Forensic probes into John’s memoir reveal many people and many incidents. Please consider the disclaimer that Collateral is not aware of any personal secrets; some events, recorded in John’s memoir, might not have ever happened.
At Awtotom, there were lots of people of South Agrican origin. If they so wished, John and Deanna could have started friendship with a plenty of those people; but they would have to spend lot of their time and money to build such friendship. John considered his time and money were more important than collaboration with many people.
They started with a few friends even before arriving at Awtotom, they were Ashok Das and Artha Ghosh; they developed friendship with some others via Rasda, who had a habit of inviting any person of South Agrican origin; but Deanna and John could filter from the lot chosen by Rasda to make friends with those whose aspirations are similar to those of John and Deanna. A few others got introduced to them at the clubs and societies of people of South Agrican origin. In a big gathering like October festivities, they came across lots of people but only a handful remained attached to their daily life. Some of these people might have been connected to them already, somewhere at South Agrica.
Rupak used to work with John at the Anysnag office of DCS. He had even visited John at Computronics, when he came there on behalf of DCS for negotiating some electricity billing process. Later, he met John again at DCS when he joined there as an Associate Consultant in Electricity Billing. But they did not see each other for long at DCS-Anysnag; because he was sent by DCS on an overseas assignment at Holland. After the assignment at Holland, he came to Ranvower on another DCS project with Northpac Bank, where he got an offer for working with Northpac Bank, who organised Rupak’s immigration to Kanadia after Rupak resigned from DCS. He worked in Ranvower for about six months, after which he got posted in Awtotom and he rented a flat not very far from John’s Epping Road flat. He was there to help when John shifted from his Cope Street apartment to his Epping Road apartment. Rupak’s wife Mandana easily became a friend of Deanna; their son Babu won affection from John and Deanna, and even from Jewel, who was older than Babu by 3 years, enjoyed playing with him. What John liked about Rupak most was his appreciation for the skill and pursuits of his friends; he had a good power of observation and he always remembered whatever he ever heard about John and from John. He was not a great cook, but the way he presented the dishes prepared by Mandana or even bought out salads and chips he easily won the attention of his guests.
Whatever differences John and Deanna might have had amongst themselves, Rupak and Mandana treated them as one of the ideal couples, made for each other. In December ’86, John made his first long distance drive since the car was first purchased on the 1st May ’86. John hired the guest house of the Awtotom Bank at Katoomba and drove there with Rupak on the front left seat; Deanna, Mandana, Jewel and Babu were in the rear seat; there were three seat belts in the rear; so 5 year old Babu was seated on the lap of either Mandana or Deanna, depending on who was willing to take the load. Rupak did not have his driving licence till then, Deanna and Mandana did not have even learner’s licence for driving. Two families enjoyed a lot in this outing; every morning at breakfast time they used to plan the trips for the day. Babu used to listen to them whether he understood or not; but as soon as someone said, ‘Let’s go’, he would rush to the door and tried to unlock the door bolt with his tiny fingers.
In Feb’87 When John had just started the 2nd year of MBA curriculum in UTA Rupak told him that Mandana had been enrolled in the 1st year of MSc in computing Science in UTA; usually the evening classes of both curriculums ended at 9pm though at different buildings; Rupak requested John to collect Mandana from the Computer Science building and avail the public bus from UTA stop to return to Bird Cove together; both Rupak and John had their apartments at Bird Cove though not near the same bus stop; Mandana used to get off the bus 2 stops before John used to get off. Mandana had already her Ph.D. degree from a South Agrican university, so she excelled in the MSc class at UTA; Rupnendu and Mandana had some common subjects in that semester; Rupnendu was very impressed with class participation of Mandana. For one semester, John and Mandana travelled in the same bus while returning from UTA to home, though Mandana used to go to UTA from home and John used to go there from his work. Shortly after John started travelling with Mandana, he discovered that she was averse on riding on escalator, she used to avoid escalator wherever and whenever possible. One day, John held her hand and showed her how to synchronise stepping with him; she was able to guess the time lag between one step following the next and she became adept in riding on escalators.
