52 pages 1 hour read

Supriya Kelkar


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2017

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Chapters 1-7

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

Anjali and her friend Irfaan are vandalizing the property of a British officer who was formerly her mother’s boss. Anjali isn’t sure why her mother lost her job, but her parents fought about it. Her great-uncle Chachaji didn’t approve of her mother’s job because he didn’t think women should work outside of their homes. However, Anjali’s mother has a college degree and is fluent in five Indian languages. Not knowing exactly what happened, Anjali decided to get revenge.

They planned to paint “Q,” which stood for “Quit India” (4). The pair sees a girl on the street nearby, but she’s a member of the lowest caste (an “Untouchable”), so Anjali knows that she won’t tell on a member of a higher class. Anjali is of the Brahmin caste. When they finish, Anjali makes a noise, and the British captain hears them. They flee.

However, Captain Brent catches them, and Anjali notices that she got paint on her ghagra-choli, which she got for Diwali the previous year. The officer takes them back to his house, where Anjali’s mother, Shailaja, is waiting. She was at a meeting. Anjali denies doing anything.

A woman suddenly comes in and begs Captain Brent to pardon her son, who burned down a municipal office.