It was the summer of 91. And, he remembered it well. But it was always summer in these parts, said the old man grunting beside him. His knees wobbled every time he moved in his chair. Across the building, crows sat atop the roof. It hadn’t rained here. Not for a while. Their lands were […]Read more "“After many years, a girl was born in the family…”"
I never set foot in there. From the day I was born, I was told not to. So, I never thought about it… “Why is their God better than ours?” asked Renuka as the men bickered amongst themselves on tradition, revolution and broken faith. Yemunappa shot her a glance. His gaze seemed unkind, at first. […]Read more "‘I never set foot in the temple. From the day I was born, I was told not to. Because I am Dalit…’"
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…’"
It was him. We knew him by his stride. Lingappa strayed away from his path. His hands held nothing this time. Into empty streets, that summer evening, he disappeared once more. So did all of them, one by one. We saw their faces in the rear view mirror, one last time. Houses turned into tiny […]Read more "‘This water is toxic. It can’t be used in our farms’"
At this time, the roads were deserted. Once more, a silence befell us. With every passing moment, the day grew hotter. In parting shadows, amidst arecanut palms, loitered a troop of women. They disappeared before us. We imagined their downtrodden eyes looking for shelter beneath trees. There they stood, for minutes perhaps, hoping to catch […]Read more "‘Poverty is worst enemy of human rights…’"
Singed logs sputtered with flame in a distance. Billows of smoke rose and fell unbroken. As dusk crept over the sky, evening stars glimmered on the edges of the horizon. “Hurry up,” shrieked a young girl. Amidst the tall shrubbery, a few paces away, a toddler wiggled his hips as he ran hither and thither […]Read more "‘Everything is owned now — air, water, forest, land and even seeds’"