At last we arrive at Janakpur, Koria District, Chhatisgarh. Even the smallish Ambikarpur, from where we had begun four hours earlier, is gigantic in comparison.
A quick tea later, we hit the dirt road to the Villages for my official field visit. Like everywhere where else in Chhatisgarh, the wide open expanses are a constant source of surprise. The car stops on a sleepy little dirt track, we get off and walk across fields and up to two mud huts in the middle of nowhere. As we near the huts, we are greeted by a pint sized thin as a reed totally naked boy who goes straight upto Fr. Xaxa and lisps in Sadri 'where did the car come from? I want to go to Jankpur'. Fr. Xaxa points at me and says"madam has come in it".
Half an hour later, when we are returning after our survey of the field and meeting with a few farmers, there is little Kisan ... dressed in his best shirt and shorts with both eyes shining in anticipation of Madam taking him in the car to far away Janakpur.
Surprising that a tiny town like this even exists today in the jostling India of more than a billion. But apparently a comatose town to one can be a fabled Shangrila to others.
Alas, with a heavy heart, Madam has to leave.Without him. But Kisan is going to go far, far beyond Janakpur. One day.