Photograph of a lost memory in flaring heat of Jaisalmer – It is hot in Barmer. It is so hot that my lower portion feels different and apart from my head. My right cheek has swelled. Ulcers recognized heat. I am staying with amma here, a Bhopa. Last night we decided to attend Pabu ki phad. Happens rarely now. A local god. Reincarnation of Laksman. Bhopas sing and dance for Pabu. For two nights Bhopas from all across the region have come to sing and dance reciting Pabu’s story.
Anada Ram was the most prolific Ravanhatta musician, who died 33 years ago. His wife, Amma vowed to never sing after that day. I am here to document her son. He never learnt Ravanhatta. He wanted to be a dancer. I have known him for eight months now. There were many other dancers from the community who had come yesterday. Veer was going to show me one of his acts dancing on the mirror glass with fire in his mouth. He does not dance in the community. He is ashamed. I was awed last night. So were six hundred people. He got cut but still kept dancing.
When he came down he couldn’t walk. I, his nephew and him got on to a bike and rode forty kilometres to a hospital on the outskirts of Barmer. We got veeru to the emergency ward where he is being treated. As i wandered the allays of the hospital i saw a young guy with his chest crushed sitting like he is stung. I rushed out of hospital and kept waiting for Veeru till he came.