Mahtab Narsimhan

Embrace The Chicken

Chapter 1

      Shivani played with her curry and rice. Usually she couldn’t resist the chicken drumsticks melting off the bone into the thick gravy. Or the sweet-spicy smell of coconut milk and garam masala. But today she could barely eat a mouthful.
       Why was life so complicated? It had been hard enough leaving Mumbai, her apartment and all her friends. It had taken months to find her way around here, to stop feeling like an outsider. She finally had a best friend. And now this.
       She might as well get it over with. Even before she asked the question, she knew Papa’s answer. Let me be wrong this once, she prayed.
      “Matter what, Shivani?” Ma asked, in her usual broken English. Shivani took a deep breath and put down her fork. Her parents were both staring at her. Only Anita continued eating, without a care in the world. Moving to Canada, making new friends in a new town, getting used to a whole different lifestyle. Nothing seemed to bother her younger sister.
      Shivani avoided looking at Ma as she spoke. “We have a school meeting tomorrow night. At eight. It’s about a fundraiser. We’re supposed to bring a parent. You’ll come, won’t you, Papa?”

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