When Sai first arrives at Cho Oyu, the cook had made a huge dinner for her, modeling the mashed potatoes into the shape of a motorcar, with vegetables serving as the various parts of the car. The judge sits with her at the dinner table but seems not to have noticed her arrival.
The cook wants to make Sai feel at home, and it is interesting to note that the way he tries to accomplish this is by modeling a symbol of modernity (the motor car) and using foods that are distinctly British, like mashed potatoes.
The judge finally asks Sai her name. She tells him, and compliments Mutt, which pleases the judge. The judge tells Sai that he is going to hire a tutor for her, because a convent is too expensive, and a government school would give her the wrong accent.
Once again, the judge demonstrates his own bias against Indians as a result of colonization in his judgement that the government school would give her the wrong accent (presumably an Indian one).
Later that night, Sai lies in bed under a tablecloth because the sheets had worn out. She would later learn that untreated wood could be chewed up in a season and becomes very aware of the termites eating through the house.
Cho Oyu’s slow rotting carries symbolic meaning, as it mirrors how British power in India is slowly dissipating, but also how its effects have eaten away at the judge’s sense of self.