I was born into a rich and important family in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. I was the younger of two daughters and we were the only children. My sister was six years older than me, so we didn’t play much together, when I was young and I was only twelve years old when she got married. I remember the day of her wedding well, many people came, all of them laughing, singing and happy. But i felt sad when my sister left with her new husband, Mr Anil. She was always very nice to me, nicer than my mother. And so I cried when she went away to her new home delhi. My mother and father didn’t love me they wanted sons and were not very interested in me. About a year after my sister got married, a letter arrived from Mr Anil. He said that my sister was ill and that she wanted to come home to Mathura and stay with us, to be with her family. I was sad that she was ill but also very happy about her visit. They are living dehli on Sunday my father told me and they are arriving here on Tuesday evening. Tuesday came, and it was a very long day. Hour after hour came and went, and i listened all the time for my sister and her husband. Now the sky was dark and soon it was midnight, but i couldn’t sleep. I listened and waited. Suddenly, at about one o’clock in the morning, i heard a noise far away. I ran out of my bedroom and down to the living room. ‘They’re here! They’re here!’ i called my father,and we quickly opened the front door to see better. We waited there for a few minutes, and we heard the noise again, somebody crying far away in the night. But we saw nothing. There were no lights and no people there. We went outside, waiting to say hello and to help my sister with her bags. But nobody was there, nobody came. I looked at my father and he looked at me. We didn’t understand. ‘I know i heard a noise’, he said.’yes’, i answered. ‘I heard it too, father but where are they? We went back into the house without another word. We were suddenly afraid. The next day a man arrived and told us that my sister was dead. On Sunday she felt very ill, on Monday she was worse and on Tuesday, at about one o’clock in the morning, she died… at the same time that we were outside the house, in the night, waiting for her. I never forget that night. For the next two years i was very sad you could say that I stopped living. I didn’t want to do anything or speak to anyone. Mr Anil soon married another young woman in Delhi and i felt angry that he forgot my sister so quickly. I was now the only child of a rich and important family, so before I was fourteen years old men started to visit our home. They wanted to meet me and, perhaps, to marry me. But i didn’t like any of these men and i thought I was too young to be married. When I was sixteen my mother took me to dehli. ‘Dehli is a big city’, she said. We’re going to meet richer and more interesting men than the ones back home in Mathura. We can easily find you a good husband in Delhi. In dehli, i began to be happier. I met a lot of friendly people, and i went dancing every evening. A lot of young men came to speak to me and asked me to dance. I liked talking to them. I started to live and laugh again and i did not think about my dead sister all the time. But my mother was not so happy. She wanted me to find a husband quickly. One night before… I went to bed she came into my room and said, ‘Do you know gaurav? ‘Oh yes’, i answered . He’ s that ugly old man from agra. He’s not ugly and he’s not old sonia, my mother said quickly. He’s from a very rich and important family too, and… he wants to marry you. He loves you. ‘ loves me? Wants to marry me? But he’s making a mistake, mother. I said. I don’t love him. I can’t marry somebody i don’t love. Think about it, sonia my mother answered quietly. He’s a good man and he wants to marry you. You are a very lucky young woman. My mother left the room and sat quietly for a long time. Gaurav was a nice, friendly man, i thought I didn’t love him, no, but i did like him. He always talked about interesting things. I never felt happy at home with my mother and father but i always felt better when I talked to him. The next morning when I saw my mother i said only one word. ‘Yes’ gaurav and i got married the next spring, and two days after our wedding we said goodbye to my family and left Mathura. Three days later we arrived in agra and i saw my husband’s beautiful house for the first time. it was near a river and there were many trees and flowers in the garden. Birds sang in the trees and the sky was blue. I stood next to him and looked at it all and i felt very very happy. ‘ come my love, said my husband. You must come and meet Riya. She cooks and cleans and knows everything about the house. So we went into the house and i met Riya, a friendly old woman with smiling blue eyes. She showed me round the house. Suddenly i felt excited to be there, it was a very happy place, women sang in the kitchen, men built fires in the living room and there were dogs and cats everywhere. ‘come with me now, madam’, said Riya, and look at your bedroom. Then we can take up your bags, and you can wash before dinner. I followed her and soon we arrived at a big brown door. This is your room, she said and she opened the door. The room was awesome and very nice. And we are happy together.