Photo of the Day
We finished filming with the farmers in Tabo, and as we were leaving the woman in the centre of the photograph asked us if we would like to join in on their village meeting. We were amongst the first to reach there. And as people kept trickling in we would smile at them, and they would smile back with a hint of puzzlement. And then someone would explain something to them in Boti and they would just nod. We have no idea how or what we
were introduced as.
This meeting was being held for two reasons.
1. Last year’s flood had broken a bridge, and it needed to be fixed. The government would pay for it of course, but the issue was, should the village put forth a tender themselves so that they get the money instead of some contractor? In which case, who all will do the work and what will the community use the money for? Obviously this issue wasn’t resolved then. It was just put forth as an idea to contemplate.
2. The most important agenda of the day was that Buddha Jayanthi is coming up in two days. What are we going to wear!! Should we wear our traditional clothes? But then we get all dolled up while people from other villages wear these modern clothes. Arey why worry just wear what you want. But it’s our culture, there will be tourists also for the function. Why don’t we all wear whatever we want to wear? But what will tourists think about us and our traditions? How often do we get to wear traditional clothes anyway, so shouldn’t we do it for this? (all this was being translated to us by the lady who brought us here)
The village meetings are common and compulsory. Those who don’t attend have to pay a fine.
The meeting was surprisingly relaxed. People talked, they listened, they laughed they discussed. Maybe it was because we were there, but looking at how all of them interacted with each other, we doubt our presence had anything to do with it.
for more info on the Uramili project and to contribute please visit http://www.uramili.in