52 pages 1 hour read

Supriya Kelkar


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2017

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Chapters 8-15

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 8 Summary

After a month, Ma is proficient at spinning. She has made khadi for their family, and Anjali has come to appreciate the clothes, which are comfier than her other ghagra-cholis. She plays with the cow when Irfaan stops by before prayer, since he’s Muslim.

In the kitchen, Anjali’s mother is doing her morning prayers. Anjali joins her before an idol of the goddess Annapurna, Krishna, and Kaamdhenu, as well as a painting of Ganesh, Parvati, and Shiva.

They hear Chachaji yelling at Mohan, an “Untouchable” who cleans their outhouse. Ma stops Chachaji from yelling and offers the boy a date. Chachaji is shocked, and so is Anjali since “Untouchables” aren’t allowed to even share spaces like temples with members of other castes. Mohan takes the container and then leaves. Chachaji is furious when Ma picks up the broom, reminding her that touching something Mohan touched will make her unclean. Ma explains that Gandhi is trying to get rid of the notion of “Untouchables” and that the caste system was created to make sure society functioned, but it created a group of people who got the worst jobs. Gandhi calls them “Harijans.” Many superstitions exist, and getting sick from “Untouchables” is one of them.