There was nothing terrible inthese dreams; Ijust saw inadream some situations that inafew days came true. The Indian people have their little secrets. So, my mother-in-law, before eating sweets for some reason, pinched asmall piece from them and threw it somewhere tothe side. Only then she began toeat treats. Idont know why she did it; Ididnt see dogs and cats next toher. InIndia there is polytheism. Most ofall Ilike the story ofthe god Ganesh. Ganesh is the son ofthe gods Shiva and Parvathi, who was born with ahuman body and head. The god Shani looked at the boy, and the childs head burned. Then the god Shiva added tothe baby the head ofan elephant the first animal encountered bythe servants. He is also called Shri Ganesh. Sri is arespectful prefix. God Ganesh, kind and just, helps travelers and those who love togain knowledge. Thus, this god is closer tome than all the other Indian gods. The god Ganesh, who has the head ofan elephant and the body ofaman, pray as follows: Om gam ganapataye namaha. This mantra removes obstacles toaperson. The first sound ofthe mantra Om is the sound that first appeared inthe newly created Universe. * ** Since wegot married, Iwas supposed towear Indian clothes, not European ones. Now Ihad tocover my head with adupatta and draw apoint on my forehead. Inthe morning Iapplied ared strip on the central hair part and draw apoint on my forehead bindi. The point inthe forehead reminded me ofthe sunset ofred Indian sun. How beautiful it looks on the forehead ofamarried woman inIndia! It seems toilluminate the house and family with its warmth, love, and wisdom. The mother-in-law said that Inow could not wear European clothes and that Icould not walk alone now when Iwant to, that if Igo somewhere, and then only accompanied. She also, through her son, told me that Ihad towash the floors and do the cleaning every day inthe whole house, as well as walk on the field and pick cotton byhands. Ialso bought aspecial pencil and bottle with ared composition and tassel. It is exactly the same capacity as nail polish, but the consistency ofthe contents is different. InIndia, there are many bindi options invarious colors and sizes that stick tothe skin and last until evening. My sister-in-law brought me two boxes with multi-colored disposable bindies. There was awhole color palette ofnature. Inthe first box, the bindi was simply circles ofthree millimeters indiameter; inthe second box, the bindi was gilded, inthe shape ofaflower. If Iwoke up inagood mood, then Iput agreen bindi on my forehead. If Iwoke up inabad mood, then Iput the red color the color ofthe traffic light. Before visiting some house, Iput an elegant bindi with gold leaf. Ialso now wore five tosix bracelets on each arm. They were imbued with gold, although they were made ofplastic. My husband did not give me gold jewelry. Although inIndia huge sums are spent on gold jewelry for wives. Despite the poverty ofher husband, my mother-in-law walked all ingold from head totoe, as did the sister-in-law. For me, they bought everything from plastic and simple iron. Acouple ofwords about Indian gold should be mentioned. It is much higher quality than all other types ofgold inthe world. It is almost no impurities, it is yellow and it is high-carat gold. It is said that Indian women daily wear on themselves 10% ofworld gold reserves. We will buy gold for you when you start working and give us your salary, said my husband. Will you buy me that gold on my money? Iasked laughing. You dont even have adowry. InIndia, adowry is apledge ofhappiness for newlyweds. And we do not demand anything from you. Therefore, we do not give anything. Just work inthe office and give us the money you earn. Fifty-seventy thousand rupees amonth is enough. We are honest people. Then Itold my mother-in-law that Ihad adowry. If it is so important tothem, then they will receive it. But my mother-in-law said that not things would do for them, but only cash. Ah, what anice, kind family! Only seventy thousands per month! Ireplied through laughter. Isincerely wanted tobe an obedient daughter-in-law and decided tostart cleaning the house, but Idid not find any rags, no buckets, no gloves, or avacuum cleaner. At this time ofthe day, there was no one inthe house except for me and my grandmother. She was sitting on the second floor. Iwent up toher and gestured toask about cleaning equipment. She did not understand me and, waving her hand, asked me tomake tea for us and go torest after tea. That day we got along perfectly with grandmother Dadi and henceforth began toregularly drink tea together when there was no one inthe house exceptus. My mother-in-law continued toinsist on my participation inrunning the household. She especially wanted me topick cotton. Then Iasked them tobuy me thick gloves. After awhile, my father-in-law still bought me crimson-colored rubber gloves, and Ibegan togo with them topick cotton. Over time, I, my mother-in-law and grandmother distributed the duties ofhousekeeping