She finished the last of her chores for the day and heaved a sigh of relief. Dinner had been served, dishes washed, her inlaws had retired for the night and her husband had left for work.

“Oh no, your husband on night shift again.. that too, newly weds..” her friends would giggle, leading to bawdy jokes that she pretended to understand.

What did it matter to her if her husband came home to her every night? She had one more chore to tick off her list then. “Keep everyone happy”, her mother had told her while sending her off to her marital home. “But, remember”, she added in that warning tone she knew so well, “Don’t expect anything from them in return. We are women. We  find joy in keeping our family happy”.

So here was Mira, who made sure Ravi’s shirts were ironed, his mother took her diabetes medication and his father went for morning walks. They were all happy with such an industrious, easy going addition to the family. But it never occured to them to ask what she would like to eat, wear or watch. It felt foolish for Ravi to ask if she enjoyed his kissing. So Mira kept the family happy and wondered when she would feel the joy her mother insisted would fill her soul.

“Find your bliss in yourself”, Mira read her horoscope for the day in the newspaper and laughed ironically. She caught a glimpse of her body in the mirror as she was changing clothes. Hmm.. find my bliss…she thought…

She lay down on her bed and let her mind wander and fingers explore. “Think about what gets you excited and go for it”, the article said. So think she did.

She thought about the beautiful poem she wrote… touched her neck… the smell of musk cologne .. licked her fingers.. the glimpse of strong brown hands in a white shirt.. stroked her navel.. the first time she tasted chocolate sauce .. her hands reached her core.. the first erotic novel she hid under her textbooks.. the song “Dheemi Dheemi..”.. she was writhing and moaned softly.. the ringing pain from when Ravi had slapped her.. she felt waves wash over her body.. the feeling of her earlobe being bitten..and she arched and trembled and won her pleasure with her fingers….

The next morning, everyone was surprised to see Mira sitting at the table with her coffee and newspaper. “Ravi, can we go out for a movie tonight?” He looked surprised, but nodded.” “Let me book the tickets right away”, said Mira jumping off to the laptop.  He looked at the half open horoscope she was reading. “You will experience greater delights if you share your path with a loved one. After all, your happiness lies in your hands”.