A/N: I watched this movie way too many times and have too much free time these holidays, and here's the result. Please read and review!
Lalita Bakshi loved living on a farm. She loved everything about it: she would often go out in the fields and just breathe in the fresh air of her little home town, Amritsar.
Though her mother wanted the family to move to a big city in the US or UK, her father, a kind, normally easy-going man flatly refused to move. He and his four daughters all dearly loved their old house in a quaint town in India. As long as she could remember, Lalita had lived in their house, and she didn't want to move.
Lalita had just finished university, and had graduated with Masters in English, Art and Maths. Her older sister, Jaya, was one year older than her and had finished university as well. Her younger sisters, Maya and Lakshmi (everyone called her Lakhi) were twins, a year younger than her, still studying in uni. They did not look identical at all and were complete opposites in personality as well.
The trailer she was sitting on was connected to a tractor and she often visited the fields and helped out. She watched as workers began cutting away bits of the sea of green before her.
Lalita sighed happily. I love living here, she thought.
India's… different, thought William Darcy, as he stepped out of the aeroplane, trying to maintain a positive outlook. He was in India with his best friend, Balraj and Balraj's sister, Kiran. Both were Indian, but had been brought up in England. Will himself had lived all his life in America with his mother and father alternately. As a result, he and his sister never really had a family home.
Anyway, the landscape before him was… crowded. His first impression was of people, lots of people, then his second impression was the sounds. There were many sounds: cows mooing, bells ringing, people walking and talking, the cries of salesmen calling out their wares, beggars asking for coins, hands held out. His third impression was of how hot it was: he was wearing a suit with a coat on top of his blazer and in this weather, it was stifling.
As he got in the black Jeep that would be their main mode of transport now, he removed his coat, but was not afforded much relief from the relentless heat.
He looked out of his window at the exotic scenery around him. It was rare to see a separate house; there were mostly apartments and units to save space and the shops around were crowded together. The shop signs themselves ranged from new to shabby and peeling, but all were crowded like the streets, shop names and wares both in English and some strange symbols. Will guessed that it was in Hindi, the nation's official language.
"Looks a bit like New York," he commented to Kiran, referring to the way everything was bunched together.
Kiran, who was sitting next to him in the car gave a short laugh. "Get used to it, Darcy," she said, surveying the view. "We'll be staying here for two weeks."
For a time, Will listened as Kiran and Balraj told him what to expect at the wedding they would be attending the next day. Balraj was the groom's best man, and he had invited Will along to wedding in an attempt to get him away from work for a while. Will had only agreed because his mother had wanted him to expand their business in hotels by buying some in India.
That was the reason he told Balraj, anyway. Actually, he wanted to get away from his mother for a bit. Lately, she had been trying to get him to go out with this rich girl from New York, Anne. He was sick and tired of her attempts at playing matchmaker. Anne was a nice enough girl and quite pretty and all, but she was shallow and didn't have enough brains to fill an eggcup. Will wasn't sure exactly what he wanted, but he was sure of one thing: he didn't want his marriage to turn out like his parents', the ultimate business venture that went wrong. He wanted to marry someone he couldn't wait to see everyday.
He was jolted out of his reverie as the driver slammed the brakes on the Jeep. He leant out of the window to see what the problem was. He heard a few loud moos and saw two or three cows standing in the road. Nobody made any move to drive them out of it, and driver merely honked his horn and waited for them to disperse.
He laughed, surprised. "Jesus, Balraj, where the hell've you brought me?"
Balraj explained that in India, cows were considered sacred because of the Law of Manu, which was made in the fourth century AD. The Law stated that cows were holy animals because the Hindu god, Shiva's mount was a cow. Anybody who killed a cow would be hanged and anyone who harmed a cow would have to pay a fine. Even today, cows were considered sacred and nobody was allowed to be cruel to one, so that was why they wandered the streets freely.
Will nodded but didn't say anything. He accepted other beliefs but to him, cows were just dumb animals good for nothing but giving milk and meat. He was careful not to say any of this aloud, though. He didn't want to alienate his best friend on his first day in India.
They pulled into the driveway of the hotel they were staying in, the D.N. International. As Will walked up the stairs with Kiran and Balraj (the lift was out of order), he wondered what surprises India would bring.
A/N: Well? Was that okay for a first chapter? Love it? Hate it? Let me know! Review!