inthe house, and disputes no longer arose. So my day began at ten inthe morning. Iwoke up, took ashower, brushed up. My husband woke up at the same time, often later than me, but every time after waking up, he grabbed his phone and ran off somewhere upstairs, where no one disturbedhim. At that time Iopened the windows and doors, cleaned the bed, laid out the scattered things inplaces, rubbed dust inthe room, swept, washed the floors, and then burned scented candles. Then Iclosed the windows and doors ofthe room outside and went upstairs tomake breakfast. Imostly did not buy clothes. My sister-in-law or agirl-neighbor sewed fabrics with ready-made collars, it was more money saving. Meena, my sister-in-law, often came tovisit her parents house with her little daughter. The girl was afew months old. Pretty and plump, she was the darling ofall family members. My sister-in-law brought asewing machine tothe room, put it on the floor and sew wonderful dresses. My husband and I, his brother, my mother-in-law and someone else sat next toher, distracting the child with toys, so as not tointerfere with the mothers sewing. Inthe early days, Iwas very uncomfortable with the constant presence ofmany people aroundme. Inmy family, it is not customary tovisit someone without an invitation or without aprior call, even tomy closest relatives. During avisit torelatives, we never stay too long. Iremember how, inchildhood, every visit tograndparents, who lived far from us, was areal treat. We were invited aweek before arrival so that we did not plan any events for this day. For our arrival, my dear grandmother cooked for us delicious salads, cakes, meatballs, all sorts ofdelicacies. My brother and sister and Ibehaved as at areception, and did not allow ourselves toindulge, ate only with aknife and fork, did not fight with each other, were not noisy. On New Years holidays, we also gathered with our grandparents and cousins at the holiday table, which was full ofdifferent dishes. On holidays, grandmother took out silver from the cabinet and crystal vases for salads, alarge gorgeous dining set brought from Europe many years ago. Then we, the children, had togo out tothe guests and recite poems byheart. After averse or song, every child received astorm ofapplause, praise, New Years greetings, wishes and the most pleasant thing aNew Years gift wrapped insweetie paper. It was the noisiest time forme. On other days, as arule, we spent time byourselves, inour own rooms, inour own house, insilence, doing our own business. Therefore, being used tosuch acontrast inthe first days ofarrival inIndia, Ioften felt dizzy from the noise and conversations. Iremember how Isat on the bed inthe bedroom, my husbands relatives were sitting around me, talking loudly, laughing, someone tugging at my shoulder. From the noise, my temperature rose and my head ached, inthe end, Iran tothe second floor, where there was no one. Isat inachair on the balcony and enjoyed the silence. Several people came after me tothe second floor. Over time, Igot used tothe noise and the constant presence ofrelatives and neighbors. Also used tospicy food, so much so that without chili pepper, the food seemed tasteless. People get used toeverything over time. * ** My mother-in-law was smiling tomy face, but behind me she was my enemy. She was agood person, who just had other expectations about her daughter-in-law. Therefore, she, as she could, tried toadjust me toher standards. Iunderstood everything perfectly: what does she expect from me, what should Ido tomake her like me. But selfish mother-in-law is never satisfied with daughters-in-law. Therefore, one should not try hard, it is still useless. Iknow that her plans were tofind for her son an Indian girl from the village, obedient and silent, who would take over the whole life ofthemselves, who would bring arich dowry totheir home. At the same time, the choice ofason did not matter, because the mother-in-law chose aservant for herself, and not asons wife. And then her son brought me, aperson after years ofmilitary service and after human rights activities. Iguess she did not know that her son always wanted tomarry aforeigner and dreamed ofliving abroad. Iknew how tocook well and therefore began cooking. Mainly because Icould not eat what my mother-in-law was cooking. Her food seemed tobe tasteless, hastily cooked, without inspiration and without asoul, gruel for cattle. My husband told that she could cook only some temporary food. Therefore, Iannounced that from now on Iwill cook for the whole family. Icooked sabji (different vegetables, stewed together), vegetable stew, spaghetti with sauce and pea soup dal, eggplant caviar. InIndia people cook inapressure cooker on gas. First, oil is poured into the pressure cooker, spices are put, then the main ingredients ofthe preparing dish, then after ashort roasting, the vegetables are poured over with water and tightly covered with alid. Imissed my traditional food, sandwiches with sausage, toasts