The Post Box


The Stomach Ghost

Sumathy was known in the village as a level-headed girl who did her fair share of the family’s work without complaining. Her older sister brought her to see me because of abdominal pain so severe, nobody in the house had slept for a week. The strange part was that her pain...


The Tattoo Lady of Beedipatti

“Little girl, I’m going to tear you to shreds and toss the pieces in the trash! How dare you get a tattoo from that Jackal Lady without asking my permission!” “But it’s so beautiful, Appa. And all my friends are getting tattoos.” “You’ll have that…mess for the...


Throwing Pearls into the Earth

Shortly after the first Mango Showers in  Chittrai (April), we hired a tractor to disc (chetti) our fields which had become a tangle of weeds affixed to sun-baked clay. The idea is to turn the weeds under and let the ones that survive bake to death under the Agni Natchattaram,...


The Blood of a Stranger

In the year 1990, childbirth claimed the lives of 128,000 Indian mothers. This is the story of one such mother who did not bleed to death that year. Rajakumari is the supervisor of Blue Mango, an income generation program for women in rural Tamil Nadu. Her leadership, strength...


Shadows in the Neem Trees

I know they’re there, but never see them, those creatures of the night. When I walk beneath the trees, I hear the beating of leathered wings, the settling in to feast upon the golden clusters of neem fruit. The winds of Aadi broke today and with this break, the day grew hot....