Study Guide

Homeless Bird Chapter 11

By Gloria Whelan

Chapter 11

  • Raji is waiting for Koly outside of work one day, and she is over the moon to see him. Even better? He asks her if she wants to walk to our spot along the river. Aw.
  • They go there together, and he tells her of his life on his land. He's fixed up the house and planted crops so he can make more money.
  • Now that he has everything all nice, he wants to know if she would like to live there—as his wife.
  • She's stunned. Sure she thinks about him all the time, but no one wants to marry a widow. What will his family think?
  • Raji doesn't care about that. He doesn't want to have an arranged marriage and never get to talk to his wife—his parents had that, and it was boring.
  • He wants a wife who he can share ideas with and discuss poetry with. He wants her.
  • Koly is excited, but she's also hesitant because she doesn't want to leave her new, independent life in the city.
  • She hated the crowdedness of the city at first, but now she loves it. She has her own job, money, and friends, and she's not sure she's ready to give all that up for a life doing housework in the country.
  • Of course Raji's disappointed upon hearing this. He wants them to be together, but he understands that she doesn't want to do chores all day long.
  • Koly promises that she'll think about it, though. She misses him when he's not around, but she needs a little bit more time here first.
  • She and Tanu just moved out of the widows' house and into their own place—now that they both have steady jobs, they don't need to be with Maa Kamala anymore. They want to make room there for new widows.
  • Koly and Raji write each other letters so they can stay in touch while she thinks about his proposal. He tells her about trees and stocks that he plants, and she shares what she's doing at work with him.
  • One day, Mala steals some gold thread from Mr. Das and gets caught. She's fired. Koly is glad Mala is finally gone.
  • Koly feels like she's ready to go to the country and be Raji's wife when she learns that he's built her a special room to embroider in.
  • He knows that her work is important to her, so he wants her to be able to do that from the countryside.
  • Koly knows Raji gets her, and agrees to marry him. She begins to make a quilt for her dowry again, but this time it's full of joy and love.
  • When the quilt is finished, she and Raji will get hitched.
  • Koly lets Mr. Das know that she'll be leaving soon. He's upset, of course, but he agrees to let her work from her new home and bring her embroidered stuff by every couple weeks.
  • Now she can have the best of both worlds—the man she love and the job she loves. Yay.
  • Tanu finds some new roommates, but makes Koly promise she'll be back to visit. A lot.
  • Koly is done with the quilt and ready to tie the knot, this time on her own terms.
  • Mrs. Devi comes by her job on Koly's last day with a request: She wants Koly to embroider something from one of her favorite poems.
  • Koly agrees and already knows what she's going to stitch—the homeless bird, flying home.

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