We could hear laughter coming from a distance. A group of women gathered outside their verandah; their chatter spilling onto the streets. A loud wailing cry resounded in the air as a little boy perched on the shoulder of a young woman turned to his mother and heaved a deep sob. The crowd slowly dispersed […]Read more "Attapadi: Government freebies have made our tribal community lazy"
We met Sheen at around 10.30 am. The hills were shrouded in mist adding a certain charm to the mystery and allure of Attapadi. A pall of gloom descended on the town as we made our way to a tiny tea stall run by a mother-daughter duo. After a heavy breakfast of crispy appams and […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 28 (Part 1)"
We took a detour from the main road. Muddy trails gradually led to the Moopan’s doorstep. Well-trimmed hedges adorned his courtyard as the winds sighed a soothing lull. Somewhere in the fading dusk, amidst valleys bathed in a rose-hued gleam, a cluster of garden bowers breathed its last… A middle-aged man with jet-black hair and […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 27 (Final Part)"
“Maybe we were happier back then. May be not. I am not sure. At least, we had unity amongst ourselves. We forged deep connections with each other. Your sorrows were mine, as were your joys. Now, we seldom see our neighbour. Everyone is caught up in this race for survival. And, the community has lost […]Read more "Attapadi: Our tribal community seems to have lost its way"
“While some tribesmen sold most of the land they owned to settlers for peanuts, others were duped into handing over their land in the guise of a better deal. When the Forest Conservation Act came into being in 1980, majority of their farmland was lost to the reserves. By the time the bill was passed, […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 3)"
“We put in a request for electricity and asked the officials to get it done as soon as possible. I hope to see light someday,” said Arumugan with a smile. The government refuses to give the Malasar Tribe their rightful ownership of land simply because they haven’t measured the area yet nor have they conducted […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 21 (part 2)"
The morning began on a somber note. We woke up to the sound of church bells tolling in a distance. Our thoughts wandered to last night’s events. We could remember Thomas’s face; that stern facial expression trying really hard to mask his fear. Eyes bloodshot and filled with concern, his body was as still as […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 21 (part 1)"
We drove towards Nenmara as the sun went down. After a quick meal, we inquired for places to stay in and around town. Most of the lodges were completely booked and couldn’t accommodate us. Some of them took advantage of the weekend and were charging exorbitant rates. After driving around for a while, we gave […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 20 (Final Part)"
The lorry screeched to a halt. We saw the driver and conductor run towards us. They were yelling at each other in Tamil. Fayez slammed the accelerator to the floor hoping that the jeep would shoot forward. Unfortunately, we steered ourselves deep into the muddy patch of the verge that resulted in the vehicle tilting […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 20 (Part 1)"
It was quite dark and dawn hadn’t broken yet. At 5 am, two cars had already lined up at the forest checkpost. Fayez jumped at the chance and drove right behind them. He muttered a quick thank you to the man at the booth. We stopped at the entrance of the forest to rest for […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 19"