The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. 1997 HarperPerennial, New York. Ch. 7 “Wisdom Exce

“She had woken up at night to escape from a familiar, recurrent dream in which policemen approached her with snicking scissors, wanting to hack off her hair. They did that in Kottayam to prostitutes whom they’d caught in the bazaar—branded them so everybody would know them for what they were. Veshyas. So that new policemen on the beat would have no trouble identifying whom to harass. Ammu always noticed them in the market, the women with vacant eyes and forcibly shaved heads in the land where long, oiled hair was only for the morally upright.”

Posted December 25, 2002

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