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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

‘The sis­ters never let Maya out of their sight. The fur­thest she could go alone was to the banyan tree op­po­site their house on West Main Road. It was huge and shady with few branches and tan­gled roots hang­ing down like a cur­tain. Half­way up the main trunk was an old man’s face in the burl and Maya felt safe there when she played. Their house was one of those owned by the Big Tem­ple for the de­vada­sis, the women mar­ried to the tem­ple gods, whose duty it was to serve, care and dance for them.’

CLAIRE SCOBIE

THE PAGODA TREE (2013)

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