Born from smudged designs sketched in the margins of a notebook in disarray, I am— delicate coils of gold woven in a chain to suit a slip of a girl with clever, dark eyes, I am— a necklace forged in a daughter’s duty for her family but ultimately a lover’s promise, I am— presented from mother to daughter, I am. The hope in a young daughter’s wide eyes and the sorrow glittering on her lashes, I am— the thin golden noose around her neck as she weds an apathetic man, I am— stored away in a dusty cupboard in a perpetually empty house in an unfamiliar country, I am— gazed upon once more in hope as a baby girl babbles in the background, I am. Displayed from time to time over the years and promised to another young daughter, I am— abandoned on a bed as a mother screams at her daughter for finding a bride, I am— cherished by a mother torn between rigid tradition and progression, I am— A glittering embrace of culture around a bride’s elegant neck as she marries her wife, I am. Requested by a hesitant husband-to-be several decades prior, I am— as bright as the new sheen on old traditions, I am— the golden chain tying together untold and unacknowledged love stories, I am— presented from mother to daughter, I am.
Tarunika Kapoor is a fiction writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been published in All My Relations and Open Ceilings. You can find her on Twitter @tarunikakapoor.