12 noon: I am at Shyamdev Mandal’s shop, chatting with his younger son Jitendra. Shyamdev returns from the bank after yet another unsuccessful attempt to obtain a loan. This is particularly frustrating for him because he has done all the things that the Bank Manager had asked him to do: set up a shop, procure the goods, etc.
Shyamdev tells me that Gyanesh, his elder son, was unable to obtain leave to come home for Dussehra. The footwear manufacturing company where he works has promised, however, to allow him leave during Diwali, which is at the end of the month.