Shyam Bhar, who on behalf of Awtotom Bank checked John’s reference from Ashok Das, was also known to Rupak and Mandana. Both Rupak and Shyam Bhar worked in Holland at the same time and they were assigned to the same client. Shyam Bhar and Sutra Bhar had started visiting John and Deanna soon after they arrived at Awtotom and were accommodated at the Fig Tree Street house. They continued visiting John and Deanna at their Cope Street and Epping Road apartments. Soon after John bought the new car, Shyam and Sutra visited John and Deanna and provided the route for driving to their place; prior to this they have taken John, Deanna and Jewel in their own car to their house; now they invited John to drive to their house.
Sutra was doing an evening course in Master of Computing while she was engaged as a clerk in a government department during 9am to 5pm. In ’87, she was in the 3rd year of a 3-year curriculum. In Dec’87 she completed her curriculum and qualified for the degree in Master of Computing. Not very long after her graduation, one evening Shyam Bhar phoned John and said, — ‘We like to give a good news; this morning a son has been born to Sutra.’
‘Congratulations!’ John said, ‘We never knew that she was pregnant; both Deanna and I have seen you two a week ago.’
Deanna was around when John got this call; John gave this news to her; she at once asked John to get the address of the hospital where the baby was born.
John gathered the hospital address and room number from Shyam. Shyam said that so far they had not told anybody that Sutra was pregnant; even parents of Sutra and Shyam had not been informed; they started informing all relatives and friends only after the baby was safely born. John and Deanna promptly bought a baby blanket from Target and went to the hospital to see Sutra and her newborn son.
Both Rupak and Shyam had been introduced to John and Deanna as friends of John. But it did not take Deanna long to develop good friendship with their wives — Sutra and Mandana. Earlier relationship between Mandana and Sutra, that started in Holland, helped further in developing friendship among Deanna, Sutra and Mandana. Sutra’s cousin Champa was also related to Sarah, Miguel’s wife. On Deanna’s next visit to South Agrica, she managed to meet Champa and extended her friendship with Sutra in South Agrica as well. Shyam’s elder brother, Debi was John’s class mate in Mechanical Engineering College of Jacareacanga University. When Shyam went to South Agrica and told John’s stories to Debi, he recollected John’s association with him in the university. However, later on John tried to connect to Debi in the university alumni association, but could not draw any enthusiasm from Debi. Though Shyam, Rupak and John used to talk whenever they happened to meet; Deanna, Sutra and Mandana had more regular meetings and developed closer relationships than their hubbies.
Artha Ghosh, who was a colleague of John at DCS and one of his referees here in Awtotom, also lived in Bird Cove. John and Deanna visited their place a few times and also met them during October festivities of South Agrican Club, yet Deanna could not develop close friendship with Artha’s wife Jhumur. Genette and Watson had, perhaps, closer ties with Artha family, because of proximity of their residences. Rasda i.e. Kacey Das also lived quite close to Artha-Jhumur and Watson-Genette.
Rasda’s wife Dagny was however very close to Deanna; Rasda and Dagny were still South Agrican citizen, deputed in Awtotom for about 3 years. Dagny organised some child-care activities to look after children of working parents; often Deanna had helped her in these activities without taking any share of Dagny’s income for these activities.
Kalpana and Nirmala had been first introduced to Deanna by Dagny; later in one dinner party at Rasda’s place Kalpana and Nirmala were invited along with their husbands — Karun and Nitish. Kalpana and Karun had spent about 2 years in Awtotom; they had a very good looking son — Elmer, about one year old. Nirmala and Nitish had arrived in Awtotom about a year ago; they had no issues yet but Nirmala was pregnant, expecting a baby in 3 to 4 months. Both Karun and Nitish had worked in Dowlon before, but decided to leave Dowlon for Awtotom for entirely different reasons.
Karun, a metallurgist, was well established in Dowlon. He was earning a handsome salary and managed to buy a house in Dowlon. He was married to one South Agrican lady settled in Dowlon. Karun’s friends and relatives were under the impression that Karun and his wife were made for each other, a very happy and prosperous couple and they would be happier and happier day by day, year by year till the inauspicious day, when he returned after a month’s holiday in South Agrica.
As Karun landed in the Coldhrow airport and proceeded to the immigration check, a police warrant was waiting for him there. The police escorted him to the luggage carousel and after pick-up of his luggage he was taken to the prison of a local police station.
When Karun asked about his wife Atreyee, the police officer said, — ‘Why are you asking about her? Did you leave her alive when you left Dowlon?’
