It takes me an hour and almost twenty stale jokes from Satender, my friend from Netarhat, to finally reach Basiya’s home. It’s a dull morning here at Netarhat. The Jungle along with its swaying trees and fluttering shrubs is yet to wake up. Every now and then, a bird chirps. I keep walking up, debating with Saty (He loves it when anyone calls him by this name!) whether it is a cuckoo or not. It seems he is more interested in knowing about Salman Khan’s latest girlfriend than talking about some boring bird whose chirpings he has been listening throughout his life! I keep climbing up as I am here with a purpose to know everything about tribal tattoos. A dilapidated building greets us. Saty is quick to educate me about it being a haunted place. I try to act intimidated, for the sake of him. He knows I would not buy this crap. ‘Tell me if you find some tattooed ghosts, I would love to interview them,’ I tease him.
We walk out of the Jungle and hit the road. For a devout non-vegetarian like me, the sight of hens fluttering here and there is a pleasing one. Saty is quick to catch my longing eyes. ‘You won’t be able to catch them, they are lightening fast’. He cuts short the fantasy which has begun to titillate me. We keep moving ahead criss-crossing some tiny huts plastered with Mud, some ‘pakka’ houses and small groups of tribal children who appear to be playing Chor-Police out there.
We are heading towards a village named ‘PASERIPAT’where I am told that I would find some information about ‘GODNA’. Saty is taking me to a woman named Basiya who, he thinks will be able to quench my inquisitions. I am excited about this place, about meeting Basiya. The hens keep on fluttering along us. I still have an iota of hope remaining inside me- a hope to catch at least one of them!
It looks like just another house that we have crossed. We are now at Basiya’s place. She is sitting outside on the road, fearless. Very few cars and buses…
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