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A Corpse, a Statue, and a Thousand Buddhas

A Corpse, a Statue, and a Thousand Buddhas R A M E S H V I K A L Early each winter morning, when the earth and sky blend together in a thick blanket of fog, the municipality sweeper Nhuchhemaya arrives to clean the streets. The eastern sky has just begun to glimmer, and the fog rests gently on the rooftops. For a brief while longer, darkness will obscure posters announcing elections and advertising current movies. Shop signs hawking Aristocrat Brandy, Fancy Tailor, and price-controlled rations also remain dim. Houses and shops, lampposts and taxicabs seem half-asleep. But Nhuchhemaya is awake. Each hair on her body, each cell of her skin, even the bangles on her wrists are vibrantly alive. She races through the morning fog toward the statue that has stood on its marble platform at this crossroad for decades. In fact, the platform is dedicated to its life-size statue. Nhuchhemaya's task is to sweep this platform and the nearby streets, and so she arrives each dawn, whether cloaked in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Moving through the fog, she looks at first like a dim, faraway shadow, then slowly takes on the complete form of a young woman. (Only a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

A Corpse, a Statue, and a Thousand Buddhas

Manoa , Volume 13 (2) – Oct 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-943x
Publisher site
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Abstract

R A M E S H V I K A L Early each winter morning, when the earth and sky blend together in a thick blanket of fog, the municipality sweeper Nhuchhemaya arrives to clean the streets. The eastern sky has just begun to glimmer, and the fog rests gently on the rooftops. For a brief while longer, darkness will obscure posters announcing elections and advertising current movies. Shop signs hawking Aristocrat Brandy, Fancy Tailor, and price-controlled rations also remain dim. Houses and shops, lampposts and taxicabs seem half-asleep. But Nhuchhemaya is awake. Each hair on her body, each cell of her skin, even the bangles on her wrists are vibrantly alive. She races through the morning fog toward the statue that has stood on its marble platform at this crossroad for decades. In fact, the platform is dedicated to its life-size statue. Nhuchhemaya's task is to sweep this platform and the nearby streets, and so she arrives each dawn, whether cloaked in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Moving through the fog, she looks at first like a dim, faraway shadow, then slowly takes on the complete form of a young woman. (Only a

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 1, 2001

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