They are women at the creche.
Deepa reminds me of Kunhi mema, my mother's younger sister. Both of them look very similar (Ok, Kunhimema looks much smaller now-- really true to her name-- she has shrunk over years) and both have a deep sadness written on their face. Even the clothes Deepa wears remind me of mema.
Or may be everyone who goes through such hardships look the same. I don't know about Deepa, but I have grown up seeing different stages of my mema's life.
Singing romantic film songs ("Devathaaru poothu..") in her teens, with some sadness in it even then;
Taking us to the Kasturba Gram and issuing children's books for us from the library for us;
Her marriage (we really celebrated that one, I can't remember any other wedding as much);
Eating pork at her place (it was yummy!)
Her husband (he became our pappan) who used to run a mini van and later a Toddy shop;
Going for a Mohanlal-Priyadarshan comedy film with the newlyweds;
Having rabbit's meat at pappan's shop once;
Playing with their children Sreekanth and Sreejith;
Pappan dying of heart attack young;
Mema carrying the family on her shoulders..
She knit flowers to make garlands for god at a temple in the morning,
Worked as a peon at a bank;
Later she lost that temporary job and went to a bakery (after the garlands were made)..
Her body shrunk in the process.
She developed pains in her body, was admitted to hospital once or twice;
Doctors asked her to take rest but she could not afford it;
She takes medicines.. but she hasn't given up.
She goes on.
She cries well-- One funda of her life is that when you're at a house where someone has dead, you should really cry loud, and it would make the people there feel good :)
(She did that at her marriage also, like many other girls, to make her parents feel good).
Ok this has already become so long.. I'll write about Shabnam (and things/feelings/people I associate with her) in another post, hopefully sometime soon.