Chapter

Chapati Bodies

Lawrence Cohen

in No Aging in India

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780520083967
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925328 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520083967.003.0008
Chapati Bodies

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This chapter examines the views of Nagwa residents, weakness as a structure, Muslims and other saints, the sound of dying, and the position of repose. Weakness is central to local experience and ideology in Nagwa. The figure of the decrepit old man played by Ramji is as central to Nagwa ideology as it is to Brahmanical and Buddhist thought. In Ramji's depiction, the old man's weakness symbolizes both the perversion and ultimate failure of elite desire, its object here the young woman. In the histories of the families discussed here, two transitions marked shifts in the perception of the old person's voice and weakness: the loss of authority and the loss of usefulness.

Keywords: Nagwa; weakness; Muslims; dying; old man; loss of authority; loss of usefulness

Chapter.  19422 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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