I Did Suffer a 103 Fever!

Catherine Boo's new book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity -- a non-fiction account of life among the poor in India --  is having the same effect as this book on me, and it's making me feel guilty about complaining so much about having the flu . . . in the first few pages, Abdul -- a garbage sorter in the Annawadi slums, witnesses a boy's hand get "cut clean off when he was putting plastic in one of the shredders," but instead of complaining A LOT, which is one of the few benefits of getting your hand cut clean off -- you have the right to really gripe and bitch and moan about it for a while, because it trumps most other complaints -- but instead of claiming this inalienable right, the poor boy's "eyes had filled with tears but he hadn't screamed . . . instead he stood there with his blood-spurting stump, his ability to earn a living ended, and started apologizing to the owner of the plant . . . "Sa'ab, I'm sorry . . . I won't cause you any problems by reporting this . . . you will have no trouble from me."

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