Chapter 12: Nine Nights of Dance

Summary (1-5 sentences) In this chapter, Annawadians are preparing for Navratri which is a yearly festival of dancing. The girls involved consider themselves equal to the boys. When they are preparing for the festival, Meena and Manju spend lots of time together discussing marriage, family life, and the death of Fatima. Their conversation shows that women and men are in fact equal, which is trying to be proven with this dance festival.

OMG moment I found it notable that the young woman is married off at such a young age and that the young women have not said so in who they marry.

One page 306 the author states how marrying into a village is like a backward to Menna and Manju. It seems that these young women have no decision making when It comes to their lives. They are raised to be given away at the age of 15 to be someone’s wife, so to me it doesn’t seem like they get to really enjoy their youth.

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In the end, I guess it is all too much for Meena to bear so she commits suicide.

Real-world connection. Include source. This situation, with gender inequality, is very common in the United States and all over the world. Women, specifically in other countries, experience the same situation where they have to marry people they do not want to. In fact, do not even choose. (

Chapter 13: Something Shining

Summary (1-5 sentences) In chapter 13, the effects of the American recession begin to reach India where the impacts are detrimental to the garbage collectors, causing Sunil to become a garbage thief.

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Terrorists start attacking area hotels which only adds to the despair and gloom of Annawadi.

OMG moment It made me feel very sad to hear about terrorism in Annawadi. The author uses very good writing to really make the moment pop and be dramatic, which literally made me say “OMG!”

Real-world connection. Include source. It is a basic idea, but terrorism exists in the world we live in today. For example, the Las Vegas attacks took place in a hotel just like in Annawadi. It makes people feel nervous and scared which I get the same sense from those in Annawadi.


Chapter 14: The Trial

Summary (1-5 sentences) In Chapter fourteen, the author mainly focuses on describing the trial of Karam and Kahkashan, which takes place in the city’s Fast-Track Sessions Court. Several witnesses travel from Annawadi to testify in the trail where corruption blackmail take place leading up to the final moments before the trial begins.

OMG moment I found Dinesh’s testimony to be very notable along with Cynthia’s. On one hand, it shows that the prosecution isn’t above bringing in false witnesses and on the other it shows that the prosecution is not above manipulating witnesses in order to suit their needs. The prosecution here only really cares about the guilty verdict as exemplified by this quote ‘Cynthia’s brows knitted together. She felt the prosecutor was rushing her. Didn’t the judge want to hear the details of the fight she was pretending to have seen?’ (pg. 350)

Real-world connection. Include source. This is another basic idea, but in our world, trials are a thing and are used in the same idea. When a crime is committed, we go to the court and put the crime in the hands of . In Behind the Beautiful Forevers, they use it just the same way. (

Chapter 15: Ice

Summary (1-5 sentences) In Chapter 15, the Husain family struggles to maintain a dying business while the trail of Karam and Kahkashan continues on. Abdul’s younger brother Mirichi, often noted as the lazy one, is forced to find work.

OMG moment There was a scene that interested me the most, was on pages 358-359. It speaks about how the attacks on the Taj and Oberoi left the wealthy and upper class people feeling like the poor people. Their security and safety were at the same level as the poor, and they were forced to come out of their own world and see what it was like for everyone else. Also, they were all registering to vote.

Real-world connection. Include source. Many first world countries in Europe and like the U.S. can make safe assumptions in their everyday lives; an example given was how we expect our lights to turn on and our water to work every day. They, however, can not be certain about those daily aspects that seem so minuscule to us. They have to have the ability to be creative and quick on their feet for these uncertainties life throws their way. I think the truth in this speculation is what intrigued me about it.

Chapter 16: Black and White

Summary (1-5 sentences) In chapter 16 of the story, the author highlights many of Asha’s business ventures and other responsibilities in Annawadi. With the parliamentary elections impending, many Annawadians are hopeful about the election as it was their chance to be a legitimate part of the state.

OMG moment I am very drawn to Asha’s characteristic in this chapter specifically. She has one strong personality and she is very driven but she is not honest in what she does. This rationalization about corruption just furthers the dishonesty. She’s acknowledged that what she is doing is corrupt but won’t take the blame for it since the people ‘above’her are who created the corruption. In the grand scheme of things, she would be the one actually put at fault because she is the direct source but I’m sure she’d try to deny that to no end.

Real-world connection. Include source. This chapter highlights on Asha’s business ventures which really connects with the gender inequality component. This part shows how women can also do what they dream of and achieve anything they put their mind to. A lot of things like the Me Too movement try and encourage gender equality and empowerment of women standing up to things that are not always accepted, or overlooked. (

Chapter 17: A School, a Hospital, a Cricket Field

Summary (1-5 sentences) In this last chapter of behind the Beautiful Forevers, the author writes a lot about Annawadians and how they receive notice that all the slums near the airport are going to be demolished. The Husain family finds some relief after Karam and Kahkashan are found not guilty in the Fatima trial although Abdul’s case continues to be held up in juvenile court.

OMG moment One of the most fascinating parts of Ch. 17 was on pg. 386, when the public was extremely concerned about the neglect and treatment of the horses, but did not care at all about the condition of the poor in Annawadi. It was very saddening that most of the people in Annawadi were not surprised and understood that they were just seen as an embarrassment. It made my heart ache for them. I thought it was ridiculous that people would more quickly help animals than their fellow human beings who were probably in much worse conditions than the animals. However, it opened my eyes even more to how much the poor are ignored.

Real-world connection. Include source. Many people in today’s world have more appreciation for animals than they do for other humans. When in a time of crisis, those people will think of the animals, not other humans. I do not believe this is a bad thing, i just do not believe it is the best thing. I think animals are important. This idea sparked in my mind after reading this chapter and I know that this is a topic of controversy in the United States today amongst many people. (

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Life, Family and Animals in Last Chapters. (2022, Jan 24). Retrieved from

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