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Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
by Suzanne Fisher Staples


  • krait: a snake even deadlier than a cobra
  • Eid: Muslim feast after Ramadan (ends any period of fasting)
  • Paan: Fresh betel leaf, spread thick sugary water with rose petals in it over it, lay a thin sheet of silver on the rose water. Sprinkle white powder and crushed flower petals and some colored crystals and mysterious-looking withered seeds over the leaf. Wrap the whole thing into a neat triangle, tuck in the edges.
  • Bhai brother
  • "I want to tear out his one eye and spit in its bloody socket."
  • Allah-o-Akhbar: God is Great!
  • Asaalam-o-Aleikum: a traditional greeting
  • betel: a nut with red juice and narcotic properties.
  • chadr: a cloth worn by women as a head cover
  • chapati: a flat, round bread made out of whole wheat and water and cooked in a flat pan over an open fire
  • ghazal: a poem sung to flute and drum music
  • hookah: a tall pipe with a small brass bowl in which tobacco and raw sugar are burned. The smoke is drawn through the pipe into a long, flexible mothpiece.
  • Hunteray: Giddyap to a camel
  • jelabi: a pretzel-shaped, deep-fried sweet
  • jelabi-wallah: jelabi maker
  • kharin: a green desert plant with edible sweet red flowers
  • maulvi: an Islamic priest
  • nawab: a Muslim king of one of nearly 700 princely states that once formed part of what is now India and Pakistan
  • pashmina: a fine wool used to make soft shawls
  • pagh: a thorny desert plant that camels like to eat
  • rupee: India/Pakistan currency.
  • sahib:respectful title
  • shatoosh: a shawl made of wool so fine it can pass through a lady's ring
  • shenai: an oboelike musical instrument
  • sito: a desert plant with a sweet, succulent root used as a source of water in a drought
  • syed: an Islamic religious leader who can trace his lineage back to the prophet Mohammed
  • toba: a freshwater pond that serves as a water supply for desert nomads