The loud clank of the chain knocking on the door would have roused half the neighborhood but not Khushi. A deep sleeper, she squirmed in the small cot, nearly pushing her sister, Payal off it for the nth time during the night, grumbling in her sleep about the motherf**kers who thought of fixing a chain lock outside the front doors. Payal pushed Khushi back with her generously heart shaped butt, a natural instinct she had developed over the years of sharing the same bed with her restive sister. Payal registered the knock the second time it rang louder than the last and mumbled with considerable irritation at her sister's inaction, "Khushi, it's your turn, open the damn door, you lazy bone".
"Let me sleep jiji, mmm", Khushi turned in the other direction, yet again pushing Payal off the ledge but this time payal caught the edge of the bed in time and spanked Khushi's bottom with all the might her still sleepy muscles could muster. Khushi jumped off the bed, "I'm going, im going, you don't have to abuse me, ok?", she cursed the man behind the knock several times and headed out the room.
"Aa rahe hain, aa rahe hain, Im coming, don't break the door first thing in the morning, chacha,"she called out as she grabbed a steel vessel (ganji) from the coffee table on the veranda outside her bedroom and crossed the open air, moderately sized courtyard that was surrounded by high walls leading to a door that opened to the narrow busy lane outside. The tie and die fabric hung on clothesline in one corner of the yard, while varied assortment of fabrics, embroidery threads and fabric paints littered the tables in the veranda that stretched on the three sides of the central courtyard. The skies were still shy of dawn but a few birds announced the start of another busy day at the Gupta household.
Khushi opened the door rubbing her eyes and pouting in discontent on having to discharge this odious duty.
"Khushi beta! Hurry up, I have many houses to cover this morning, "exclaimed the man outside the door. He was perched on a moped, dressed in a white kurta, a half sleeved checkered sweater on top of kurtha, white dhoti on the bottom and a monkey-cap on his head. A large milk canister hung strapped to the side of his moped and a smaller container hung from the handle of his puny vehicle.
"Kya Chacha, you are all Rajesh Khanna today, hain", Khushi smiled teasingly at the unintentionally funny figure Resham Singh cut, sitting astride his moped.
To read the rest of Chapter 1 go to,