ABOUT THE STORY Nisha Susan’s story revolves around a pair of relationships that have as their point of overlap a dead woman: the eponymous Teresa, mysterious and mercurial. The narrator is the second wife of Teresa’s husband, Ajay. But we find that she seems somehow more fascinated by the spectre of the woman whom she has replaced than the flesh-and-blood man she has married. Her narration, with its continuous piecing together of Teresa-inflected situations and details, its search for the private world of a beautiful woman whom many people assumed they knew well, demonstrates how the dead can often be more powerful than the living. Susan has an acute ear for the bright banalities of the jet-setting class of rootless cosmopolitans to which the narrator is suddenly exposed, as also a sense of its social gradations and licensed irregularities—Teresa, for example, was “someone who wrote the news and someone who was the news”. Her protagonist is peculiarly subdued but subversive, accepting the many compromises and defeats of her life—one of them being that she is always second to Teresa—while achieving an awareness of self and world much sharper than those who complacently patronise her. The narrator’s forbidden knowledge cannot be shared with anyone in her world; perhaps its burdens can be partially cast off when written up.
Ought to blow up my computer