The incidents of horror grow. No one leaves the hillsides, and no one leaves their homes if they can help it. Nepalis who are reluctant to join the cause are beaten and made to swear loyalty. Those who aren’t Nepali are treated worse. Bengalis, like Lola and Noni, are completely unacknowledged by friends they have known for years.
Here, readers can see that in situations like this, the harmful effects of globalization and colonization can also be turned on the wealthy, as Lola and Noni become completely isolated from a home that they have lived in for years.
Below Mon Ami, the illegal hut has become a row of huts. They tap phones, water pipes, and electric lines. Lola and Noni’s vegetable patches are stripped overnight, and the area near their gate is used as a bathroom. Little children line up in rows to spit at them as they walk by.
As things deteriorate in Kalimpong, the situation proves that with enough political discontent, the distinction between the poor and the privileged can be shaken very quickly.
GNLF boys are burning government buildings, and detonators set off landslides as negotiations go nowhere. People tremble at the thought of being tortured on any kind of flimsy excuse. Vehicles are being stolen left and right, an issue that becomes moot as the fuel runs out.
The violence seems to spur the GNLF farther from their goal, as the region that they wish to make their political home devolves with a lack of resources and man-made disasters.
The cook tries to calm himself, but he can’t manage to go to the market, and so Sai usually does. She searches for shops with a backdoor half open, or someone on the road selling a handful of peanuts or a few eggs. The garden feeds them almost entirely.
Like Noni and Lola, Sai, the judge, and the cook begin to see how their social distinction grows razor-thin from those without wealth as Sai must search for any small amount of food.
One day, the wife of the tortured drunk man returns with her father-in-law. The cook is horrified to see them. They beg for food, but the judge tells them to go away. They wait up the hill and watch the house, spotting Mutt. The woman turns to the man and says that one could get a lot of money selling that dog.
Of course, those who are hit the hardest by political and particularly economic unrest are those who are already poor, because as the judge shows here, those with wealth become even less willing to share when they feel their own economic security falter.
A few days later, the pair returns, but instead of going to the gate, they hide and wait for Mutt to appear. She is absorbed in a smell when they pounce on her. The judge is sitting in a bath, the cook is churning butter, and Sai is sitting in her room thinking of Gyan. They do not see or hear a thing. The trespassers bind Mutt with rope and put her in a sack. They carry her through town and walk around the mountainside. They know that they won’t be caught—no one at the house has bothered to find out their names.
Even the wealthy cannot completely escape misfortune, as the judge’s unwillingness to help the woman and her father-in-law causes him to lose something far more valuable to him. Just like his gain of wealth and power in the ICS had cost him his connection to his wife and family, his refusal to provide charity costs him perhaps what is most important to him.