The anguish of the past three weeks has taken a heavy toll on the Delhi gang-rape victim's mother. Her face looks drawn and exhausted, and as she sits with a cheap printed shawl wrapped around her bird-like frame, relations watch over her in case she suffers yet another fainting fit. She can barely bring herself to eat. When someone offers her milk to drink, it goes untouched.
Ask her what she thinks should happen to the men arrested for gang-raping and murdering her daughter, though, and a sudden steel comes into the 46 year-old's quiet, hesitant voice.
"My soul will never know any rest if the men who tormented my daughter are not hanged," she says. "If they are not, the idea of them being in jail, eating and watching television, talking and laughing when my daughter has gone from this world will eat away at me. Living out the rest of my life will be very hard if those men are not hanged."
That Mrs Singh has no interest in leniency is hardly surprising. The killing of her daughter has caused outrage across India - firstly because it epitomised a culture of sexual violence that has long gone unchallenged, and secondly because of its sheer, frenzied brutality. Using a tyre iron as a weapon, the gang beat the 23-year-old student so badly that she died 13 days later in hospital in Singapore, having suffered massive internal injuries, brain damage and a heart attack. Yet her mother's rejection of clemency is also a way of fulfilling Jyoti's dying wish, whispered during one of her brief bouts of consciousness as she lay in her hospital bed.
"When one of few things she said to me was, 'Mama, I want them to be burnt alive,'?" said her mother, sitting hunched in a charpoy, a traditional string cot that her relations set up in the yard. "What they did to her was so inhuman, I can't understand it."
The victim's mother, who has made no public comment until now, was speaking to The Sunday Telegraph at her family's home in Medawara Kalan, a farming hamlet of mud huts and squat brick homes that lies amid yellow-green mustard fields in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Life here has changed little from how it was centuries ago: buffaloes wander the streets, heating is from cow dung cakes rather than gas or electricity, and women grind spices outside their homes for meals still cooked on wood-fired clay stoves. It was in the hope of providing their children with better prospects that the parents moved to Delhi before she was born.
Following their daughter's cremation in Delhi a fortnight ago, the family returned to the village for the first time in five years, prompted by the desire to be among their extended family and friends. The constant presence of people to talk to, and just be with, is a solace, according to her father, Bhadri, 53. "I couldn't bear the idea of walking into our house without her," he said. "That's going to be the hardest thing for all of us."
On Friday, the village was abuzz as it greeted another rare visitor: Uttar Pradesh's chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, who, in the style of most Indian politicians, arrived in a manner more befitting a head of state. Beforehand, the craters on the winding road leading to Medawara Kalan were filled with sand and broken stones, while workers erected a small white marquee outside the Singh family's modest home, connected by stretches of green carpet to a hastily-erected helipad.
As 500 policemen stood guard, the minister finally touched down, chatting briefly to the family and handing over a cheque for pounds 26,000 as compensation for her death. He also announced plans to build a hospital in the village, which is 120 miles away from proper medical facilities.
Yet in its pomp and ad hoc largesse, the minister's visit underlined the divide between India's haves and have-nots, the divide that the victim's parents devoted their lives to bridging for her. Like millions of modern Indians, they were determined that their children, boys and girls alike, would have a chance of a decent education and a professional career.
Lack of funds, though, was not the obstacle to their ambitions. "My father's family couldn't believe it," said the elder of the victim's two younger brothers, as he stroked his mother's hair.
"Fight broke out when my parents sold some land to finance her education. Then, when they sold the jewellery they had inherited, my relations were just stunned. They thought my parents were mad and told them to stop. But they went ahead, they were determined to give her a good future."
In the victim's case, it turned out to be money well spent. She was, by all accounts, exactly the kind of hard-working, dutiful daughter that every Indian family dreams about, the sort who would fulfil the expectations of even the most socially aspirant parents.
A star pupil at school, she contributed towards her fees by tutoring other children, raising her nose from books just long enough to scold her younger siblings for not following her example. The 20-year-old brother recalled: "She used to say to me, 'You have to make something of yourself. Do you think papa left his village and his whole family just so that you could be a failure?'"
