Thinks- "I know that Mrs. Sen only wants me in the car with her because she is scared."
"Yes we do. Would you like to put it on hold?"
"Hello, do you have any fresh fish today"
"Yes please under the name Sen. Mr. Sen will be there to pick it up."
Each day after Mrs. Sen picked up Elliot from the bus they practiced driving for 20 minutes. Mrs. Sen is always scared of driving. She hated the roar of the engine and got distracted often. In Calcutta, she had her own chauffer so she never drove. Mrs. Sen talked about her home frequently and Elliot came to an understanding that home meant Calcutta. She constantly compared her life back to her home.
Mrs. Sen had two things that made her happy. A letter from her family and fish. Elliot always checked the mailbox after driving practice. Once she got her letter she immediately read it over and over again. She called Mr. Sen in his office to read it to him also.
Goodbye! We will miss you!
"Switch lanes! Can you hear me?"
Mrs. Sen was always happy about fish. She complained that even though the fish was fresh there was not enough. In her home, she ate fish twice a day. Mrs. Sen never buys fish at the supermarket because it never has a fish she likes. Mrs. Sen was always particular about it. She would always call the fish market and put a fish on hold for Mr. Sen to pick it up. She was such a regular customer that the market called her one day when she didn’t.
"I hate driving"
One day the market puts a fish on hold but Mr. Sen refuses to pick it up. Mrs. Sen begins to weep and then takes Elliot into her room. She flings her beautiful saris on the bed. She has nowhere to wear them, no pictures of her life she wants to send to her family back home. They thought she lived like a queen but she didn’t.
"It's okay Mrs. Sen, pealse don't cry."
In November Mrs. Sen’s attitude changed very much. She never cut her vegetables, called the fish market or invited Elliot’s mom inside. She showed Elliot some tapes her family made for her when she left. When her grandfather was speaking she told Elliot that she had received a letter that weekend. It said that her grandfather was dead.
The next week Mrs. Sen gets better and starts her daily routine again. Mr. and Mrs. Sen and Elliot go to the fish market one day and eat at a nearby restaurant. Then they take some pictures and Mrs. Sen drives on the way back home. She couldn’t switch lanes and in the end, declared that she would not drive again. She hated it.