When Mr. P

When Mr. P
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  • In the autumn of 1971, Mr. Pirzada comes to Lilia's house to dine each night. Mr.Pirzada is from Dacca, then a part of Pakistan. He left behind his wife and seven daughters for a fellowship to study the foliage of New England.
  • We made dioramas out of colored construction paper depicting George Washington crossing the choppy waters of the Delaware River, and we made puppets of King George wearing white tights and a black bow in his hair. 
  • I noticed that there were two distinct parts to it, one much larger than the other, separated by an expanse of Indian territory;
  • He unlaced his shoes and lined them against the baseboard; a golden paste clung to the toes and heels, the result of walking through our damp, unraked lawn.
  • That year, and every year, it seemed, we began by studying the Revolutionary War.
  • Then he followed my father to the living room, where the television was tuned to the local news.
  • “Lilia has plenty to learn at school,” my mother said. “We live here now, she was born here.
  • She ran a hand through her hair, bobbed to a suitable length for her part-time job as a bank teller.
  • “But what does she learn about the world?” My father rattled the cashew can in his hand.
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