Love -Ma, Ashima writes at the bottom of the card to her children and at bottom of the card to her husband, she simply writes “Ashima”.
Very ironic to this quote, Ashima has very strong affection for her husband. Then why doesn't she say it?
Traditional Indian women don't say their husband’s name in public. As Jumpa Lahiri puts it, her husband’s name is very intimate to Ashima. Indian “culture” developed [mostly by men] many subtle techniques to suppress women. Surprisingly many women guards these techniques and passes them to their next generation dutifully.
My 25+ years of life in India, I never met any couple including my parents, who showed their affection and love to each other in public[Except their own bedroom every other place is public to Indian couples]. Even holding hands in public is considered very uncivil. In their earlier days of love life, young people who shows their affection in public by holding their hands or eating in a same plate or sharing a drink are ridiculed by public and friends and family.
They never say love you, kiss good bye, don't hug before or after a long trip. How do they mange to save their marriage without saying or showing their love? That's a different story.
Besides this, India has 1.2 billion population :)
I don't understand it, do you?