Welcome to Week 3 of our "The Space Between Us" readalong! It's pretty much official now--I love Thrity Umrigar!
To see what everyone else is thinking about this books, check out these posts:
Ti at Book Chatter
Staci at Life In The Thumb
Kathy at Mommy's Reading
Booksync at Book In The City
Bailey at The Window Seat Reader
Mari at Bookworm With A View
Amy at The House of the Seven Tails
Two months has passed since Maya had the abortion and Bhima observes that she "won't come to life."
"Rather, she sits stone-faced, as if the abortion doctor has killed more than her baby, as if he has also cleaned out her insides, has scooped out her beating heart just as Bhima scoops the fibrous innards of the red pumpkin that Serabai puts in her dall. Whatever it is that makes human beings laugh and dance and hope and love and pray, whatever it is that separates youth from old age, life from death, Maya has lost that."
In order to help her break out of her sadness, Bhima decides to take Maya to the beach. While there Maya does brighten up, Bhima begins to soften and forgive her and they talk some about the past. Maya reveals that she knows that her parents died of AIDS but Bhima is not ready to discuss that with her.
We do get to learn about it though--how Bhima was summoned to Delhi via telegram that just said that her daughter, Pooja, and son-in-law, Raju, were very sick. Bhima is shocked to find how very sick they are but doesn't realize, until she befriends a Muslim man, Hyder, that they are dying. Despite her frailty, Pooja is determined to be with Raju when he dies but Hyder and Bhima are the ones that accompany his body to the funeral pyre behind the hospital. When Pooja also dies, and Bhima has to accompany her body also, she wants nothing more than to throw herself on the pyre as well. She is almost resently of Maya because the need to care for Maya means that she can't do that.
Sera attends a dinner party in the home where she first met Feroz and being there causes her to reflect on the first time he beat her and she really realized what she had gotten into. Four years after that first beating, Sera and Dinaz go to visit her parents one day and Sera realizes that she has actually just left Feroz. After two weeks, though, Sera's mother tells her that her place is with her husband and after five weeks, Freddy shows up with a proposal. He has agreed to buy a flat for Feroz, Sera and Dinaz to at least get Sera away from Banu, the Monster and Sera agrees that she will return to Feroz.
What really struck me in these chapters was Bhima's sense that everything bad that happens to her is somehow a curse or a result of something she had done wrong in her life. She carries a tremendous amount of guilt but is resigned that her life is only about making Maya's life better.
Because Sera married later, she had a taste of what life might have been for her if she had not married and had a child. She also had to resign herself to her life because of her sense that she had a duty to Dinaz to give her the best life possible. Both Bhima and Sera find themselves where they are in life in no small part because of the men they married--not much of a recommendation for marriage!
Umrigar's writing continues to amaze me.
"The secret of loneliness. How to live with it, how to wrap it around your body and still be able to make beautiful, colorful things, like he did with those balloons."
"It was hate. Hate that lodged like a bone in her throat. Hate that made her feel sick, that gave her mouth a bitter, dry taste. Hate that entered her heart like a fever, that made her lips curve downward like a bent spoon."
I can't wait to read on! Please join us in welcoming Amy, of The House of the Seven Tails, to the readalong!