This particular quote is in reference to the opening of the section in which Changez is talking to the American about the scar on his arm. Changez goes through the process of power cuts that happen in Pakistan. In this discussion of "load shedding," Changez talks about how candles need to be lit in order to provide light during these power outages. The quote talks about how there is a cultural difference in both settings regarding pain acquired. Being from a region of the world that views such issues differently like Pakistan, he understands the event to be a scar, something that will stay with him and reflect a sense of his own identity. Changez's point in the quote is that American culture is more concerned with being able to turn some type of civil profit over such events, where there is no internalization of the element, but rather an externalization of the subjective in order to derive profit. Changez's point is to bring out how there is a difference in cultural perception on the event of the injury that he suffered.