Hospitality Crash Course

“You know Asha, an Indian girl doesn’t behave like this. She is the one responsible for the whole house. When I was your age, I was managing a house and a husband and I was expecting a baby. See I know today you are going to meet him, and I don’t want to upset you or make you angry. But, what will he think of you if you go to meet him for the first time wearing jeans and that negligee you call a top. If you were living with us, I would never have allowed you to wear things that leave you half naked. This is why I told your achan not to send you away to Delhi; you have no values remaining in you, you dress like those Americans and I even suspect you are into alcohol and cigarettes. Which guy from a good family will marry you now! You know I haven’t been able to sleep for the last one week thinking of your marriage, its already too late molu, please understand that for girls it’s not good to be single after a particular age.”

Asha knew she had no other option other than to listen meekly and utter an occasional ‘hmm’ and ‘yes’ at the appropriate places, whenever her mom paused to check if she was still on the line or had Asha hung up on her mother.

“No Amma, I am here..uhh huh.. I am listening. Yes, absolutely. I understand.”

“Let the guy order the food he likes, you eat something very light and don’t spill food on your clothes. Don’t hog when he is around, behave well and be a good girl,”
“Amma I never – huh..never mind.” Asha swallowed the sentence midway. “Yeah okay I will not hog.”

“And please wear some decent clothes and go. Wear that peach colour saree we got you for Onam, or the other..”

Asha interrupted her mom, “Amma I will wear a proper salwar kameez and go..please.”
“Alright, but wear something with sleeves, don’t go about exposing yourself. What will he think of you!!”

Though she listened and nodded her head to whatever her mom said, Asha had already decided what she would wear, and she was not going to change her decision for anyone, come what may. She somehow managed to listen to the entire lecture and hung up. She knew her social skills were not exemplary, but they were not that bad either; Asha was confident about herself even if her mom was not.

Reaching out to her wardrobe, she took out the formal skirt which she used only for very formal occasions and brought out the shirt she was planning on wearing today. Asha had already decided that she wouldn’t be casual around this guy, not in terms of her behaviour, neither in terms of her clothes. 


Girls in India are caught in the drift when they reach a particular age. They suddenly face a dilemma as to what to focus on in their life, whether to make a career and ensure a living or to get married and secure their life. Girls who remain single after the so called marriageable age are frowned upon by the society and are considered a burden for their families.

Throughout the month of April, thanks to the AtoZ Challenge, I am trying to portray the life of Asha, a common Indian girl with dreams and aspirations. Everyday we focus on one alphabet starting from A on April 1st till Z on April 30th. Stick with me till the end of the journey and do tell me what you think of my writing and my Asha.

A - An Arranged Marriage
B - Bridal Dreams
C - Cherubs From Heaven
D - Rusty Dusty Delhi
E - Ernakulam 
F - Fretting Over F.R.I.E.N.D.S & Fiancé
G - Gratifying Rendezvous
H - Hospitality Crash Course
I - I Love You??!!
J - Journalism’s Joy
K - Krishna
L - Love, Longing & Life
M - Milan – A Meeting
N- Noodles, Nimbu Paani & A Nice Guy
O - Online?
P - Phone Number
Q - Questions!
R - Risks
S - Some Soul Searching
T - Timeless Tableau, A Twist in The Tale
U - Union

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