For the whole of each day, between the early-morning head-count

and the evening meal, we moved about within a large

courtyard that was attached to our dormitory room.  Some men

played cards or other games.  Some talked with friends, or

tried to sleep on the stone paths.  Not a few

men, shuffling uncertainly on thin, tottering legs, talked a twitching

madness to themselves, and stumbled into the walls until we

turned them gently and set them on a new course.

The evening meal consisted of watery soup, made of the

peelings of vegetables, ladled out onto our flat aluminum plates.


Paraphrases from the novel Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.