I was seated on his porch at village Kishanpur, drinking chai when he came and sat on a cot nearby. Royal in his posture, he peered into me with a mix of surprise (huh, a woman?) and contempt (what do we have to fake for this urbanite?). I sensed it. I sensed the chasm. And yet, I loved his silent pride in his life and living.
And in the same village, on the same porch, I saw this young boy (see below), standing covered with flies. What was utterly difficult to watch was that the boy did not make the least little effort to shake off the flies. Others shoed them off. But one fly remained--a poignant reminder of how it is when our sense of self-belief is gone.