Page 552. " There was a small puja "
Puja Ceremony
Public DomainPuja Ceremony

Puja is the most common form of worship in the Hindu religion. It involves offering flowers, water and prayers to a god.

Hindus believe that the repeated chanting of the god's name will bring the statue of the god to life during the ceremony. The specific routine of the puja ceremony may vary, but it generally begins with a request to the god to possess a certain spot on the ground through chanting mantras or simple prayers. Water is then offered as it would be to a house guest who has travelled a long way.

The god is bathed by being sprinkled with water, and a thread of cotton is offered, to symbolise fresh clothes. The god is then offered flowers, fruit or incense. Sacred verses are recited and hymns of praise and thanks are sung. The ceremony ends with the offering of a sacred flame to indicate eternal life.

Page 553. " We lived in the same jhopadpatti, till government flattened it "
Slum Demolition
Creative Commons AttributionSlum Demolition - Credit: Piers Brown, Flickr
This photo was taken in Bangladesh, but it shows the sad remains of a slum that has been demolished. It gives an indication of what the tailors might have witnessed.

It is estimated that the Slum Clearance Programme in Bombay left 250,000 people homeless.

 

Page 571. " The older one is taking sitar lessons "

The sitar is a string instrument with a long, hollow neck and a resonating chamber made from a gourd. It normally has 17 strings, although this can vary slightly. Three or four strings are plucked; the rest are normally not touched, but resonate when the others are plucked. The sitar is mainly used in north Indian classical music (Hindustani) and rarely played in Southern India.

Listen on Spotify:       Sitar Dreams     Sitar Dhun