I never set foot in there. From the day I was born, I was told not to. So, I never thought about it… “Why is their God better than ours?” asked Renuka as the men bickered amongst themselves on tradition, revolution and broken faith. Yemunappa shot her a glance. His gaze seemed unkind, at first. […]Read more "‘I never set foot in the temple. From the day I was born, I was told not to. Because I am Dalit…’"
That summer was different. Green bangles dangled on her wrist. She never wore bangles. They didn’t buy her any. One late morning, they gave them to her wrapped in an old newspaper. The women smeared ash on her feet. They combed her hair. Petals were strewn all over her back, and floor. It was jasmine, […]Read more "This is why the younger Dalits disagree with their elders about the current reality of casteism…"
She didn’t know. We had never met her before. Her mother carried bricks on her head. Sometimes, she worked in the fields. “Amma was a coolie,” she said shrugging her shoulder; her demeanour speckled with nonchalance. Her eyes scanned the dirt on her toes. She sighed as she rubbed her cracked soles against her slippers. […]Read more "Her parents died when she was young. So, she was dedicated to the Goddess. Years later, her sister died too…"
He ran, fixing his shawl, towards the stall where gathered men in hordes amidst structures that barely stood up. Grey sludge seeped through the settlement; froth gathering at its corners. Here, some spaces were overcrowded. Some were sordid. And, they were stuck in between. Nobody remembers what they wore that morning. They don’t remember if […]Read more "‘He collapsed. So, I carried appa in a garbage trolley to the bus stop…’"
It resembled an old man. The giant tree in the middle of the courtyard. There were fewer such homes now, where trees flourished, and grew saplings in disappearing farmlands. Where once thrived flowers and shrubs of unheard kinds. Such was the state of the village in those days… Not today. There was a truck parked […]Read more "They threw her out of the hostel and school. She was four…"
There’s a story that was once told. In lands, unfamiliar and distant, there lived a man who abandoned his home. Unfettered by days to come, he wandered the village as if it were his own. It was then he came across a teacher who took him in as his disciple. The man was Dalit. A […]Read more "‘We were always treated as if we were prostitutes. We’re filth, they told us. And, we never forgot…”"
Her hands trembled a little. Shadows under her eyes had deepened. Some nights, she read her lessons with agitated breath, turning back pages to recollect what she had forgotten. Occasionally, her face broke into a crooked smile. As we walked back, Padma turned her gaze to the birds. For the longest time, she kept looking; […]Read more "‘Her body was badly burnt. She lost her right hand…’"