‘What do you mean? She is usually a late riser.’ Karun said, — ‘I had to leave the house at 5:30 am as the check-in for the flight starts at 6am. I didn’t wake her up; she was in the bed. I dressed up, took my luggage and went out shutting the door behind me. She had the key of the adobe lock, so she could open the door later.’
‘Please do not speak without consulting your lawyer; whatever you say will be recorded and could go against you.’ The police officer said, ‘Atreyee was in bed alright, but her hands were tied together, so were her legs; to crown all she was strangled by a rope around her neck.’
‘How did you find her? Who opened the door?’ Karun asked.
The police officer said, ‘Her husband Asur rescued him. Asur returned at 7am after his night shift in the hotel; he found Atreyee tied up on the bed and reported to the police. As per Atreyee, you had molested her, then thrown her on the bed and tied her hands, legs and the neck.’
Karun was imprisoned without any bail, though his lawyer was contacted later and he handled the case. But the lawyer could not do much because, Asur and Atreyee were legally married in Dowlon, so Karun’s claim of marriage in South Agrica could not be substantiated.
Karun lost his case against Asur and Atreyee; he was deported because his entry permit was based on his marriage with Atreyee. Whatever property Karun bought and whatever he had in bank accounts were all owned jointly by Karun and Atreyee; Atreyee managed to dispose of them before Karun returned from his trip in South Agrica.
Karun went back to South Agrica, disheartened and dejected. His aspirations for a bright future in Dowlon were shattered, because the society cared most about the marital status in the country. Atreyee exploited Karun because he was married to her and after she got possession of all his wealth she proved that Karun had never married her so he should not try to get anything from her. John wasn’t happy in his own married life; he could easily see from Karun’s plight, how the privilege of marriage could be used to exploit innocent people like Karun.
Karun could not secure as well-paying job in South Agrica, as he had in Dowlon; he applied for immigration to Kanadia and after 10 months he got immigration visa. Before leaving for Kanadia, Karun’s family looked for a bride for him; he was lucky to get a beautiful girl Kalpana, graduate in commerce she was engaged in a government undertaking. Karun organised to get a visa for his wife and together they came to look for jobs in Awtotom. Kalpana was happy that she got a chance to settle in a developed country like Kanadia; yet she could never have a clear idea about Karun’s past; she didn’t know whether and how much she could trust Karun; but she needed to carry on and live her life; she had no other options for securing a husband who loved her and whom she loved as well. She felt indebted to Karun for allowing her to be his wife and bringing her to Kanadia and to a life full of modern amenities. Her way of living changed substantially from the way she lived in South Agrica, where she had been working in a government undertaking; unlike most of her friends like Deanna, Nirmala etc she had been leading a self-reliant life there. Here Karun started maintaining her as a trophy woman or a prize possession — she needed to work hard to keep her weight under control, so that her husband can show off that he possessed a slim and beautiful trophy wife. The trophy wife cooked good dishes — five-course lunch and dinner every day for her master — Karun. She thought there was nothing wrong if the husband becomes a bit obese but the trophy wife must maintain her slim structure.
After immigration to Kanadia, Karun had secured a reasonably good job in a metallurgical laboratory; Kalpana had so far not tried to secure any job; she had an excuse as she needed to look after her son Elmer. John and Deanna started visiting Kalpana and Karun regularly once in a fortnight. Kalpana and Karun also reciprocated their visits to John and Deanna as regularly as John and Deanna. In addition to the visits to each other’s place, Karun-Kalpana and John-Deanna often met in Rasda’s place.
Nitish and Nirmala were both culturally accomplished; they had flair for writing, story-telling, reciting and acting. They knew each other before marriage, each of them reckoned other as the perfect partner before proceeding to the parents for approval and celebration. When John and Deanna met them first time, Nitish was looking for jobs; he was being trained by CES [Commonwealth Employment Service] in I.T. so that he could secure a job in I.T. Before immigrating to Kanadia, Nitish had worked as a teacher in South America and prior to that in Dowlon. He was married to Nirmala when he was settled in Dowlon; they did not like the cloudy and cold weather of Dowlon and preferred to migrate to Kanadia.
