When Ranga was with Sally, he felt like a better person.
Not because Sally brought out the goodness in him. But because he was the brown boy who had bagged first prize – a white girlfriend.
That’s what made Ranga sing in the shower, hum at the supermarket, and smile without reason. Only twenty-three, fresh out of college with a degree in philosophy, Ranga had met Sally at his second job interview. She was the cheerful secretary.
Her brown hair and green eyes had caught Ranga by surprise. And more than the questions being asked, Ranga had focused on Sally. He didn’t get the job but managed to win the white girl’s affection.
Ranga, happy and excited, had then called his mother. The woman lived in a small town towards the tip of southern India. She had been frying dosas and stirring bubbling sambar when her son thoughtlessly gave her the shock of her life.
She had smacked her forehead and called Ranga a scoundrel. The boy was supposed to be making a better life for himself and not running around with an unreliable white girl. She told him to end it, but Ranga bluntly refused and hung up on her.
He didn’t take her calls for months after that.
The old woman would have had a heart attack if she knew Sally wasn’t a girl but a forty-five-year-old woman with a daughter one year older than Ranga.
Ranga and Sally were inseparable. They were seen everywhere. Not because they had much in common, but Ranga could not resist to show off his white treasure. And even when no one asked, he made sure he told them – I have a white girlfriend.
Not Caucasian or American. Only white. A relationship that made him feel powerful.
Then one day, out of the blue, Sally showed up at Ranga’s apartment with a bucket of chicken wings and a pained look on her face. She told her brown boyfriend that she was pregnant. Ranga could not believe his ears and burst out crying.
He asked her who the father was, she kicked him and then she slapped him. Ranga lost his balance and fell on the floor, the chicken wings tumbled after him. Sally said something about a lawyer and taking legal action.
Ranga had only kissed Sally twice. Is that how women got pregnant? Ranga called his mother to give her the good news. The old woman shouted till she could shout no more. And then threw her phone into a pot of boiling water.
The brown boy no longer speaks of his white girlfriend. He now refers to her as his pregnant wife. A woman who spoiled his love for the white color and made him regret his absurd lust for power.
Juju’s nightmares make him scream every night – THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE! His wife, Maya, can’t take it anymore. Will this dilemma ever end? Find out!