with jam and coffee, Russian salad, red borscht, mantas, Kazakh beshbarmak, my favorite Uzbek pilaf. At night, Isaw them inmy dreams. Sometimes Ifried pies with potatoes and then treated everyone inthe house. Bread inIndia is not eaten every day, instead, they bake flatbread. Bread is made from traditional white bread inIndia, which translates as bread, but it is not just bread, but bread fried with vegetables, something like our bread fried with eggs. Inthe first two months oflife inIndia, Ilost almost twenty kilograms. So if you want tolose weight, it is good tolive inIndia. We ate on the floor ofsmall metal cups with small spoons. Inother homes it is different. Ingeneral, it all depends on the wealth ofthe family. Ibrought with me afork from Moscow and put it inacommon dish with spoons and knives, but all the time my fork turned out tobe under the cupboard, behind the bed, behind the refrigerator. Ihave no idea how it got there. Idid not use it inorder not tooffend others and not todiffer from other family members. Isat on the floor with everyone and ate the same as they did. The only thing Icould not do was eat roti flatbreads the way they did. Out ofhabit, Iate with aspoon, holding it inmy right hand, and ate roti instead ofbread, holding it inmy left hand. They dont do that inIndia, inIndia they tear off asmall piece ofroti and scoop food from it, eating at the same time. But since it was impossible for me not tomess my fingers with food, Ipreferred aspoon. For roti, there are special pans-thermos. After the roti is ready, put it inthis thermos and close the lid. Thus roti does not wither and does not cool for along time. Icooked the food myself, cut the salad myself and laid everything out on plates and also took it toeach family member myself. Then Ipoured all the lassi into cups and sat down toeat with the others. At this time my husband decorously, as if the king on the throne sat on the floor and waited for me tobring him food. Ifelt myself uncomfortable when doing all alone. As inmy family husbands help their wives. Iremember how we had dinner all together on the floor inaroom with abalcony, and my father-in-law looked at us all and smiled happily: Today we have areal family dinner. We drank tea separately from the main meal. About two hours after eating. Inmy homeland, it is customary todrink tea before meals or after meals and inlarge quantities. Various sweets and treats are served for tea, awhole table is served, and we sit for along time at the table and talk or watchTV. The word "chai", which means "tea" came tous from India. InHindi, tea sounds like chai in Hindi same like in Russian chai. But Indian tea is prepared inIndia inadifferent way. InIndia, tea is prepared inawide metal ladle. First, water is poured into the middle ofthe bucket. Two or three teaspoons oftea are thrown there, and then sugar, milk, and spices added. When the tea boils, the ladle is removed from the stove, and its contents are poured into cups. Cups are small, like piles. They are put on atray, there is also aplate with cookies, and carried tothe living room. Wife first gives tea toher father-in-law, then tograndmother, grandfather, mother-in-law, and her husband, and inthe end, she takes acup for herself. When no one saw, we and Granny Dadi winked and drank plenty oftea and tea with milk and cookies, secretly from everyone. Inthe first days after my arrival, due topoliteness, Itolerated new traditions Idrank tea inone fifty-gram cup with apair ofcookies. But one day, when my mother-in-law ordered tomake tea for everyone, Imade awhole pot oftea. Mother-in-law swore. But Istill drank aliter oftea, while watching amovie, like at home. Iwas cooking, and my mother-in-law was washing dishes. For dishwashing, she used apiece ofspecial blue dish soap and ametal brush. One day, Dadi asked me how Iwashed dishes at home. Ireplied that the dishwasher washes the dishes: you press the button and it washes everything, you just have toput aspecial tablet and load the dishes. Every day, when my father-in-law was at work, Icooked lunch for him, put it incontainers and gave him tomy husband. My husband passed the food tohis younger brother, who took the bag with the container tothe bus stop and handed over tothe bus drivers who were traveling from the village tothe bus station inTohana. There they met my father-in-law and passed him his lunch. Since Ibegan totalk about my Dadi, Imust say that this person was the only one who was sincerely kind tome. Ithink because my mother-in-law hated us both me and Dadi. Dadi was over ninety years old, but she was pretty quick: she worked alittle less than my mother-in-law at home, sometimes she liked todrink aglass ofwine after ameal, and somehow Isaw her smoking apipe. Dadi had aspecial hairstyle. There was no hair on the hairline inthe middle ofthe forehead, but there was abald spot. Immediately behind the bald head, there was abraid and abunch ofcollected hair. Icould not see this strange