At first, she wanted to be a doctor, but her father, who held down jobs variously as a mechanic, security guard and airport loader, could not raise the necessary bank loans. The Sai Institute of Paramedical and Allied Sciences, in the city of Dehradun in the Himalayan foothills, offered an alternative: a four-and-a-half-year physiotherapy course that was far cheaper. Once qualified, she would earn a monthly salary of Rs30,000, more than four times her father's income. Having enrolled in 2008, she also worked night shifts in a call centre, advising Canadians on their mortgages and honing her English. She became an avid reader of Sidney Sheldon novels and of One Night @ the Call Centre, a best-selling Indian novel about six call-centre workers. As her confidence grew, the once-shy girl swapped her traditional dresses for jeans, tops, and high-heels. By virtue of her education, she also become the second "head of the family" alongside her father.
"Whenever there was a problem at home, we always waited to speak to her," said her brother. "Papa too would consult her, even more than consulting mama, because he knew she would be sensible and know what to do."
"She was our life," added her mother. "She always used to tell me that the struggle to educate her would soon be over and then, when she started working, our lives would improve."
Had she ever feared for her daughter's safety in Delhi?
"I would sometimes say that I was scared, that she should be very careful whenever she went out. But she always told me to relax, 'Don't worry, I'll be fine, nothing will happen'." That turned to be the one thing that the girl, always the family member who got things right, got wrong. On the night of December 16, after seeing the film Life of Pi, she and a male friend took a ride home in what seemed like an ordinary private mini-bus. The driver and other passengers were a gang on the prowl for victims. As the bus drove around the streets, its windows blacked out, Jyoti's male companion was beaten unconscious while she was raped. The attackers eventually discarded the two of them on the roadside.
When her parents, alarmed by her failure to return home on time, received a phone call from a hospital to say she had been admitted, they assumed it was a minor car accident. Ten days later, they were being flown with her to an intensive care ward in Singapore, where the Indian government, stung by outrage over the attack, hoped that specialists might be able to save her life.
By then, the victim was so weak that much of her last communication with her parents was by signing. In some ways, the limits on communication may have been a blessing.
"She did not know that her intestines had been ripped out," said her mother. "When she asked me why the doctors had done such a big operation on her abdomen, I just told her that I didn't know. I kept telling her she would recover and come home.
"Then, one day, I saw the machine for her blood pressure make a strange noise, and the line [on the monitor] changed. I looked at the doctor and he said that she had gone, that there was nothing more he could do for her."
Last week five men appeared in court charged with her kidnap, gang-rape and murder, while a sixth defendant, believed to be 17, faces charges in a juvenile court. Lawyers for some of the suspects, who could face the death penalty, have said they were tortured into making false confessions, a claim that brings a snort of dismissal from Mrs Singh.
Some reports have focused on the fact that several of the accused came from the same notorious district of Delhi, a slum called Ravidas Camp that sits in an otherwise upmarket area near the city's main airport. A maze of alleyways and squalid brick housing, its reputation gives easy credence to the narrative that Jyoti's ordeal was the tale of two contrasting Delhis: one chasing the dream of middle-class prosperity, the other embracing a ghetto culture of violence and sexual aggression. Not in the mind, though, of Mrs Singh, who knows how it is to be raised poor.
"People ask me if I ever educated my sons on how to treat women with respect, but I always reply that I never needed to," she said. "My sons have never misbehaved with women or even thought of it."
She added that she was not interested in compensation, or in the various promises of help that have been made by ministers and organisations, including job offers for her 20-year-old son, who must face up to a future as the main family breadwinner. "I want only one thing. I want to see those animals hanged," she insisted.
This weekend the formal Hindu mourning period for the girl came to a close. For the past 14 days, prayers and rituals have been performed, designed to let the soul pass peacefully to the next level of existence.
At a final ceremony on Sunday, worshippers are due to offer clothes, accessories and other items deemed to help the deceased in their journey - although the girl's education had made her a staunch atheist, according to her brother. "I've got jeans, a shirt, shoes, shampoo, eyeliner and moisturiser," he said, smiling. "I know it won't reach her, but I'm doing it as a gesture for my sister."
There is one important item that will not be offered up. Friday was the day that the girl was due to receive the results of her final exams.
But asked if she would try to find out what the results were, her mother shook her head. "What's the point?" she said. "Nothing matters any more."