When Lola hears that the judge’s guns have been stolen from Cho Oyu, she is terrified that the boys will also come to Mon Ami. Sai remarks that they have a watchman, but Lola tells her that he is Nepali, and can’t be trusted. Noni tells her sister to calm down and reassures her that their watchman has always been a comfort to them. He has been less of a watchman and more of a handyman, making sure that they can watch the BBC by twisting their satellite.
Though Lola’s bias against Nepalis is not entirely racial like the British bias against Indians under colonialism, her bias comes from a place of classism. Throughout the novel, the wealthy characters attempt to maintain their privilege, often at the expense of the poorer characters—an argument that comes up in Sai and Gyan’s conflict.
There is an ongoing food shortage, and Lola says that they must go to the market for food and to change their library books, because she has almost finished Bend in the River. Lola comments that the book’s author is stuck in the past, and he has “colonial neuroses.” She remarks that colonialism is such a different thing now, and laughs at the fact that chicken tikka masala has replaced fish and chips as the number one take-out dinner in Britain.
Again, the fact that Lola is worried more about her library books than the food shortage demonstrates her privilege, because she doesn’t have to worry about food. Lola’s discussion regarding Bend in the River also makes an argument for the idea that globalization is the heir of colonialism.
Lola every so often visits her daughter Pixie, who is a BBC reporter in England. Whenever she returns, Lola brags about the plays, the strawberries and cream, and the loveliest gardens. She and Noni listen to Pixie nightly on the BBC, but other Indians hear her name announced with a British accent and laugh. But Lola is only proud.
Pixie’s story makes clear how detached Lola and Noni are from other Indians, who hear Pixie’s name in a British accent and mock her privilege. Yet Lola sees it as a means for her to enjoy luxury, highlighting the difference for what globalization means for those who have wealth and the ability to travel freely, and those who do not.