hairstyle, because grandmothers always cover their heads with adupatta. Sometimes Imade for her foot massage; sometimes she hugged me and sang songs inHindi, chanting my name. It was so warm and soulful. We sat together with her inaroom on the second floor and watched TV. Dadi quietly looked around if there was anearby my mother-in-law and said sabji. Ibrought her subji with roti, she quickly ate, then at aspeed threw the plate away under the bed and quickly went tobed until my mother-in-law caught her. She was very afraid ofher daughter-in-law. We spoke alittle with her inHindi. Many words inRussian are similar towords from the Indians lexicon. For example, the word tarbuz is the same as arbuz, which means watermelon. And the name Shveta means light, as we say Sveta. It was surprising tofind out that ahuge number ofwords inthe ancient Sanskrit language coincide with words from the Russian language interms ofsound and meaning. It was not difficult for me toremember many words inHindi. For example, drink water Pani Pei. Pei means todrink, which is the same inRussian pei. And the question Did you drink water? Google translator translates as Kya mistane Pani Peya? which sounds similar toRussian verb pila. My mother-in-law was Dadis daughter-in-law, and they were constantly inconflict. InIndia, there is aproblem ofdaughters-in-law and mothers-in-law. There is even aspecial prison exclusively for mothers-in-law. The fact is that, according totradition, awish ofmother-in-law for Indian daughter-in-law should be the law, and mother-in-law misuses it. And inIndia, the bride pays the bride-money. Ido not know which ofthem started the war first Dadi or my mother-in-law, but Ifelt sorry for the old grandmother, with whom my mother-in-law was always rude and tactless. Iwas sorry tosee how my mother-in-law treats her roughly. My grandmother often had astomach ache, but the operation at that age was dangerous, it was dangerous toovereat, so she was given little food. As soon as it became unbearable, she called adoctor for an injection. My dear Dadi, Iremember her with warmth and asmile, like fellow soldiers remember each other after the war. After all, we, along with her, suffered the attacks ofmy mother-in-law. Iwould sit with Dadi together on the same bed, and hugged her and sang songs for her inRussian. Isang different songs like The lights are so much gold on the streets ofSaratov. Although, ofcourse, she did not understand the meaning ofthe words, but spoke inHindi sahi, sahi which means you sing well. If earlier my husband was on my side, then after awhile he took the side ofhis mother, who was against me. Every time she entered the room and looked at us sitting together, he seemed toread her eyes and his facial expression changed. My husband gradually became rude tome. * ** Inthe house directly opposite our house, across the road, lived the cousin ofmy husband. He and his wife were the same age as Tenardieu. My husband scoffed at that woman, behind her back telling that she stole some cream from his house. Then Ireminded him that, as ateenager, he was engaged inpetty theft, secretly climbing into other peoples homes inhis village and not just once, but repeatedly. After my reminder, Tenardieu smiled slyly and said that he could do anything. My spouse spoke ofthat woman as abrawler with aclear mental disorder. So Istayed away from her. Little bylittle she began tocome into our house with achild inher arms and just looked at me, smiling. Most often Isaw her cleaning or cooking or hung with babies who were born one after another. Sometimes, when Iwas sitting on the balcony reading abook, she would hang clothes on the roof ofthe house and greet her affably. Once Isaw her scream at her husband. My husband snorted contemptuously at her. Then Iasked what was wrong with her, why she was screaming. My husband replied that she screamed without reason, she was just mental. Nothing much happened, she just jealous, outraged bythe free behavior ofher husband, as he that day again cheated on her. For my husband, it was not aproblem atall. Fatehabad The Fatehabad court refused toregister our marriage. The judge who reviewed our case was young and, infear ofmaking amistake, he did not dare togive approval. Therefore, my husband had tohire alawyer inTohana. After unsuccessful attempts tosolve this problem inthe usual ways, the lawyer suggested contacting the media and drawing public attention. Iwas not aware oftheir plans toinvolve public and media, otherwise, Iwould refuse. Reporters came tous and filmed reports about me, about how we live, how Irun ahousehold inan Indian village after working inanoisy Moscow office. Iput on my new chiffon dress bought bymy mother-in-law. My husband and Iwere shown on television throughout India and Kazakhstan. Later, Ifound out that Tenardieu spoke inHindi toall reporters that Icame toIndia without his invitation, he said that Imyself proposed him tomarry, although it was alie. Iremember how immediately after my