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The case of the flying baskets (or motifs) (or words) (or buildings)

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The shrine of Pedro Shah sits quietly between Victoria terminus station and the docks in Bombay. Pedro Shah, Portuguese by origin, was a load-carrying labourer or pettiwala at the Bombay docks in the late 18th century. The story goes, his Parsee employer kicks him for not lifting the pettis (loaded wicker baskets) during lunchtime. Pedro Shah gets up in a slow rage, and his baskets get up behind him, flying along as he traverses the lanes of the bazaars. Today he is revered as a saint of the labouring classes. Not to far away, across the Indian Ocean, in Kenya, M.G. Vassanji narrates a similar tale of Indian railroad workers and their shrines of the flying basket Sufis.

Did the stories fly or did the shrines fly or did the baskets fly?

This annotation, this qasba, gathers indexes, motifs, debris and designs and their repetition and circulation of Indian Ocean worlds.

It assembles stories, material cultures, iconography, built forms, visible and invisible archives, and their entangled presences.