‘This Is What A Landless Labourer Does’

“I came into this field a year ago. We are landless.” “The income was insufficient.” “You know how sharecropping works!” “I also worked as a farm labourer.” “Here, it is certain that you are earning daily…” “At least something…” “Rs. 7,000 a month.” “Yes, we move with the fair. 24×7 labour hours!” said Mantu Ram, 30,Continue reading “‘This Is What A Landless Labourer Does’”

‘Celebrate Chhath Or Manage Shop?’

“Diwali and Chhath?” “How could I go?” “Who will manage this stall? I paid Rs. 30,000 for this 10×10 sq. ft. area.” “My children are angry as I am not celebrating Diwali-Chhath with them…” “Shawl. Sweater. Bed sheet. Trouser. Curtain. Coat, and whatnots. We weave everything!” “I am a Tharu [an Adivasi community in Tarai].Continue reading “‘Celebrate Chhath Or Manage Shop?’”

‘Not Just A Footpath Shop, This Means Everything To Me’

“I was a coolie at Vadodara railway station. It was the springtime of my youth. Ha Ha. Done and dusted.” “Everything was moving smoothly as a train runs on the track. And then all of a sudden there was a crack in the track. I was diagnosed with a hernia. After treatment, I was advisedContinue reading “‘Not Just A Footpath Shop, This Means Everything To Me’”

‘The Guilt Of Being Away From Home On Diwali’

“Rs. 20 for a dozen flowers.” “Rs. 15 for this garland…that one is for Rs. 20.” “That festoon? Rs. 100.” “My grandfather makes all these products. Then, we ferry the decorative artificial items across the state for a week a year during Diwali. I went to Gaya last year; all the products were sold.” “WeContinue reading “‘The Guilt Of Being Away From Home On Diwali’”