Everyone’s maladies in 12 Sheffield Building seemed to wear them out, except Sridevi. Sridevi was the most absurd and pushy among them. Ella, whose ruination they were living off was carrying on on welfare. And the rest of them did menial work, cooking jobs, baby-sitting…They lived the kind of life that relegated their men to spaces which were negotiable, given the need. They managed to be cheerful and abusive, towards each other, but also the world at large.
It was pretty clear to Seema during the incandescent taxi ride from Byculla that this was going to be the last time she ever boded with hostel life. She wanted the freedom, the irregularity and all the promise that a part evangelical establishment could never offer. She just had never felt at home around people of her age. It wasn’t that she shied from their sense of order or decorum, no, her own mind was regimented enough to allow for discipline. And among all the things that she chided herself for, the lack of decorum had to be thrown in ,along with various other gaping ills. If it wasn’t for this one, her superiors at any given establishment could definitely pull her up for some other fine strand of unworthiness from deep within a Pandora’s box which she wanted to cough out or simply drop off at the first local train station like an orphan child. She was an angry, young, wild woman.
And when she found herself in Ella’s derelict apartment, it was Sridevi who welcomed her. She slept.