"...enough bombs were being dropped to cover all of it in six inches of steel."

This quote speaks to the turmoil that frequently broke out in the Eastern regions of the country, most probably between Pakistan and India. Despite the lack of immediate turmoil to the twins, Ammu and Chacko as they drive towards Cochin; Roy's inclusion of this information is somewhat predictive in nature. It alludes to the imminent tragedy that will end Sophie Mol's visit to India, and change the lives of the characters involved forever. Whether the bomb be in its metallic explosive form, or merely an event in one's life, the result is always the same in that it leaves what was before it shattered and barely resembling that which it was before.