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 morning began on a somber note. We woke up to the sound of church bells tolling in a distance. Our thoughts wandered to last night’s events. We could remember Thomas’s face; that stern facial expression trying really hard to mask his fear. Eyes bloodshot and filled with concern, his body was as still as […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 21 (part 1)"
We drove towards Nenmara as the sun went down. After a quick meal, we inquired for places to stay in and around town. Most of the lodges were completely booked and couldn’t accommodate us. Some of them took advantage of the weekend and were charging exorbitant rates. After driving around for a while, we gave […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 20 (Final Part)"
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)"
Today, we decided to go back to the forests. We wanted to meet Thangappan’s family. When we crossed Kurangini Village, we met a tribal man who was on his way to lower Muthuvakodi. He decided to hitch a ride with us. As we drove through the hills, the familiar sight of the canopied forests welcomed […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 15"
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)"