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Sentence from "God of small things" after character ( baby kochamma) became obese.

"Even timid little chellappen tailor insisted on charging bush-shirts rates for her sari blouses."

Does it mean he charged less for I think Bush shirts are not attractive or proper (googled).or its the other way around?

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  • Well, I think this might require a little too much subject-specific knowledge for me. The question I would ask is, what would you expect, at whatever time the book is set, to cost more - a bush shirt or a sari blouse? Which has more work go into it, which uses more fabric?
    – SamBC
    Mar 8 '19 at 11:57
  • He's making larger sari blouses, surely must be charging more.
    – djna
    Mar 8 '19 at 13:38
  • A Blouse uses less material than a shirt but its material is more expensive than shirt's, I think Mar 8 '19 at 13:50
  • Oh, I think I got it now. Mar 8 '19 at 13:51
  • Blouse had equivalent amount of material used as that needed for a shirt. Mar 8 '19 at 13:52
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This comic and accompanying text appear to give some context to work out what is being said, short of actually finding a copy of the book.

Two years later, Baby Kochamma returned from Rochester [...] There was no trace of the slim, attractive girl that she had been [...] Baby Kochamma had grown extremely large. In fact, let it be said, obese. Even timid little Chellappen Tailor [...] insisted on charging bush-shirt rates for her sari blouses.

A bush-shirt is a loose fitting shirt worn in the 'bush', or the top half of a 'safari suit'. It was an item for men (so larger) and used a lot of material compared with a blouse on pockets, epaulettes, and extra length that allowed it to be tied with a belt.

I wasn't sure if he meant the tailor charged less or more either, but on reflection, I am sure he means the tailor charged more than the standard price for a blouse because of the amount of material he had to use.

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