Muffled sounds broke the silence. Someone had broken in. In scorched earth, they looked for dead cinders. The flames were long gone: vanished as if they never swirled in the midnight breeze, as if they never sputtered in the dead of night. It was a dog, muttered the older women under their breath. There were […]Read more "“You don’t have a husband. You don’t have any children. What’s the point of giving you a house?”"
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…”"
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’"
The next day we woke up early to continue our journey towards the eastern coast. We took a detour through the hills of Kodaikanal instead of the charted route. On our way, we asked some policemen patrolling the area for directions to Madurai. “Up ahead, you will see a yellow house with a red roof. […]Read more "Day 32: In search of unspoken tales of a ghost town…"