Post 1, Sargana

11:00 a.m.: I am meeting Shyamdev Mandal after four months. He has shaved his head to mark the death of one of his neighbours. He is going with his friend Krishna Chandra Hembrom to the district headquarters. He looks a bit hassled. He tells me his elder son, 22-year old Gyanesh Mandal has gone to Kerala to work in a footwear-manufacturing company. Indeed many people have gone away for a month to look for work in other States. But they will return in a few weeks to harvest the wheat crop. At least those who own agricultural fields (no matter how small) will, although landless labourers might not. He is quite confident his son will not return, which leaves him, his wife Savitriand their 14-year old son to work on their fields during the harvest. They might hire in some labour to help, but that will really depend on the wages labourers charge.