Page 153. " Coolies conducted aggressive forays to offer their muscular services. "

Coolies are manual labourers. The term is often used in a derogative way to refer to low status workers. Here they are offering their services to carry luggage.

Page 156. " Was it a right turn or left at the Bobby advertisement? "

Bobby was a pivotal Bollywood film. Released in 1973 it was an immediate box office hit, becoming the biggest film of the year and the second most successful film of the decade. It was the first Bollywood film to include a teenage romance and was widely imitated.

Page 157. " dhotis and shirts, a hundred of each "
Creative Commons AttributionDhoti - Credit: Wen-Yan King, Flickr

A dhoti is a garment worn by Indian men. It is a rectangular piece of cloth, normally cream or white in colour, which can be folded in a large number of ways. It is often worn for a formal occasion, but is not favoured in metropolis areas.

Page 159. " for a black burkha hid her countenance. "
Public DomainBurkha - Credit: Davric, Wikimedia

A burkha is loose piece of clothing that covers a woman from head to toe. It is often worn by Islamic women in public.




Page 162. " They were led behind the rows of tin-and-plastic jhopadpattis "
Slum Houses
GNU Free Documentation LicenseSlum Houses - Credit: Roger McLassus, Wikimedia

Jhodpadpattis are slum huts. They are commonly made from corrugated metal or plastic, held together with whatever other materials can be found.

Page 168. " They collected their water, deposited the heavy pail in their shack "
Boys fetching water
Creative Commons AttributionBoys fetching water - Credit: Vanity Press, Flickr

Poor sanitation is a major threat for slum dwellers. In the 1970s most slums had open drainage systems, with sewage running in gutters. Slum residents are more likely to die from diarrhoea than any other disease, and the mortality rate for children under five is very high.

Page 170. " Rajaram was cooking on a Primus stove "

Primus Stove
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePrimus Stove - Credit: Mikael Korpela, Wikimedia
Primus stoves are a brand of portable cooking stove, which use kerosene or alcohol as a fuel. They were first developed in 1892 and were advertised as the first "sootless" and "wickless" stoves. The small, light nature of the stove make it perfect for transporting to remote places.

Page 174. " Kashmiris were asking for Independence "
GNU Free Documentation LicenseKashmir - Credit: Royal Geographical Society

Kashmir is a region of the former British India whose ownership has long been disputed by India and Pakistan.

Troubles began in 1947 when British colonial rule ceased, leaving an independent India. At this time India was partitioned to create muslim Pakistan and majority-hindu India. Both countries claimed Kashmir, leading to the First Kashmir War in 1947. Since then India and Pakistan have fought wars in 1965 and 1999 over the territory, and China battled to claim the eastern part of Kashmir in 1963.

The turmoil has resulted in thousands of deaths. Many Kashmiris would prefer to form a country of their own.

Page 175. " Meri dosti mera pyra "

"Meri dosti mera pyar" is a song from the 1964 movie Dosti.

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