At last a slender young woman in a grey western dress stood in front of Rama. The two women hungrily examined each other’s faces before falling into tears and embraces.
Thank you, God. Thank you for sending Mano home.
The women boarded the evening train for Pune. Rama rested her head on Mano’s shoulder. The partner she’d dreamed of was home.
That night, in the room she used at Sharada Sadan, Rama lay next to her daughter. As she did most nights, Rama left the curtain open for better air and to see the stars. For a moment, she thought she saw Bipin’s face at the window.
Bipin, you’d be so proud. Our daughter’s ready to take up her career as a teacher. I hope she pleases you. I did my best.
Rama tried to listen, but Bipin’s image faded.
When Rama woke, Mano was stroking her hair.
“Mama, you should’ve told me you were ill. I had to learn about it from Judith.”
“There was no need for worry. God looks after me.”
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