*back to part 5*      
84) "He said?" When Bi Apa couldn't stand it any more, with a pounding heart, she asked.      
85) "Bi Apa! This Rahat Bhai is a very bad man." I had thought that today [*N13*] I will tell everything.     = the future is there because she is using direct discourse to report her thoughts
85) "Why?" She smiled.      
86) "I don't like him --- just look, all my bangles are broken," I said, trembling.      
87) "He's very mischievous," she said in a 'romantic' voice, with embarrassment.      
88) "Bi Apa --- ! Listen, Bi Apa, this Rahat is not a good man," [*D58*] I said, growing heated. "Today I will tell Bi Amma."      
89) "What happened?" Bi Amma said, spreading the prayer-carpet.      
90) "Look at my bangles, Bi Amma."      
91) "Rahat broke them!" Bi Amma sang out joyously.      
92) "Yes."      
93) "He did well. After all, you tease him a great deal. Ai hai, why do you make such a fuss? Have you turned into a wax doll, such that somebody lays a hand to you and you melt?" Then she said coaxingly, "Then take revenge during the 'fourth-day' ceremony. Wreak such vengeance that Miyan-ji will never forget it." With these words, she began her prayers.      
94) Then a conference with her adopted 'sister' took place; and seeing that matters were proceeding in a hope-inspiring direction, smiles of extreme satisfaction appeared.      
95) "Ai hai, you're a real good-for-nothing! Ai, I swear by the Lord, we used to torment our brothers-in-law half to death!"      
96) And she began to tell me techniques for teasing brothers-in-law-- how only through the unerring arrows of teasing that she prescribed, she had arranged the marriages of her two nieces whose hopes of getting their boats across [into marriage] had long since been lost. One of them was a Hakim-ji. Whenever the girls teased him, the poor thing began to blush with shyness [*N14*] and suffer attacks of shame. And one day he said to Mamu Sahib, [*notes 16*] 'please take me into servitude'.      
97) The other was a clerk in the Viceroy's office. When they heard that he had come to the outer rooms, the girls used to begin to tease him. Sometimes they filled a paan with chili-peppers and sent it to him; sometimes they put salt into [sweet] vermicelli and fed it to him.      
98) "Ai lo, he began to come every day. A windstorm might come, rain might come-- what power did they have, [to assure] that he wouldn't come? Finally, one day, he spoke up. He said to an acquaintance of his, 'Arrange my marriage in that household'. When the friend asked 'With whom?' then he said, 'Arrange it with anybody'. And may the Lord not cause me to tell a lie-- the older sister's face was such that if you see it, then it's as if a witch is coming along. And the younger-- may God be praised! If one eye is in the east, then the other is in the west. The father gave fifteen tolahs of gold, and in addition gave him a job in the Big Sahib's office."      
99) [*D59*] "Indeed, sister [bha'i], the one who has fifteen tolas of gold and a job in the Big Sahib's office-- how long will it take him to find a boy?" Bi Amma said with a sigh.      
100) "It's not like this [=that], sister. Nowadays a boy's heart-- well, it's an eggplant on a tray. Whichever way you tilt it, that's the way it will roll."      
101) But Rahat isn't an eggplant, he's a great big mountain. In making him bow down, may I not be the one who's crushed, I thought. Then I looked toward Apa. She was sitting silently on the doorsill, kneading dough, and listening to everything. If she had had the power, then she would have split open the breast of the earth and, taking with her the curse of her virginity, hidden herself within it.      
102) Does my Apa hunger for a man? No, before she felt any hunger she was already fearful. The picture of a man didn't well up in her mind like a longing. Rather, it welled up in the form of the question of bread and clothing. She is a burden on the breast of a widow. It will be necessary to shove this burden off.      
*on to part 7*      
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