The durwan leads us through the public areas to the back of the house and then up a curved staircase. There’s a lattice screen on the landing. The ladies probably like to watch from here. Especially, the children.
The durwan knocks at the door, then stands respectfully to the side. It opens slightly. A brown eye looks me up and down.
“If eyes are the mirror of the mind, then your eyes tell me you are both beautiful and clever,” I say in Bengali. “Admit us, and you can look all you wish.”
A chorus of giggles breaks out behind the door.
I ask the girl to bring Mata.
“She doesn’t like to be disturbed when she’s resting,” the girl replies.
“If you don’t let us in, you won’t receive the dolls we brought,” I say.
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