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The introduction lays out the key arguments of the book. It proposes and explicates the book’s overarching concepts of “metabolic living” and “absorption” in order to foreground the work that people do to endure living with life-depleting and life-giving substances on a daily basis. A detailed methodology section explains how fieldwork for the study was conducted, and the introduction ends with a discussion on the politics, both ethnographic and epistemological, of studying metabolisms in India and elsewhere.

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