Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies Glossary


A wooden cabinet


carefully, diligently


refers to an ethnic community of people from the region of Bengal, which is now divided between Bangladesh and India.


A waterproof receptacle that holds water, like an artificial reservoir.

Coffer boxes

A watertight box holding valuables or money.


A narrow, often steep-sided, passage that can be ascended in single file.


A wide section of an architectural structure that contains carved figures or designs.


A poetic form developed in 10th Century Persia consisting of five to fifteen rhyming couplets and a refrain. The subject matter is usually loss or love in spite of pain.


referring to either an ethnicity or a language of people emanating from the state of Gujurat in Western India.


An Indian religion that stresses non-violence.


A wall-like barrier around the edge of a roof.


The base or platform on top of which a column, statue or other architectural or sculptural form rests.


The most forward part of the boat that cuts through the water as it sails.


In Indian classical music, a raga is a series of five or more notes that comprise a melody. There are different ragas for different times of day, seasons, and occasions.

Rice Ceremony

also known as Annaprashan. In Hindu culture, the rice ceremony occurs in the sixth or seventh month of a baby’s life. The child eats his or her first taste of solid food. It is a celebration for the extended family.

Rogan josh

an aromatic dish of lamb created in the Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent

Shalwar Kameez

A traditional two-piece garment worn by men and woman in Southeast Asian cultures. The pants are wide on top and narrow at the ankle and paired with a loose tunic.


A language spoken in Pakistan and North India


A deep shade of red.


An aristocrat who inherits a large tract of land and ruling over its peasants