‘Without rain, there can’t be any crop. Without crop, there can’t be any man…’

She wasn’t there. Beneath the tree, she’d sit all morning while her grandchildren played in the courtyard. She’d look at the street, at the debris scattered on the roadside, at the construction site where lay trolleys of bricks and stone, at the flowers that never blossomed, at empty balconies with mats filled with red chillies. […]

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