We hear them everywhere; faint strains of fragmented echoes floating within the realms of their spiritual universe. Detached from the earth and disconnected from each other, these tribes now find themselves wandering between two worlds — one that perished a lifetime ago and another that refuses to accept or acknowledge their existence – while their […]Read more "‘We gave up our identity for 5 kg rice and 5 kg wheat’"
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)"
“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"
“Years ago, AHADS conducted a raid and illicit liquor was seized from various outlets. Unless and until, individuals feel the necessity to change, we can’t make real progress. They must be made aware of the repercussions of prolonged alcohol addiction. Although, the ban on liquor brought much needed respite to many residents, it also fuelled […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (Part 5)"
We drove straight into the arms of a yonder hill. Thick fog rolled over its caverns; a distant thunder chiding on the winds. As we crossed a garden of bedewed green fields and crooked coconut trees, a faint fragrance of wilting foliage wafted through the air. And, far beyond the grassy swales, amidst blooms of flowerets, […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 4)"
“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)"
The cable (leaked by Wikileaks) also read that exploitation or abuse of tribes who traditionally resided in the heart of the forests was a common phenomenon in the country. Many ‘non-tribals’ viewed the scheduled tribes as an obstacle to development who must be removed from forest lands and ‘integrated’ into the mainstream culture largely as […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 2)"
“The teaching profession is grossly undervalued today. Personally, I feel that only people with heightened spiritual awareness should be allowed to teach; those who have absolute clarity on what they wish to do with their life. That way, we get teachers who are completely dedicated to their profession. There are 189 primary schools in all […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 26 (Final Part)"
We woke up to a hazy dawn. Veiled tufts of clouds nestled in the shadows of the woods; tasselled fields strummed unsung tunes of forgotten lore. And, far beyond the gardens, where wafted the scent of flowers and shrubs, lived a forgotten clan in homes without names amidst fading lines of earth and soil. The sunrise gale […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 26 (part 1)"