Brothers and Sisters Issue no. 238 Winter 2021 Passing through the hallway on their way out, her sisters tipped their heads in the direction of the statue of the goddess Durga. They did it automatically, almost imperceptibly, and with wide, innocent eyes, like spies letting their handler know they had seen him and he should hold his position. Oma did the same, but with less conviction. It was one of many casual gestures of defiance on the part of the sisters. Their parents, aunts, and grandparents had offered unsatisfactory and conflicting answers to the question of why, since they did not believe in gods, their houses were filled with Hindu icons. Oma disliked it when her sisters interrogated their parents and shot glances at one another waiting for the elders to flounder, but she reluctantly played her part in the rituals her sisters established to confound them. She tipped her head to the goddess and moved along. The goddess both frightened and fascinated her, with her eight weaponized arms and peaceful expression.