Post 21, Sargana

11:15 a.m.: I am at Shyamdev Mandal’s home. Shyamdev has just finished his bath at the handpump. He brings over two cups of lemon tea (black tea with a dash of lime). As we sip on the tea, he informs me that Gyanesh has not arrived yet. He infers that Gyanesh will probably not come home anytime soon, but cannot say for sure since he has been unable to make contact with his son-in-law, with whom Gyanesh stays and works.  Shyamdev says he will call again this evening. Looking somewhat lost, he mentions that he will persuade his son to stay back whenever he returns. If he insists on going back to work, Shyamdev says, he- Shyamdev- will also accompany him.

Shyamdev is also anxious about the loan for which he had applied. The bank manager has not yet approved it, and has been asking him to keep coming back with this or that document.

To add to his anxieties, he had invested some funds with an enterprise he calls prayag.net, who are now refusing to pay him back his principal and interest. The enterprise is based in Kolkata.

The creases on Shyamdev’s forehead are exceptionally prominent today as he recounts his numerous worries.