Captures the delicate balance of class and gender in contemporary India as witnessed through the lives of two women--Sera Dubash, an upper middle-class housewife, and Bhima, an illiterate domestic hardened by a life of loss and despair.
Although it is dawn, inside Bhima's heart it is dusk.
Black smoke the color of despair rose from those pyres.
Does she miss Feroz? She is unsure of the answer. She does not miss the shame-inducing beatings, his clenched anger, her own cowering servility, and the hypocrisy of pretending that all is well in her marriage. No, that she does not miss. In fact, what she misses is not the marriage but the dream of the marriage. Even now, after all the intervening years, she misses the man she had thought she was marrying.
I carried you in my stomach for nine months. I know every inch of your skin. If a mosquito lands on you, I feel the sting.
One way or the other, they would’ve tricked us. Because they own the world, you see. They have the machines and the money and the factories and the education. We are just the tools they use to get all those things. You know how I use a hammer to pound a nail? Well, they use me like a hammer to get what they want. That’s all I am to them, a hammer. And what happens to a hammer once its teeth break off? You throw it away and get a new hammer. All they did was use you to buy themselves a new hammer.
Sera went through the purse of her memory, hunting for gold coins.