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"
“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)"
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 next day, we woke up to the sound of scores of children singing the national anthem outside our window. It was only then we realised that our guest house shared a wall with a high school. The kids dispersed from the grounds and soon the classes began. Amidst blaring horns, we could hear teachers struggling with […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 18"