Nitish and Nirmala organised for a group holiday for a few families of South Agrican origin. Families involved were John-Deanna, Rasda-Dagny, Shyam-Sutra, Karun-Kalpana and Nitish-Nirmala. Expenses for this get together would shared by the families involved. They rented a 5-bedroom single-storey house named NIRALA for two nights — Saturday and Sunday; the bedrooms were organised in a row, and there was a door between each room and the room/s adjacent to it. There was a big forecourt and a garden at the rear of the house. Grocery was mainly purchased by Rasda-Dagny, though each family brought something what they can prepare best. All families except Rasda-Dagny took their own cars; John and Deanna took Rasda-Dagny in their car.
On Saturday at 1 pm, five cars reached the holiday house. Ladies decided that they would all be accommodated in two rooms at the left hand side and the door between these two rooms would be kept open, so that they could spend their time together for the entire weekend. Ladies also decided that their male counterparts would be accommodated in two rooms at the right hand side and all children would be accommodated in the middle room. Jewel being the only girl among the children, she was allowed to stay in the rooms meant for the ladies of the group.
Every meal was a fun in this group holiday. Everyone had taken heavy breakfast before coming over to this place, so the lunch was skipped. After a break for tea and snacks, they set down to cook their dinner. Ladies ruled this cooking show, their male partners were asked to do some errands; but they were busy with their beer bottles as well in the gaps of their errands.
After dinner, children were sent to bed, and adults gathered in the lawn behind the house. A few songs were sung — solo, duet as well as group performance were enjoyed by all. After a few songs, Nirmala started telling stories of ghosts; the night was dark, an owl was barking on the top of the tree; wind was blowing, faces were getting covered by lofts of hair; listeners often forgot where they were all seated and who were seated around them.
Nirmala, the story teller, was a good actress as well; when she was telling the story, the listeners were vividly visualising the events:
‘Phuli was married when she was only sixteen year old. She was married to a man, who was almost as old as his father, perhaps a bit younger. She was told she was getting married to a very rich man; rich indeed he was; in his multi-storeyed mansion he employed five servants, one of which was Phuli’s father; he was told that his salary would be doubled, had Phuli got married to his rich boss. Phuli was happy to get married as well. Prior to this she had sometimes gone inside the mansion and she had seen big decorated rooms, swings in the veranda, and sofas with soft cushion and beds with mattress that sings a lullaby and pats you to sleep. Phuli’s mother, too, supported Phuli’s father; she hadn’t seen much of the world; she had been living in a rented flat, not far from the mansion — she along with Phuli’s father dreamt the inside of the mansion where Phuli would be living; that was the best place in her little world.
Phuli got married and went inside the mansion. Phuli’s husband Maharaja had a big palace; the palace had four suites — Maharaja lived in one of them; two of them were maintained for guests, the biggest of these suites was empty, where Phuli was welcomed. Lots of servants looked after these suites and the people who resided in these suites. Even Phuli’s father visited these suites and carried the errands from the guests inside these suites. Phuli was often puzzled to see the new face of her father; he had stopped scolding her; instead he almost begged if he could buy something for her from the market or if he should wash her clothes or even if he could massage her feet. Phuli too could not adjust to her new home; she felt she was living in someone else’s house; however, Maharaja would visit her every evening, have dinner with her, spend time in the veranda or take her for a trip to the shopping centre.
But Phuli’s happiness did not last long; before even their first anniversary was celebrated Maharaja passed away; Maharaja had a mini-gym in his house; on that ominous day he was running on his treadmill; he suddenly collapsed. Phuli called servants, called his doctor; but the doctor could not do much; he said Maharaja had an inherited disease which created an abnormality in his heart; this abnormality caused it to speed up or slow down to the point where it could no longer pump blood and the heart stopped completely. The doctor said that Maharaja’s death had been caused by Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), where no definite cause of death could be found.
Maharaja’s death brought about a sudden change in Phuli’s life. Not only she lost her husband all of a sudden, she lost the empire of Maharaja as well. Soon she came to know from the family accountant, that the big mansion was mortgaged to a bank and there was not enough money for paying the regular instalments. The mansion was seized by the bank and foreclosed for sale. Bankrupt and widowed, Phuli had to leave the mansion and join her father in his flat.
The situation was much worse for Phuli when she returned to the same flat, where her parents lived. When she left her father’s flat before marriage she had high hopes for living in a mansion, she dreamt her husband as one of the kings in the fables, and she was intrigued by the mystery of married life. Now she returned as a widow with all her hopes shattered, bewildered about prospects of a married life, unwelcome in her father’s tiny flat. Her father had lost his job as well; Maharaja’s house has been now sold to some unknown person; he has lost his master; no one was there to employ him.
