11 a.m.: Shyamdev Mandal is at his shop. He is visibly upset as he prepares his tobacco flakes for his beedi. He hails me and asks me to join him at the shop. The anxiety is reflected in his voice:
You know, somehow, I don’t think the younger one will complete school. I can see the signs, you know what I mean [I confessed I didn’t]. There are signs. I can see them come. He will also not study and follow in his father’s footsteps.
The conversation turns to Gyanesh. I ask Shyamdev if he has been in touch with his son.
Arre, he does not talk to me. He left home because he was annoyed with me, so why would he talk to me. Yes, he talks to his mother and brother. They probably know where he is, but no one tells me anything.
Shyamdev calls Jitendra, who comes out from inside the house
Shyamdev Mandal: Tell me, where is Gyanesh? Where has he gone?
Jitendra: I told you, I don’t know.
I intervene: you must have a number from which he calls.
Jitendra [looking towards his father]: No, I don’t. He keeps changing numbers.
Jitendra walks away inside the house. Shyamdev Mandal continues
The next time he shows his face, I will get Gyanesh married off. If he doesn’t want to study, at least he can get married.