Most of us wouldn’t think getting an auto outside Bandra station could be fashioned into a remarkable story, but that’s because most of us aren’t Ambai. ‘ Journey 7’, which is about an older woman, Mausiji, helping a young wife named Rupmati and her brood of children negotiate their way through Bandra station. Mausiji is such a refreshing alternative to the scheming, sniping and inse- She weeps, she’s melodramatic and for much of the novel, she’s worried about getting her daughter married. This doesn’t sound like the formula of a strong woman character but in the way Rabi carefully carves out an independent identity in the intensely- conservative Hausa society, she’s positively heroic. When Rabi is thrown out of her marital home ( with her children), she sniffs and sobs but she also wastes no time in setting up her own business. Rabi’s story would probably feel far closer to many an Indian woman’s reality than the saas- bahu serials on television. late in the novel, Sukhvinder is ultimately one of the few people in Rowling’s Pagford who warms your heart. She’s doesn’t move past her insecurities magically, but she is strong enough to not lose sight of what she believes is right. In the end, when she organises the funeral for the misunderstood Krystal, Sukhvinder proves she has more integrity than almost anyone else in the novel. Brava!