Car 6

Mrs Rezia Begum

Outward appearance

Bolt-upright, older woman wearing orange pyjamas, long peach top, and a gilded shawl. Her face is rigid, as if carved out of polished wood.

Inside information

Rezia's uncle married her to a distant cousin in the UK. It was a magnificent match. She went from a village in Bengal to Brick Lane, and from there to Harrow. Her husband runs a restaurant in some place called Lamabett. She has never been there. Rezia only knows its name and that is on the Bakerloo line.

Her husband did not come home last night. She is going to the restaurant to find him.

What she is doing or thinking

After 30 years, Rezia misses her mother. She buys dresses from strangers. It is not the same as your family making them for you. Her sister writes tearful letters about the good life Rezia must be having. Could she send more money?

Back home, Rezia would have lived with her husband's mother, who would now be dead, leaving her to run things. Even 20 years of mother-in-law would be better than the huge English house on two floors with its gardens and silence. All three of her children have left home. Rezia wears silence like a cloak. Sometimes it does not seem worth getting up in the morning.

Now her fat, handsome husband has disappeared. She sat up all night; he did not telephone. If he died, who was there to tell her? Would she have to bury him alone?

Lamabett. Where is that?

The train pulls out of Lambeth North.

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