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…”"
She walked through barren lands. In the wandering scent of dead teak trunks, she looked for broken twigs and branches. Trees dried, and died where they stood. Save the unrelenting brown, there was nothing that stirred here. Neither the forest nor its creatures. She tripped on the root of a large teak tree; her feet […]Read more "‘Men leave their wives as they please. Sometimes, they need a younger woman. Sometimes, they need someone to bear them sons…’"
Clamped to the centre of the hall were faded photographs on a calendar. Pages fluttered in the breeze. Their corners had worn out. Shyam Rao adjusted his gold-rimmed spectacles and read the newspaper. He looked at us with weary eyes. Like most mornings, his blue slippers hung loosely from his feet. Some days, we spoke […]Read more "‘When you tell our story, tell them what you saw. Tell them we are good people. Tell them the truth…’"
“Our fields have no fencing around them. In two years, we might not have a home. We will lose our farms, and everything we have ever owned. They want us to move away. But we belong here. In the forest. The soil is fertile. And, we can grow our own food. They don’t understand these […]Read more "‘The government built them structures not homes…’"
They speak of humanity. But they have none… “Yes, they sold their girls. It was a huge racket. Everyone from the doctor, nurse and ward boy was involved. Orphans were supplied to childless couples in major cities. Some of them were sold,” said a man in his thirties, one afternoon in Chikkalingadalli forest. “Many were […]Read more "They have no roads, no electricity, no hospitals here. In a few years, they will run out of water…"
We don’t remember much of her. She wore keys around her neck. She had coins on her fingers. Between homes that leaned against each other, an old woman dragged her black skirt from the ground. Her chin had tattoos. So did her arms and legs. But there were no patterns. For, they had faded.. Like […]Read more "‘We couldn’t touch their borewell. Because we are Lambani’"