Post 60, Sargana

11 a.m.: Shyamdev Mandal sits on the machan in his courtyard. He is making ropes from a sheaf of jute left over from last year. I sit by him.

“I will also go away after Holi,” he says. “At most, I will stay another month but will leave soon.”

I ask him where he proposes to go.

“My nephew works in an iron foundry. He has been asking me to join him. They pay INR 8000 per month, and I think accommodation is provided,” he informs me and adds, “This foundry is in Madras (Chennai). My nephew likes it there. I think I will join him. What do you think?”