fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
She’d thought that, at the last minute, Papa would have second thoughts and
renege on the deposit.
Not to mention she’d already stretched her luck about as far as it could go, she was sure, by asking—nay,
haranguing—them to let her go to Stanford.
found in the ordinary course of events
And every single time Mamma would be doing something
mundane like rummaging in the kitchen cupboard, greeting her casually with, “Have you seen my saffron?”
Mamma never understood why it made Dimple so
a long tunic worn by people from the Indian subcontinent
Dimple said a little prayer that she’d win a thousand-dollar lottery, turned off her monitor, adjusted her ratty gray salwar
kameez, and made her way downstairs.
a feeling of intense dislike
But Mamma would never understand Dimple’s
aversion to makeup and fashion.
marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
From beside Mamma, Papa, ever the peacemaker, was making a
surreptitious please let it go face.
harsh or corrosive in tone
There were a million things she could say in
acerbic response, of course, but Dimple still hadn’t ruled out asking to enroll in Insomnia Con if the opportunity presented itself.
angered at something unjust or wrong
“Misogynistic! You call your own mother misogynistic?” Mamma darted an
indignant look at Papa, who appeared to be extremely invested in a loose thread on his kurta.
hatred of women
Turning back to Dimple, Mamma snapped, “This is what I’m worried about! You lose sight of the important things, Dimple. Looking nice, making an effort...these are the things girls value in our culture. Not this”—she made air quotes, which up until now Dimple hadn’t realized she knew how to use—“‘
assign to a lower position
“Seriously? That’s what you think I should be
relegating my brain space to? Looking nice? Like, if I don’t make the effort to look beautiful, my entire existence is nullified? Nothing else matters—not my intellect, not my personality or my accomplishments; my hopes and dreams mean nothing if I’m not wearing eyeliner?”
a language user's knowledge of words
It was like they were constantly speaking two different languages, each trying to convince the other in an alien
shy or modest, often in a playful or provocative way
“We have guests,” she said
demurely, patting her hair.
express grief verbally
lamented that her first word had been “why.”
a state or condition being devastated or run-down
Dimple thought of Insomnia Con, of Jenny Lindt, of SFSU, of Stanford. Of all the things she’d jeopardize if she called Ritu auntie a backward, anti-feminist
blight on democratic society.
noble and generous in spirit
Perhaps with Seema in the room, Mamma might want to appear more
in precisely the same words used by a writer or speaker
Barely daring to breathe, Dimple repeated
verbatim what she’d told Mamma.
uneasiness about the fitness of an action
marked by a lack of interest
Rishi had watched dozens of his friends—of all ethnicities—fall in love at the beginning of the school year and become mortal enemies by the end. Or worse, become
make attractive or lovable
She’d have some cute, funny quip about the day that picture was taken that would totally
endear her to him.
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
“Yeah, I think I have the
gist of that story after hearing it four million times.”
thick expensive material with a raised pattern
It was swaths of gold
brocade, with a vibrant peacock blue dupatta.
pride or congratulate oneself for an achievement
Dimple could see her practically
preening for the crowd.
keep away from others
The afternoon sunlight was luxuriant on her skin; she’d been
sequestered in her car for the past three hours.
any long and tedious address or recital
Mamma was sure to have another
litany of questions and warnings about American college boys.
move or cause to move in a winding or curving course
Clutching her iced drink, she made her way outside and
meandered over to a stone fountain of the SFSU gator (which was turned off; thank you, drought conditions).
novel; having no earlier occurrence
Although, she had to hand it to them: sending her here was
attribute human qualities to something
And then she was just there, right in front of him, like some sort of huge cosmic coincidence
resembling or befitting an angel or saint
Sitting on that fountain, face upturned, drinking in the sunshine like a flower, looking completely
a deep prolonged sound
“Uh...she seemed...spirited.” His mother’s
peals of laughter traveled down the phone line.
approach and speak to someone aggressively or insistently
She’d barely been in the city fifteen minutes and already she’d been
accosted by a predator.
Dimple loved it, all of it, instantly and with an
resistant to guidance or discipline
Here she wouldn't be Dimple Shah,
wayward, Americanized daughter of immigrant parents; she’d be just Dimple Shah, future web developer.
an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
There would be no
cliques like high school.
the act of making a choice
Everyone was here of their own
volition, to learn, to teach, to work together.
“I mean it!” She turned again,
brandishing the map.
from appearances alone
“Compatibility may be what it’s
ostensibly about,” Dimple responded, pushing her glasses up on her nose.
impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests, or reason
“Yeah, I learned Hindi first, before English. My parents were really
adamant about that. They’re technically from Gujarat, but they’re third generation Mumbaiites, so they speak Hindi. Mumbai is, like, this huge melting pot of people from other Indian states, so apparently everyone speaks this special version of what my parents call ‘Bombay Hindi.’”
characterized by intense emotion
But he had to be practical—she likely had just wanted to have an
impassioned discussion about the evils of arranged marriages and controlling parents and was disappointed it wasn’t coming to fruition.
the attainment or fulfillment of a plan or objective
But he had to be practical—she likely had just wanted to have an impassioned discussion about the evils of arranged marriages and controlling parents and was disappointed it wasn’t coming to