Post 25, Sargana

8:30 a.m.: I am at Shyamdev’s shop, where he is chatting with his uncle Arjun Mandal. Posters of Shiva as well as of Shyamdev’s guru Anukul Chandra adorn one of the walls. Arjun Mandal commends Shyamdev for his enterprise. He then tells me that Shyamdev lost his father when he was only five. For him to now be the owner of his own establishment, tiny though it is, is a major achievement. Shyamdev asks his son Jitendra to make some chai, although Arjun Mandal insists he must be on his way. Shyamdev prevails. Jitendra jokingly warns Arjun Mandal not to move an inch till the chai is made, otherwise he would be charged INR 5 for one cup.

9:00 a.m.: Arjun Mandal takes our leave. Shyamdev tells me that Gyanesh is scheduled to leave Kerala on October 2 and will arrive into Sargana by the 6th. After that, he will have to decide what he wants to do. If he wants to resume his studies, Shyamdev will be happy to sponsor it- he hopes the income from his shop will be adequate. But if Gyanesh wants to return to Kerala, he is fine with that too. He will accompany his son, while his wife manages the shop.

 Credit: Zaheeb Ajmal

Credit: Zaheeb Ajmal