December 17

Dear Diary,
Today our cousins Animesh and Biren came for a visit with their father, Uncle Hem. These are my father's family and we only see them once in a while because they live in Sibsagar, hours away. It is a city that many tourists visit while in Assam, to see the temples, palaces, and lakes. I have never been to my uncle's home, but Sutara has. Biren is just her age and considers himself a man. He moves and nods his head just like Uncle Hem—all he needs is a cigarette and a vest to look the same. Uncle Hem has only good things to say about the tea fields in Sibsagar, so it is no use trying to convince him that Mother needs another type of work. He is proud of how many countries around the world drink tea from their fields.

Of course, none of his family actually pick tea leaves! Uncle Hem works for an oil company in an office behind a desk, and they have servants to help at their house; probably another girl like Sutara, who is grateful for their money. Biren snorted at me when I said I was getting an education, and Animesh chased our ducks. He is a wicked little pig. I got in trouble for striking him with my duck-herding staff, even though I didn't hit him hard. I am glad they will be gone tomorrow, no matter that they are family.

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