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Chitra Gopalakrishnan


Ours is a life tangled in an unstable contradiction. Of what is and what should be. As a woman in her twenties, who lives in the largest coalfield Lantenganj, a village beneath the shadows of ridges blasted and gorged out daily for coal, with my family of three and ninety nine other families, the observation above is my gut reaction to our coal village’s circumstance. Or perhaps to our destiny, of our stepping into suffocating blackness and being swallowed by it daily and sometimes for forever. To understand the gravelly, almost counter-clock story of our lives, that is not rooted in an incident or a scene or relationships but in something far more intangible as a way of life, I need to tell you of our daily lives, of our struggles on a vast, hardscrabble land with its brutal geometry of line and angle, and of our daily terrors. Though…