Dating a wifestory

07 May

Panna secretly resents what she perceives as Charity's "lurid" sex life and career drive, and she finds some small solace in imagining how Charity would fare in India: "Here, she's a model with high ambition.In India, she'd be a flat-chested old maid." Moreover, Panna feels that Charity is actually being mean-spirited by asking her for advice about love, for Charity knows well that Panna's marriage was a traditional one arranged by her parents; all Panna needed to do was to learn what her prospective groom liked to eat.She is honest with herself about why she has come to America; rather than mourn her son's death, she occupies herself with doctoral studies for which she is doubtlessly qualified but with which she seems only peripherally interested.She also realizes that her marriage is more polite than passionate, and, in spite of her protests otherwise, she may be envious of Charity's romantic involvements.The message is a cable from his boss in India telling him to return home immediately because of new outbreaks of labor violence at the textile mill.When he decides to leave the next day, Panna reminds him that it is not his mill and that he is on vacation.Panna's roommate is Charity Chin, a Chinese immigrant who works at Macy's and is a successful "hands" model.She has had her eyes fixed to look Caucasian, and out of gratitude she sleeps with her plastic surgeon every third Wednesday. Her current dilemma is whether to reconcile with her American husband, Eric, who is living in an Oregon ashram run by the followers of the Indian guru Rajneesh, or to continue her liaison with Phil, a flutist who waxes the apartment floors and bakes them pumpernickel bread, activities that Panna finds childish, even womanly.

dating a wifestory-73

As she improvises an answer, he cries out in a pained voice that he wants her to return with him to India immediately, exclaiming that he has seen how men look at her.Published in Bharati Mukherjee's The Middleman and Other Stories (1988), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, "A Wife's Story" has been anthologized in a number of feminist and world literature collections of short fiction.The story, like many of Mukherjee's works, chronicles the complex and often contradictory experiences of immigrants from South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) to life in the United States.With her fellow graduate student, the Hungarian expatriate Imre Nagy, she sees a performance of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross, which, with its ethnic slurs and stereotyping of Indians, offends her.Urging her not to take the play so seriously, Imre is playful, even flirtatious, with her, and he readily laughs and dances in the street, unlike the staid, predictable Indian men—lawyers, businessmen, and engineers—Panna is used to.