“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"
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)"
Last evening, sitting on reservoir banks, we glanced at the rugged low-lying hills one last time before the sun descended beneath the horizon. A few children played a game of catch in the narrow alleyways while women discussed prices of vegetables in their courtyard. A young boy sought permission from his mother to continue playing outside. […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Dairy: Day 23"
We drove all night to Valparai from Nelliyampathy till the break of dawn. With vales of jade unfurling in the mist, the hills shone bright in the lingering flames of amber. Dew drops glistened in the sun as the forest received its first rays of morning light. And, somewhere in the depths of enfolding mountains, […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 22"
“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 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)"
After a long drive through lush green fields, we took a walk around Bodi town in the afternoon. The relentless onslaught of Tamil Nadu heat scorched the earth as tall lifeless shrubs withered to the ground. The town wore a forlorn look. Sprigs of wilting foliage adorned the parched landscape, as we walked towards the […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 11"
A misty dawn crept over the sleepy town of Bodinayakanur. Light rose above the hills and the frigid winds were soon replaced by crisp morning air. Thin plumes of white smoke unfurled in the sky as women drew rotational symmetric patterns of Kolam outside their homes with rice flour. Soon, blaring horns broke the serenity […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 10"
“I don’t know what it feels like to be happy; I’ve never had happiness. My husband left us when Mari was just six. Every day I go to the cardamom fields and Mari goes to the garage. That is our routine and may be it will remain the same till we die,” said Kanmani in […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 9 (Final Part)"
Her eyes reflected her angst. Her lips twitched with sorrow as she grasped the edge of her saree. She gazed longingly at the deserted alleyway. Her heart told her that her sons would return someday. But, her spirit was already broken. She could no longer bear the agony of waiting for those who had deserted […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 9 (Part 2)"