Dejected, depressed Phuli was cast down in spirits; she was often scolded by her parents sometimes for no reasons whatsoever; she felt that the world was looking down on her, except the spirit of Maharaja who seemed to be always around her and trying to protect her from the misfortunes, caused by his sudden death. Every morning when she woke up, she felt Maharaja was there to pat her back. Maharaja’s presence was felt not only by Phuli but also by her parents. One day Phuli’s father was walking towards the flat with a packet of biscuits over a piece of loaf on his hand; he heard a noise of a moving car and the packet of biscuits was about to slip off his hand; from nowhere Maharaja jumped in stopped the biscuits falling off his hands; he could then safely carry his things to his flat.
About a year after Maharaja’s death, one of Phuli’s uncles — Ghatak came with a proposal for Phuli’s marriage. Ghatak came to visit her parents and said, ‘Life is twice as wonderful together! Be together to make it happen.’
Phuli’s parents were superstitious, they thought it won’t be easy to get widows married and accepted in the society.
To please them, Ghatak said to Phuli’s parents, ‘Marriage is not always necessary for a happy fulfilling relationship. The groom, I’ve seen for Phuli, can’t marry her right now. He has separated from his wife a week ago and cannot marry any one before another year. I would take you to the groom’s place first; if you like him the groom will come here and see Phuli. If all of agree that Phuli should be married to that groom, then he would take Phuli with him and they would live together. When the right time arrives, we would get Phuli married with the groom.’
The sequence of events after this matched exactly as Ghatak said. The groom’s name was Dojbare. Dojbare belonged to upper middle class family, his parents were both alive and his father had a steady monthly income. Phuli’s jobless father thought it was prudent to be related to Dojbare family; their help would stand him in a good stead; also he would be immediately relieved of Phuli who was just eighteen year old and needed lot of care. At this age, Phuli’s parents needed to spend a lot for dressing her conservatively, buying clothes that would cover, not reveal her body. Therefore, Phuli’s parents, Dojbare’s parents, Dojbare as well as Phuli all agreed that Phuli should live together with Dojbare.
Once again Phuli left her parents’ flat and departed for Dojbare’s place. Not much celebration was made in groom’s place, not any at bride’s place. No oath was taken, no priests were there to pronounce them as married; no one said, ‘Groom may now kiss the bride.’ Yet the groom kissed the bride profusely when they shared their bed for the first time. Phuli once felt Maharaja was just behind the window blinds and asked her to be a bit careful.
Phuli had to be careful so that she was not hurt; Phuli found Dojbare was much different from Maharaja who used to take very good care of her. Maharaja used to check that Phuli’s delicate parts weren’t hurt; he used to check for all delicacies that Phuli liked; he used to check that she got enough sleep and enough rest as well as the fashion jewelleries that looked great on her. Dojbare, on the other hand, mainly concerned for making Phuli pregnant; he was always looking for an appropriate opportunity to try on her without caring for how Phuli felt about it. He used to research on food which if taken by Phuli would make her pregnant with a boy child. Phuli has found him researching on food, which help generate more milk in cows. Phuli often thought Dojbare cared for her only as much a milkman cares for his cows, so that he gets a calf from her and enough milk after that. She looked for Maharaja’s spirits and on many evenings, when Dojbare is away or in deep sleep, Phuli found Maharaja’s ghost just beside her. Phuli never felt scared of him, rather she felt safe when Maharaja’s ghost was around.
Dojbare’s efforts were soon rewarded. A week after, he started living together with Phuli, she conceived; this was confirmed after the pregnancy test was taken a month later. Dojbare started taking very good care of her so that she was always happy and fulfilled. Maharaja’s ghost also kept appearing every day, he seemed happy as Phuli was feeling very happy after getting pregnant especially because she was not unnecessarily tortured by Dojbare.
A son was born to Phuli as expected in a nursing home, after nine months from the day of conception; the newborn weighed 3.5kgs. Phuli was overwhelmed with joy and tried to keep her baby close to her so that she could attend to anything that the baby needed. Phuli was discharged from the hospital after 3 days; Phuli with her newborn son returned to Dojbare’s house. Dojbare had already bought a new cot for his son so that he could sleep there instead of sharing bed with his parents. Soon after Phuli came there, Dojbare’s parents cautioned her about disclosing the news of the newborn to anyone even to Phuli’s parents.
