POEM: That Hazy Hamlet

a small town
a cluster of buildings, really

visible from the train

and everyone who passed it
must have surely wondered
whether it always sat
looking as they'd seen it

for me,
that was under gray & dismal skies

my logical mind suggests
that the village's 
situation changes daily

but, really,
it will never cease to be
that hazy hamlet
i viewed through running
rivulets of rain
that day
on the train.

DAILY PHOTO: Basket and Grain Drying in a “Town Square”

Taken in May of 2017 in Khonoma Village


Wealthy villagers in Nagaland earn merit by constructing circular stages like this one on which festival activities can be conducted. (Or, during non-festival times, grain can be put out to dry as per this photo.)  I put “Town Square” in quotes because they are neither square in shape nor are they solitary centrally-located public spaces. Rather there can be several of them– as there are in Khonoma, a village near Kohima — at various locations in and around the village. The little cubic pillars are seats, some of which may be assigned to prominent individuals and others are open seating.

The basket put upside-down on the pillar is typical of the region, and is worn with the band across one’s forehead.

The building in the back is also a public building constructed by a prominent villager.

DAILY PHOTO: Village Circles

Taken in April of 2017 in Khonoma

A few of these circles are located throughout the village in front of the properties of wealthy villagers who made merit through acts of charity. They are used to get together during festivals (or for drying rice as seen above.) Some of the seats are reserved for village elders and others are free for first-come-first-served.