He looked at us standing beside them. His eyes lingered on our bare feet. Children scurried along pathways that led to the back alley lest their mothers caught them playing with their friends. It was time for supper. The elders blinked rapidly and held sombre faces. They knew him. “Someone informed me that you have […]Read more "‘I’ll tell you everything about NREGA. Everyone knew what was happening in Masrudi…’"
Remember this story of love and loss… She lived in Chennanur thanda. Some nights, they spent together. Some days, they lived apart. Even in those moments, they remained with each other. Outside the window that led to the hall where lights flickered ever so slightly at night, we caught him stumbling his way across the […]Read more "‘It is our death that catches your attention. Our lives are worthless…”"
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’"