In late spring, the leaves changed colour. In some farmlands, we’d spot hues of yellow, red and ochre amidst trees in those places where the winds changed direction and brought rain. Flowers blossomed that month. Some withered and faded into creases of the soil. Sunk in the grass were fresh sprigs that sprung towards the […]Read more "Manish Kunjam: ‘Adivasis deserve peace! We must end this war. There should be a dialogue between us and them…’"
Clamped to the centre of the hall were faded photographs on a calendar. Pages fluttered in the breeze. Their corners had worn out. Shyam Rao adjusted his gold-rimmed spectacles and read the newspaper. He looked at us with weary eyes. Like most mornings, his blue slippers hung loosely from his feet. Some days, we spoke […]Read more "‘When you tell our story, tell them what you saw. Tell them we are good people. Tell them the truth…’"
“Our fields have no fencing around them. In two years, we might not have a home. We will lose our farms, and everything we have ever owned. They want us to move away. But we belong here. In the forest. The soil is fertile. And, we can grow our own food. They don’t understand these […]Read more "‘The government built them structures not homes…’"
We don’t remember much of her. She wore keys around her neck. She had coins on her fingers. Between homes that leaned against each other, an old woman dragged her black skirt from the ground. Her chin had tattoos. So did her arms and legs. But there were no patterns. For, they had faded.. Like […]Read more "‘We couldn’t touch their borewell. Because we are Lambani’"
Hum toilet khaane wale log kya karenge… His left hand looked tensed. Gripping his knee, he positioned his legs behind the chair. He crossed them over and over again until his feet got tired. A ripped plaster hung loosely from his knuckles. “I was diagnosed with malaria two weeks ago. I have to get my […]Read more "‘Dokra Dokri don’t understand our problems. They are content with being oppressed’"
There were two of them. It was an ordinary day. Perhaps, the streets were crowded, and fruit carts remained immobile. The vendors set up their stalls right before the alley where old vehicles stood: their paint worn out, and doors dented. Perhaps, it wasn’t any different than the day we arrived. Were there pallid faces […]Read more "‘It was never chronicled. Those who died took our history with them.’"
Red and white. They hung around her neck. A basket with betel leaves, ash and vermillion lay beside her. It was wrapped in white cloth. “She could be a Devadasi,” whispered Renuka as she walked towards the school. A thin veil of white hung in the sky. Dust swirled in the winds, that afternoon. Specks […]Read more "They wandered through the forests for centuries. They were nomads…"
That summer was different. Green bangles dangled on her wrist. She never wore bangles. They didn’t buy her any. One late morning, they gave them to her wrapped in an old newspaper. The women smeared ash on her feet. They combed her hair. Petals were strewn all over her back, and floor. It was jasmine, […]Read more "This is why the younger Dalits disagree with their elders about the current reality of casteism…"
She didn’t know. We had never met her before. Her mother carried bricks on her head. Sometimes, she worked in the fields. “Amma was a coolie,” she said shrugging her shoulder; her demeanour speckled with nonchalance. Her eyes scanned the dirt on her toes. She sighed as she rubbed her cracked soles against her slippers. […]Read more "Her parents died when she was young. So, she was dedicated to the Goddess. Years later, her sister died too…"
He ran, fixing his shawl, towards the stall where gathered men in hordes amidst structures that barely stood up. Grey sludge seeped through the settlement; froth gathering at its corners. Here, some spaces were overcrowded. Some were sordid. And, they were stuck in between. Nobody remembers what they wore that morning. They don’t remember if […]Read more "‘He collapsed. So, I carried appa in a garbage trolley to the bus stop…’"