All posts tagged: Rural India

One time at a rural school in India

It was a time of purity. I wasn’t affected by socially suited media still. I loved being away and explored possibilities, more than even my liking to reading. I had only recently started thinking about teaching as i had left my job as a researcher then, at a publishing house and of course without any extensive hope, I wanted to travel. Good friends are the keys to the future doors. Juin called me one day at her office, and introduced me to her lady boss, in another publishing house. I went prepared and had an absolutely beautiful experience meeting her. She shared her travel stories and laughed well at mine. I could feel she loved hearing few things about what i had planned and while doing so she put forth an idea that she had been thinking. Her organisation had been providing free education and meals to primary school children in some north Indian states and had no documentation of it. She wanted someone to travel to these remote villages and document children studying in …

The Paradox

Who is observing the observer? Are you in front of the camera or behind it ? Or are you it ? Do you realize the change Changing? We walked up to the oldest virgin man. The sevak of shiva sitting on a hill, under a bright summer sun. His skin had earned blocks of pentagon, shaped into numerous lines criss-crossing his whole body. Once wrinkles turned into scales, crafted like on a snake’s skin. For a moment when he stood, I moved and touched that skin. But it felt nothing like it instead it was soft as wool. We walked seven steps together and then he sat in the shadow, near few men who had come from the nearby village, singing. He was humorous. He looked at Maharaj ji and told him that you look older than me! abhi bhi dum lagate ho? Do you still smoke Chillum? And started laughing at his own prank. But when he did, i could see through his mouth till his almost neck, bereft of any bone. wide, narrow, dry and …

One monsoon in Bengal – II

After hiding under the monsoon tree i had thought of home and had felt at that moment home is calling. Bengal had become love filled for me because of Kaushik. I was living, moving in the rural country around his village as he wished to. We reached his home thinking i will take the evening bus to calcutta but the moment we arrived at his place it started drizzling and it did not stop raining for next four days to come. Here I am writing from Kaushik’s village home in Jhargram. Its night. Light has come after nine hours. I have cooked six packets of maggie with peas and potato. We both will eat it all tonight. Kaushik has gone to get McDowell’s for himself. Its my last night. We are partying. Meanwhile, I posted that letter to M. Something happened. Let me share this. it was magical – I am fortunate to have spent a memorable time during west Bengal monsoons. The blue sky behind the clouds had slept and drizzling took a break from firmly falling …

Homeland

He woke up four inches below the snow like bed. But the day ahead was going to be as treacherous. He felt excited because travelling to rural India gave a smile to his face. Indian villages to a good extent still practice their civilisational old traditions. The air is different, the land for miles is green. But leaving Delhi behind is a lengthy affair. Their is an infrastructure push. Hundreds and thousands of trees that once gave beauty, breath and shade have now given way to expressway and highways and along with it empty, always being constructed high rise buildings. Slowly we start going past it. And we start seeing cow dung cakes kept for sun drying for kilometres. For centuries cow dung cakes known as “upla” in Hindi are used for cooking, cleaning homes and for homa- the fire worship. It’s smoke is known to purify the environment killing small insects and creatures. Many years ago someone said to Nara about India, when he was roaming in the river valleys of Kedar, that India …

LAST FLIGHT OF AN OWL

She kept looking towards the sky while floating in the water kept for cows. Her death seemed such that at one time I felt she chose it.   But do birds more so when one is a predator choose their own death?   When Maharaj ji arrived, he first closed his eyes. May be she needed someone to close her eyes before it could be plucked out by hungry ones. May be he earned this burial. To only put a stop to this cycle. May his body rests and the spirit awakens. Aum Shanti In Photos 1  

The Wedding Song

In her wedding dress that one day she stopped counting years   I met J uncle on a very cold january morning this year. It was raining and we stood outside an empty swimming pool. His room – 705, is just beneath my room – 805, where i am writing this. J uncle had his own quiet world till he met my sister. My sister, Ruspsi is a kathak dancer(banaras gharana). J uncle would not know about it for a month till one day they meet in the elevator, she moved and her ghungroo rolled from her bag. J uncle and his lovely wife had come from Banaras. In a quest to live with their son, they sold their house. They used to sing all morning there, he told me. He disliked it here. Everything. But he never spoke about it. He was just visibly sad. In his walk, thats how mostly i saw of him. A singer coming from a gharana who doesn’t sing anymore. In the meantime J uncle grew fond of my …