'Little ornaments to wear as your history...'Alisa Santikarn for varsity

My Etsy seller likes to call it a tassel bell-shaped Hindi-Muslim Indian-Bengali gypsy-style jhumka-jhumki dangler-wrangler authentic ethnic earring.
Fair enough, I think, does get the point across.
I miss home, I tell Ammi, so I’m going to buy myself some jhumkis.
Little ornaments to wear as your history.
You’d get them cheaper over here, she tells me.
Ammi, they’re only two pounds.
Wow, that’s a lot cheaper than you’d get them over here.
It’s called capitalism, darling, my dad’s voice is heard somewhere in the background. The marketing tool is rich culture; the product is cheap material.
Ammi and I roll our eyes into our front-facing cameras. He doesn’t see us do it.
I giddily send her a link to the tassel bell-shaped Hindi-Muslim Indian-Bengali gypsy-style jhumka-jhumki dangler-wrangler authentic ethnic earrings.
I wait for expected opinions. She’ll say, too big and heavy-looking. Not feminine enough for her liking.
She raises a grainy eye-brow at me all the way from Islamabad.
Baita, she says, these aren’t jhumke. These are kaante.


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