At this time, the roads were deserted. Once more, a silence befell us. With every passing moment, the day grew hotter. In parting shadows, amidst arecanut palms, loitered a troop of women. They disappeared before us. We imagined their downtrodden eyes looking for shelter beneath trees. There they stood, for minutes perhaps, hoping to catch […]Read more "‘Poverty is worst enemy of human rights…’"
“We remember everything. The first signs of rain. The last signs of life. You never forget these things. You couldn’t even if you wanted to. First signs of death are the hardest to fathom. They always are. With the death of a harvest, comes the death of a voice. And, in their silent wails, you […]Read more "‘Everything looks dead in the village. Everything but us…’"
Dawn brought in warmth. It always did, these days. Like all summer mornings, the winds stirred the trees awake. They stood tall amidst a sea of green. In a distance, a grove of arecanut palms roared and fell silent again. Some fields strung a barren note. With every season, the tempest of maladies grew fierce […]Read more "‘Water: It’s the source of our life, and our struggles’"
Scathing winds of summer, some called it. Fields were fraught with despair. The air eddied around them, longer than they could remember. It lasted forever. Each gust swept drifting leaves. Lurking though the grove, they stood apart. In ashen boughs and their scarce rustle, we heard their unsung sorrows. “We have problems. Too many of […]Read more "‘I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in jail. So, I agreed to their demands’"
Singed logs sputtered with flame in a distance. Billows of smoke rose and fell unbroken. As dusk crept over the sky, evening stars glimmered on the edges of the horizon. “Hurry up,” shrieked a young girl. Amidst the tall shrubbery, a few paces away, a toddler wiggled his hips as he ran hither and thither […]Read more "‘Everything is owned now — air, water, forest, land and even seeds’"
White. They hung in neglected ringlets around her nape. She tossed them aside carelessly, and paused. Patterns encircled her courtyard. Her eyes crinkled as she looked for symmetry. She drew a long breath and knelt before her door. Her shoulders stiffened into despair for her lines had strayed from their path. They always did. White. […]Read more "‘This was my playground. We would run into fields and stake our claim on trees’"
Ramappareddy wore a contemplative look, as if he were filled with nervous dread. His grandchildren giggled behind him while their mother ran a comb through their tousled hair. Clearing his throat, he muttered, “What sort of harvest would we have this year? No one has any answers to these questions. Maybe, things will get better. […]Read more "‘Every farmer you meet here is a defaulter’"