A person’s socioeconomic class can differ. People higher up in the class enjoy sanitary fun places while people lower in the class live in poor dirty neighborhoods and barely make enough money to feed themselves. In the book “The Space Between Us” by Thrity Umigar the reader sees Bhima and Sera are from 2 completely different socioeconomic classes but they live parallel life styles. They live parallel life styles and the some events that happen to Bhima happen to Sera yet they are from two completely different socioeconomic classes. Sera is supposed to be rich and happy while Bhima is poor and sad but it doesn’t turn out that way at all. Sera lives in a rich and nice neighborhood while Bhima lives in the slums of India, the slums of India are one of the dirtiest places in the world due to the garbage, polluted water and cramped up houses. Sera and Bhima live completely different life styles and are in completely different socioeconomic classes yet they both experience similar events with their husbands, daughters and life in general.
Sera and Bhima had similar incidence with their daughters. Sera’s daughter and Bhima’s daughter maya both get pregnant around the same time. The weird part is that the daughters both get impregnated by the same guy, Sera’s daughters husband Viraf. Rich people are supposed to be faithful and honorable yet Viraf cheats on Sera’s daughter with a poor girl Maya. This means Viraf wasn’t happy with his wife so he had to seek happiness elsewhere and he found that moment with Maya. Money doesn’t mean everything and doesn’t always bring happiness and honor, sometimes it brings dishonorable moments, cheating, lying and most of all unhappiness.
Sera and Bhima had similar incidents happen to husbands. Sera’s husband died and Bhima’s husband left her. The narrator talks about Sera’s husband and said “As light flooded the room, it fell on her husband’s still face… Her marriage was over” (Umrigar 260). The narrator talks about Bhima’s husband and said “But his true betrayal came five days later” ( Umrigar 245). Sera’s husband died and Bhima’s husband left her because he didn’t want to be with her. The narrator said that Sera’s husband facial expression wasn’t fear when he was dead but it looked as if he final found peace. Bhima’s husband left didn’t say a word just left a letter behind and went away. Sera and Bhima’s husbands were abusive, they beat their wives and yelled at them. Also Sera and Bhima couldn’t get help from their parents, Sera was about to tell her mother about how the husband beats her and the mom treats her horrible but she didn’t. Bhima’s parents aren’t around, don’t know where they are either. Sera and Bhima are not being treating right and they both have no one to turn to or get help from. Sera had the opportunity to talk to her mom but for some reason she didn’t. Their marriages were both nothing but a burden and the only thing they got out of it that was positive was the fact that they both had wonderful children and in Bhima’s case grandchildren. Another parallel thing about Bhima and Sera is that they see a lot of death. Sera lost her husband, Bhima lost her daughter and son in law to aids, also she lost Maya’s child because it was aborted. Sera and Bhima’s relationship is a good one, Bhima is the house cleaner or maid and Sera owns the house. Both Sera and Bhima live completely different lives and are in completely different socioeconomic classes yet they both had abusive husbands that put them down and made their lives miserable. The only way Sera and Bhima escaped a life time of abuse is because Sera’s husband died and Bhima’s husband left her because he was unhappy with her. Sera was rich and was supposed to be happy with her family but she experienced the same abuse from her husband just like Bhima had too.
Sera and Bhima’s lives were parallel in a lot of ways. Bhima is poor and lives in the slums yet she seems just as happy as Sera. Sera and Bhima both seem happier once the husbands were out of their lives. Another interesting point I found was with Sera and Bhima’s kids. Both Sera and Bhima’s daughter’s husbands cheated on them. Bhima’s daughter died because her husband gave her aids. The author didn’t say that was the cause but aids is a sexually transmitted disease, you can only get it by blood to blood contact. Sera’s daughter’s husband Viraf cheated on Sera’s daughter with Bhima’s granddaughter and this we know for sure. Once again its obvious that Sera and Bhima’s lives are always weirdly parallel to each other. Also one thing that Bhima and Sera have in common is no matter what happens to them they always look to the future and try to make a life out of what they have. Bhima lost her children and instead of giving up she worked to make a little money for Maya. Sera was rich but her husband and mother in law treated her awful and once they were out of her life she moved on and showed her daughter all her love compassion. Sera and Bhima both had that one important person in their life, for Bhima is was Maya her granddaughter. Sera’s important person was her daughter. Once Bhima found out that Viraf, Sera’s daughter’s husband, got Maya pregnant she told Sera. Sera didn’t want to be like her mother in law so instead of telling her daughter, she kept it to herself. Bhima basically forced Maya to have a abortion. Bhima and Sera both did what they thought was best for the one person they loved the most in their cruel world. Whenever one good thing happened to Sera or Bhima a lot of bad incidents followed. When Sera got married she thought life was good but her husband turned abusive and the mother in law turned evil and mean and made her life a living hell. Bhima had kids, later on when one got sick she left the baby with her husband but the husband left the baby alone then when she tried to hit him when she was mad he beat her really bad in public, then left her. It’s just a sad but true thing, whenever something good happens to Bhima or Sera, a lot of bad incidents follow.
Money doesn’t determine a person’s happiness. Sera and Bhima came from different socioeconomic classes and they lived different life styles yet they are parallel in so many ways. From their problems with abusive husbands, to their children’s husbands, everything they experienced was the same and different in its own unique way. The author proved that being rich doesn’t make a person life happy and perfect and by being poor doesn’t make a person sad and or worth any less than a rich person. Sera and Bhima were good friends because Bhima worked for Sera. The author did a great job making Sera and Bhima’s life look really similar but also so different. A person wouldn’t expect a rich upper class woman to know the struggles that a poor woman faces. Socioeconomic classes for Sera and Bhima were the complete opposites of each other, Sera was at the top of the class and Bhima was at the bottom, she lived in the slums of India. The slums of India are by far one of the worst places to live in the world. Money and where a person lives doesn’t define a person’s life struggles. The author wants people to see that happiness can be found by anyone, rich or poor. Bhima throughout the book looked a lot happier than Sera. Bhima made the best out of what she had and lived her life day by day getting by on the little things, spending time with Maya. Sera, after her husband died was able to do the same thing with her daughter who was married and pregnant. For Sera the book ends bad because she has to live with the fact that Viraf cheated on her Daughter. Bhima ends the book on a happy saying she will live day by day for Maya sake and even though it is dark, in Bhima’s heart it is dawn ( Umrigar 320-321). Bhima may be poor and Sera may be rich but they both they both experience ups and downs but for the people they love they got right back up after every fall and did what was necessary to be happy with the lives they have.
Umrigar, Thrity “The Space Between Us” New York: HarperCoolins, 2005. Print. 29 October 2012