‘It’s good that you’re getting out soon. Good for you and good for us. Bad times are coming.’

All the things that Soni had said to her on that walk in the forest tumble through her head. So many questions … Before she has fully finished thinking one, her mind jumps to another. Something Soni had said suddenly appears, like a light she didn’t know existed around a corner: ‘Your life is in bits and pieces - a little bit here, a little bit there. One year in Dumri another year somewhere else, then another year yet somewhere else again…’ Milly disagrees silently, vociferously. Her life is not fragmented. To her, it has unity and coherence. She gives it those qualities. How can movement from one place to another break you? Are you a terracotta doll, easily broken in transit? But she can no longer give Soni the answer, which has occurred to her so many years later.