the art of community
Dal plants with little yellow buds cover the field out front. The field gradually slopes into the buffalo watering hole. Goats bleat loudly nearby, at times screaming. Bicycles and motorcycles pass on the gravel road, loaded with up to four passengers. Children are seated on the rear of bikes, on mother’s laps or wedged between the handlebars and driver. A red tractor putters loudly down the dirt road loaded with sand and kicking up more as it passes. Flowing sari scarves trail behind bikes.
A cluster of puffy clouds lie over the distant hills merging with the transitional colored sky. A crying child’s voice is heard in the distance. A little boy with a red sweater nears the goats while a woman in a blue sari shouts out, following closely behind.
Three young children play together on the grassy slope surrounding the pond, chasing each other up and down with intermittent song. Playtime pauses briefly on the small bridge overlooking the pond, heads hang over, looking down. Soon the trio is off running again. The goats scramble awkwardly up the hill with three kids in tote, then run loose onto the road. The red-sweatered little boy attempts to grab them unsuccessfully.
The puffy clouds slowly fade from sight with the setting sun.
One lone boy on the far side of the pond throws rocks at two lazily, swimming ducks. An elderly woman slowly walks with a large pile of greens atop her head, dinner for the milk-producing family buffalo. A handful of hunched over villagers head home from a day out in the field, weighted down with huge loads of hay.
A chugging bus honks its arrival at the village, a storm of dust catching up with it as it pauses to drop off passengers. Two boys on the road make swatting attempts at each other. A third one attempts intervention. A bike sits nearby. The smallest of the boys peddles away on the seat-less bike while another jumps on the backside.
Two school-uniformed clad boys pass, one throwing a notebook repeatedly into the air. A child squats on a rooftop of a house and pees. Distant voices float across the darkened pond from the households of the single road village. Dusk settles in.