family, whom she lives with until she is married off; as a result, she is left ‘devoid’ of experiences that give her confident enough to do ‘mundane’ tasks, that are normalized by Americans, and is scared to be independent and live alone as an ‘adult’. Elliot, on the other hand, lives with a single mother who is always busy, and has adjusted to being alone; although he doesn’t like it, as he still just a child, he somehow presents himself as the ‘mentally’ older one in this relationship.
Indians are well known for their hospitality towards acquaintances, even those who aren’t necessarily reciprocal with the same warmth; this is especially obvious when the writer examines an interaction between Mrs. Sen and and Elliot’s mother, and the contrast between their activities after this interaction are divulged. “Each evening she (Mrs. Sen) insisted that his mother sit on the sofa, where she was served something to eat: a glass of bright pink yogurt with rose syrup, breaded mincemeat with raisins, a bowl of semolina halvah.” Later on the passage it is revealed that Elliot’s mother lied about eating beforehand, and that she goes home, drinks, snacks, goes out for a smoke and leaves Elliot to clean, after a whole day spent at work. On the other hand, Mrs. Sen’s entire day is spent preparing food for her and Mr Sen, looking after Elliot, and looking over keepsakes from her family; although they indulge in drastically different activities, they still carry the same premise of loneliness.