arrival he took my phone and deleted all his messages with declarations ofhis love tome and proposals toget married, which were sent tome inmoments when Itried toseparate with him. Thus, as it turned out later, he removed compromising evidence against himself. At the same time inmy country, all the newspapers and TV programs doubled the Indian news about me. Inmy country, it was everywhere written: She proposed him and came for him inIndia from Moscow, Kazakh woman proposed Indian man. It was his lie, but Ihad no idea how torefute those allegations. It was such ahuge shame so that Idid not know how todeal with it. People inmy country were furious. Many ofthem wrote angry comments on social media. People divided into two groups: those who wished me all the best and abused my husband and those who abused me and my husband. They did not believe that Icould propose him, so they felt insulted byhim and commented negatively. My husband knew it all, as Ishowed him zillions ofnegative comments inmy country news portals, but he never explained tome the reason why he lied toreporters. And Iwas so much shocked with his meanness so that Inever asked why he did so. So we never discussedit. What do you think about the legal system ofIndia? Reporters askedme. It was expected that Iwould criticize the poor young judge who tormented us with his hesitant character. But instead, Isaid something completely different. India has its own laws and rules. They are needed toprotect all ofus from tyranny. This is correct, and it is aguarantee ofour safety. Irespect the laws ofIndia and will respect any decision ofthe judge. All day, Tenardieu and Isat inthe courthouse or followed alawyer who ran through our cases indifferent rooms. Ifelt bad inhot weather. Igrew up inSiberia. For me, the best air temperature is not higher than twenty-four degrees Centigrade. When it gets warmer, Istart tomelt like aSnow Maiden bythe fire. Same it was inthose days. Ibarely endured, plus thirty-five degrees Centigrade. Above, at the insistence ofmy mother-in-law, atranslucent synthetic dupatta was hung up on me, which, inaddition tothe heat, blocked the access tooxygen. Also, Idoubted every second and shared with my husband doubts about our union. Ijust wanted toleave, go back tomy old life, tomy work, tomy friends, tomy sweet life inMoscow. But Tenardieu always replied wait. Probably he was still hoping togo with me abroad. He told me toapply for study abroad as soon as possible. Iput up with all my strength and tried not toshow it. Tenardieu said: Smile, honey. Otherwise, they will think that you do not want tomarry me. They actually think that Iforceyou. But its true. Ismiled, but it turned out theatrics. Reporters took pictures ofus, and my face was sad inall the pictures. Inthe evenings, when my husband was returning home, we locked inthe bedroom and made facial masks from turmeric. Tenardieu was mixing turmeric with some butter, and this mixture was spread on the skin. After half an hour we washed off the mask. Skin became soft, with abeautiful tint. Every time before going tobed, my husband applied ableaching cream tohis face. India produces very good bleaching cosmetics. InIndia, my husband said, this type ofcream is very popular. My mother-in-law had neither ahobby nor ajob inher life; she lay on her bed all day and got up on the necessary daily matters. Ithink because ofboredom, she gave us no peace. Iknew that she was doing everything toturn her son againstme. Gradually, she inclined my husband toher side. My husband once told me half asleep: Mom said that we do not need tomarry incourt. She will find me another girl. Iagree with her. We are not right for each other. Ineed another person. You need another person. * ** Inthose days, my husband and Iwere invited tothe wedding. Aguy from our village married agirl from another village. We got up early because it was necessary toleave at six inthe morning. The night before Iput my phone tocharge and went tobed. Inthe morning Iwoke up when heard that my husband shouted atme. Why you didnt charge your phone? He allowed himself rude expressions and screamed at me. Then he pushed me into the shoulder. Iput the phone on charge before going tobed, Isaid. Itook your charger. What, do not you see something? Are you blind? Then why are you telling me that Idid not charge my mobile? Who allowed you todisconnect charger? Get ready and do not lose time! Iwas hurt. It was disgusting. Then we went tothe next street. There was acar at the grooms house. Everyone got into it and drove off. There were about ten people inthe car, and everyone was happy. My good mood disappeared. My husband sat and pushed me on the shoulder. Smile, bitch, he said inawhisper. His faded eyes burned with hatred and arrogance. . . , (https://www.litres.ru/pages/biblio_book/?art=40518029&lfrom=334617187) . Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, , , , PayPal, WebMoney, ., QIWI , .
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