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’"
“I cultivate sugarcane on 20 acres. For the past few years, I have barely managed to procure 80 tonnes of produce per harvest. I lost Rs 28,000 per acre and incurred Rs 560,000 in losses. I had to borrow Rs 900,000 from banks and was forced to shell out Rs 200,000 as interest. I struggled […]Read more "‘There’s no dignity left in farming anymore’"
We met Sheen at around 10.30 am. The hills were shrouded in mist adding a certain charm to the mystery and allure of Attapadi. A pall of gloom descended on the town as we made our way to a tiny tea stall run by a mother-daughter duo. After a heavy breakfast of crispy appams and […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 28 (Part 1)"
We took a detour from the main road. Muddy trails gradually led to the Moopan’s doorstep. Well-trimmed hedges adorned his courtyard as the winds sighed a soothing lull. Somewhere in the fading dusk, amidst valleys bathed in a rose-hued gleam, a cluster of garden bowers breathed its last… A middle-aged man with jet-black hair and […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 27 (Final Part)"
“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"
“Years ago, AHADS conducted a raid and illicit liquor was seized from various outlets. Unless and until, individuals feel the necessity to change, we can’t make real progress. They must be made aware of the repercussions of prolonged alcohol addiction. Although, the ban on liquor brought much needed respite to many residents, it also fuelled […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (Part 5)"
“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)"
Last evening, Joby introduced us to Radhakrishna Kurup who would serve as our translator and point of contact to tribes for the next few days. “It might not be possible to visit Kurumba hamlets since they have some of the most difficult trails to trek through. Besides, this time of year, the paths are muddy […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 1)"
“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)"