‘Don’t tell anyone about the newborn, we’re so lucky to have.’ Dojbare’s mother said, — ‘We would christen him after a month and then disclose this news to our relatives. We would invite your parents during the christening ceremony.’
Phuli could not realise what harm her parents could do to her newborn boy, but she thought when they were so anxious to keep this news to themselves she should just oblige them.
At the end of one week, Dojbare came home with a gadget and explained to Phuli, ‘Look, I don’t want you to breast feed your child any more. This is not good for baby and not good for your looks. You would pump milk off your breasts and preserve the milk in bottles, to be kept in the freeze. I may help you if you find it difficult,’
All ladies, who were listening to Nirmala raised their eyebrows; so did the male listeners watching the breasts of their wives and those of other ladies as well, as if they are all getting pumped off; the ladies promptly covered their breasts with whatever they could put their hands on.
‘Soon Phuli realised that she was not allowed to feed her baby at all not from her breasts nor from bottles. Dojbare, his mother, even his father took their turns of feeding the baby with the feeding bottle. They pleaded that this measure was good for the health of both baby and his mother. Sometimes they even tried formula in the bottle without letting Phuli know; this let them to ensure that the baby would survive even without Phuli’s milk.’
Phuli’s parents were invited on the day of christening the boy; a few close relatives of Dojbare were present as well. Phuli was told to keep a low profile and not to talk to any of Dojbare’s relatives; so Phuli and her parents did not talk to anybody else present during the christening ceremony. Phuli’s mother did not like that the baby was being fed by Dojbare’s parents who didn’t allow even her to feed the baby.
Couple of days after the christening ceremony, when Phuli woke up in the morning she found that her baby was not in the cot, where he was supposed to be. Worried Phuli rushed out of the room in quest of her baby; she found the baby in the lounge with another lady who was fondling with him; she rushed to that lady and tried to take the baby from her asking, ‘Who are you? Why have you taken my baby away from his cot?’
‘Go away’, said the lady, ‘Keep off my child.’
Then Dojbare and his mother appeared in the scene. Phuli pleaded to them, ‘Who has allowed this girl to come here and grab my baby?’
‘Don’t say my baby, Phuli, this is my son’, Dojbare said, ‘the lady holding my son is my wife; she has every right to hold my baby.’
‘What do you mean, Dojbare?’ Phuli replied, ‘you said you have separated from your wife and after one year of separation you would marry me. Based on your promise I started living together with you and you were keen on having a child with me.’
‘I never promised that I would marry you’, Dojbare replied, ‘I said I cannot marry you before one year of separation is completed; now I feel I won’t remain separated for one year, that’s why she is back.’
‘What will happen to me? Why didn’t you tell me this when you worked on me for a baby? I won’t let my son go with this girl, he lives on my milk; he will die if he doesn’t live with me’, said Phuli.
‘No, he won’t die if you are not here; for last ten days he hasn’t taken a drop of your milk; he is on formula only; he seems better off with formula than your milk’, replied Dojbare.
‘What do you do with the milk you pump off me then? Even last night you’ve pumped out and filled the bottle.’ Asked Phuli when she was totally dismayed.’
‘Whatever we might have done with that doesn’t matter; my son did not have your milk.’ Dojbare replied.
‘Shouldn’t you have told me what you feed my son and go on pumping my breast?’
‘He is my son; I didn’t want you to know that he is on formula. There is no need to pump off you anymore. You won’t live in this house anymore, so there is no question of pumping milk off you.’ Dojbare replied, while patting the back of his wife i.e. the lady holding the baby.
Dojbare’s mother interfered at this point, ‘Don’t let her go, Dojbare. Phuli is a good girl; let her stay in the small room in the ground floor, where we have our piggery. It is wise to keep a good cow in the house; in case formula doesn’t suit the baby her milk could very well be used. Why waste her milk? I prepared sweetmeat with her tasty milk yesterday.’
Phuli felt that no one in this house would help her; she is no more than a cow in this house and cows should not cry; they kick the milkman if misbehaving; Phuli jumped on the lady holding the baby; with sheer force she boxed her neck and snatched the baby. She raised her blouse, pulled out her breasts and held one tit near the baby’s mouth; the baby latched and started sucking it tenaciously; Phuli started running towards the door with the baby latched on her breast — she was about to
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