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Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo

"In the West, and among some in the Indian elite, this word, corruption, had purely negative connotations; it was seen as blocking India's modern, global ambitions. But for the poor of a country where corruption thieved a great deal of opportunity, corruption was one of the genuine opportunities that remained."


"An overweight officer, having delivered a batch of children to the home, started telling one of the guards about his heart problem. "You think you want to be a cop, but you don't, because it kills you," said the officer, mopping his brow. Then he told of another officer with a lung problem, and one who had cancer, and of others who were stress-sick, and of how none of them earned enough to afford decent doctors. Abdul hadn't previously thought of policemen as people with hearts and lungs who worried about money or their health. The world seemed replete with people as bad as himself, and this made him feel less alone."

p. 130

"He liked seeing red-tailed Air India places taking off. He liked the bulbous municipal water tower. He liked the building site of massive new terminal. He didn't care for the smokestack of Parsiwada crematorium, where Kalu's body had burned. Better to spot the glowing Hyatt sign and try to pinpoint which of the dark patches beneath it was Annawadi. Best, though, was watching the rich people moving in and out of the terminal."

p. 197

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