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 A Fly in The House

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MrHero
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PostSubject: A Fly in The House   Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:54 pm

Here is one student's description of her grandmother. As you read, notice the words that tell what the person says and does. Words and phrases that you may find difficult to understand are underlined. Look up any words you don't understand. Look them up in a dictionary that gives the meanings of the words in your own language, or ask your teacher or a classmate for help.

A Fly In the House


"I am India," she said. Thinking I misinterpreted her, she repeated the statement. The second time, she pointed her wrinkled finger to her heart and pronounced a single word, "I." As if she was contemplating her word choice, she paused in the middle of the sentence. I hoped that, foe once, she forgot what she wanted to say and that I could escape the torture of listening to her drone on incessantly.

She reminds me of a fly. Like an annoying bug that never leaves the house once it has entered, she circled my home, dusting imaginary particles, organizing the desk she just cleaned two minutes before. The only way to force the bug out of my life is to slam its life out with a fly swatter. Unfortunately, ridding the house of Aaji is not as easy as killing the fly. My thoughts were interrupted as, all of a sudden, Aaji whispered the word "India" in a thick Indian accent. ...I realized she longed to return to her home twelve thousand miles away...

I never wanted to live with Aaji. My dad worked on assignment in Taiwan, my mom found a job in New Jersey, and I inhabited an empty house. Before my parents left, they decided t leave me in Aaji's care. Though my parents invited Aaji to live with me, she was an intruder in my life.

Every day around five o'clock, Aaji would stand at the foot of the stairs and, in Marati, yell "Rashoooo, what do you want for dinner?"

I thought of my favorite vegetables that my mom made when she lived at home. "Lima beans, spinach, and potatoes," I said. "Any of those suffice." Around seven o'clock, I smelled the spices as they wafted up the stairs.... I leaped down the stairs to the kitchen table. Lifting the lid of the steel pot, I saw the steam rise into the air. Before the cloud dissipated, I realized this was not my favorite vegetable. Instead, Aaji prepared the dish that I liked the least: kidney beans. Consumed with hunger, I angrily swallowed the food without moaning to my grandmother about her deceit. In the following days, Aaji always asked me what I wanted for dinner, but each time she would ignore my selection and make something worse than the day before....

Every day for dessert, Aaji prepared shira. She always asked, "Rashoooo, do you like it? Does it taste like your mom's shira?"

Wanting to wipe the cheerful smile off her face, I alwys responded, "No, Aaji." Her shira, along with the rest of her cooking, was not at all similar to my mom's food. In fact, she was not like my mom in any way.... She stands four feet nine inches tall whereas my mom is five feet three inches. My mom wears pants and skirts, not just dull brown, orange, or blue saris. My mom would not color her hair the shade of tar if she were naturally a brunette. My mom does not wear dentures, and if she did, she would not leave them soaking next to the sink for all the world to see.

My grandmother failed to understand the irritation I felt when she compared herself to my mother... Once, I began to tell my grandmother that she annoyed me. As expected, she interrupted and taught me a lesson about patience: "If you lose your temper," she said, "Laxmi would not bless your family with her presence." She told me that Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, enters only quiet, peaceful homes....

My grandmother blessed me with her presence for a short time because, within a year, she returned to India. For the first time, when she was leaving, I embraced both her and her ideas. Once again, I am living in the house with my parents. However, something seems amiss because I do not hear the "buzzzz" of the fly circling my house.
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