Keeping Corner

Twelve-year-old Leela had been spoiled all her life. She doesn’t care for school and barely marks the growing unrest between the British colonists and her own countrymen. Her future has been planned since her engagement at two and marriage at nine. Leela’s whole life changes, though, when her husband dies. She’s now expected to behave like a proper widow: shaving her head and trading her jewel-toned saris for rough, earth-colored ones. Leela is considered unlucky and will have to stay confined to her house for a year in the keeping corner. Her teacher offers Leela lessons at home, and she learns about a new leader of the people, a man named Gandhi, who starts a political movement and practices non-violent protest against the colonists as well as the caste system, leading Leela to wonder how she can liberate herself.