Monday, November 26, 2007


High up, up, up winding roads, it feels so odd, making eye contact with a tribal woman, accosting her and asking whether I could speak with her for a minute.

It feels odd, irrational even, to talk politics as she gently says, yes, you may speak. In her confused, amused eyes, you can read nothing, and to most of your questions, she offers no simple answers. Then, she stares off into space and mutters, "Once, the people sniffed at the wind and followed its bent. Now, people note which way the wind is blowing, but sometimes, they bend the wind a little bit, bend it to their own will."

In Kinnaur and Spiti, where, if they don't get into government service, they get into apples or peas without much of a fuss, they have voted. I probably will get around to writing about the experience of being there, later; in the meantime, my story on the pre-election scenario.
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