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…’"
“I cultivate sugarcane on 20 acres. For the past few years, I have barely managed to procure 80 tonnes of produce per harvest. I lost Rs 28,000 per acre and incurred Rs 560,000 in losses. I had to borrow Rs 900,000 from banks and was forced to shell out Rs 200,000 as interest. I struggled […]Read more "‘There’s no dignity left in farming anymore’"
“Sometimes, there’s a pattern to what we do. Sometimes, there isn’t. But life remains the same on the shores,” said Kumar as he stood outside his home. Swept away by a gust of wind, the dunes fell apart in a distance. Wreaths of gritty cloud swayed over town as the tides shot a baleful glance […]Read more "Day 37: ‘My brother was sentenced to three years in prison’"
As we traipsed through the sandy coastland, we could hear them again; the surge and fall of eternal rhythms echoing from a distance. The incantations grew louder and within moments we chanced upon women gliding on the shores with pots of beans on their heads. They were then split into two queues while the caretakers […]Read more "Day 36 (Final Part): ‘The shores unite us all in body and spirit’"
They sallied forth towards the harbour carrying the lord amidst them. The earth scorched their feet as they dragged themselves to the temple where awaited the caretakers of the divine. Worming their way way through the crowd, a group of women soughed out a tuneless chant summoning the spirits to the coast. Their voices began […]Read more "Day 36 (Part 2): ‘Knowledge without any purpose is meaningless to our existence’"
“Some may place their faith in idols. Some believe they will be redeemed by the Goddess. Unless we invoke the deity that resides in our hearts, we may never truly understand the purpose of our faith. There’s a God within us all. And, we tend to forget that,” said Kumar as we walked to the […]Read more "Day 36 (Part 1): ‘There’s a God within us all. And, we tend to forget that…’"
She fretted over her frock. Combing the pink frills gathered at its seams, she twirled her tiny fingers drawing patterns on her legs. A string of pearls lay beside her swaying to the winds. Namboo scrunched her nose as Lakshmi powdered her cheeks. Tears streamed down her brother’s face and he rebelled in silence for […]Read more "Day 35 (Part 3): Their dreams might be small but have taken flight on numerous occasions"