Post 87, DMC Hospital Ludhiana

6:30 p.m.: Rachit has come to the DMC Hospital pharmaceutical counter to purchase some medicines for Birjinder’ aunt. He seems very enthusiastic and is keen to complete the purchase and return to Birjinder’s house as quickly as he can.

“It’s the final episode of the Colours Shining Star competition tonight,” he exclaims referring to the finale of a singing competition hosted by the TV channel Colours.

I stare at him blankly. “Have you been living under a rock?” Rachit asks me. “Maithili Kumari from Bihar is one of the finalists, aren’t you excited?” I can’t pretend I am.

Rachit persists. “Please will you download the Colours App and vote for her?” he asks me. Contestants for the program are judged not only by a panel of experts but also by audiences who vote for their favourites.

I ask if Maithili Kumari is singing in Bhojpuri, Maithili or any other Bihari language. “No, she sings Hindi classical stuff” he replies.

Extracting a pledge from me that I will download the Colours app on my phone and vote for Maithili Kumari, Rachit kickstarts his scooter.