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No Aging in IndiaAlzheimer's, The Bad Family, and Other Modern Things$
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Lawrence Cohen

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780520083967

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520083967.001.0001

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Chapati Bodies

Chapati Bodies

In Which Weakness, Not Maladjustment, Anchors The Body in Time

Chapter:
(p.223) Seven Chapati Bodies
Source:
No Aging in India
Author(s):

Lawrence Cohen

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520083967.003.0008

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

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