The judge remembers his final conversation with his friend Bose, which had been thirty-three years after they had last seen each other in person. It was a month before Sai arrived in Kalimpong, and they had gone to a restaurant in Darjeeling. They exchanged memories of England. Bose recalled how he had corrected the judge’s pronunciation and took him to buy an English coat. The judge was angered by these memories, thinking that Bose was trying to put him down.
The judge’s final interaction with Bose again affirms just how much self-hatred the judge has internalized due to the racism inherent in colonialism. When Bose brings up events that made the judge seem less English, the judge becomes upset, because he strove to be as English as he possibly could be.
Bose had been one of the ICS men who mounted a court case to win a pension equal to that of white ICS men—but they lost. After that, his son had also tried to bring a case against his employer, Shell Oil, and also lost. People in England had laughed at him, but so, too, had people in India. They believed that Bose thought he was superior to them. The judge had criticized the case for other reasons.
The systemic issues from colonization not only cause the judge’s hatred but also cause a deep imbalance and misunderstanding in Indian culture. In trying to win an equal pension to the British, many Indians believed that Bose simply thought himself superior to them, implying that it was inconceivable that Bose could think Indian people and British people were universally equal.
Bose pressed the issue, exclaiming that white people were responsible for all the crimes of the century. The judge was silent. Bose continued, trying to understand his silence, by saying that at least white people eventually left India. The judge burst out, agreeing that they were bad, but so were he and Bose.
Bose had asked if he and the judge were still friends. The judge responded that things had changed. When Bose said that what was in the past remains unchanged, the judge contradicted him, saying that the present did change the past. The judge was upset that Bose had forced him to grapple with the past, after he had been silent for so long. They parted ways.
Though the judge is upset with Bose for bringing up the past, he for the first time acknowledges some of the damage that colonization has done to himself and to others, recognizing that he had been on the wrong side of history.
On his way home, the judge remembered an incident of boys taunting him at a bus stop, throwing stones and jeering. He then remembered another incident: an Indian boy being kicked and beaten by a group of men. One of them had unzipped his pants and pissed on him. The judge had turned and run away.
The judge provides two examples of how he personally turned his back on justice for other people like him, with the knowledge that he did so out of self-preservation.
The judge returned home to find the telegram regarding Sai’s parents’ deaths. He knew he would find comfort in her as a Westernized Indian. He found himself happy to have someone in his life whom he didn’t hate.
Proving that people often constitute the largest aspect of what makes something feel like home, the judge finally gains some sense of belonging in having a granddaughter whose upbringing made her similar to himself.