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Lalu Krishnan


“How could he do this?” thought Subrat. “He’s such an intelligent boy.” He looked at his watch and shook his head. It was five minutes to noon. In an hour, it would be lunch-time – and all over for Loknath. “It’s such a shame.” Subrat grimaced in frustration. “I should’ve known better than to have wasted my energy on him. All of them are the same. Poverty is their comfort zone. They hate coming out of it.” Seated on a dusty, dilapidated bench at the District Collector’s office at Bhawanipatna, in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, he wiped the beads of sweat on his forehead, with his handkerchief. The June mid-day temperature soared to well above forty degrees. He clicked his tongue and writhed on the bench, sandwiched between a young man and an elderly lady, who waited for their turns. He wondered whether his efforts were worth it; and dreaded that…