The Brothers K

Duncan, David James

Bantam, 1992

pp. 426 - 427

Peter Chance, in India on a Fulbright, stayed in a guest house for three weeks at the University of New Delhi, a room that came with a servant. Peter is embarrassed by the man’s constant attentions for 36 cents a day, and tries to relieve him of all responsibilities. Peter requested that the servant be sent away “and that’s when he learned that the Lakshman was assigned year around to the occupant of Peter’s bungalow and no other, that only by serving that occupant could he earn tips, that these tips were the sole source of income for the six kids, wife and mother-in-law with whom he shared an unplumbed one-room concrete apartment, and that, thanks to Peter’s fine notions of equality, Lakshman’s family had been begging their meals or going hungry, ever since Peter had arrived.”