We were woken up by temple bells tolling in a distance. A whirlwind of rhythms and chants echoed in the air. Like a stormy tempest, the sounds swept through the streets; surging and dying at every corner. Clad in saffron, sadhus slept on pavements. Their matted dreadlocks lay limp in the scorching heat while the […]Read more "En route to land’s end amidst lapping waves and abandoned shores"
“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 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)"
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 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)"
It was quite dark and dawn hadn’t broken yet. At 5 am, two cars had already lined up at the forest checkpost. Fayez jumped at the chance and drove right behind them. He muttered a quick thank you to the man at the booth. We stopped at the entrance of the forest to rest for […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 19"
The forests glistened the dimmest shade of green. A swirl of dense-mist rose through sun-spangled woods, as the heavens rumbled all morning. In the stillness of the jungle, creaked a several trunks brittle and desolate from battling the storm. A faint drizzle hung in the air as streaks of white clouds cut across ashen grey […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 16"
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"