December 8, 2013

Postcards from Katihar

'Kahan ley key aaye ho. Merey ko yeh side areas achey nahin lagtey hain,' says our driver, Heera as we go from one gram panchayat to another in Katihar district in Bihar. He lives in Katihar itself which is a fairly big town and the district headquarters. 'It's all relative', says A. 'Someone comes from Patna they find Katihar side area, someone comes from Delhi, for them Patna is a side area and if they come from New York then even Delhi is side.' This tickles Heera enormously.

We were driving through a village and the road was blocked by a tractor. We stopped and the driver started honking.  K. says, 'It doesn't matter how much you honk. Let me go sit there. Jab aadmi ki seat pey ek aurat baith jaye tab daudh key aadmi aa jaatey hain.'

This happened again a few hours later in another village. This time there were 5-6 kids who had climbed up and were playing in the drivers seat. 
Won't you go up and sit K?
Nahin, there are  already kids there. 
But there's a lot of difference between children and a woman. 
Not really, to them we're in the same category. 

At Badoli village while having tea after the meeting.
Aap log kahan sey ho?
Dilli sey. 
Dilli mey kahan? Hum bhi ghumey hain. 
Arrey woh toh dilli mae nahin hai. Uskey bahaar hain. 

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