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Vivek Nath Mishra (INDIA)


I had just arrived at the Pandey Ghat when the cricket match ended and a dense crowd dispersed in all the directions. I had planned to watch the cricket match for a while but had to leave disappointed. Someone in the crowd said in a raised voice, “You’re late.” I moved ahead and began climbing the steep stairs when amidst the cacophony a faded voice fell into my ears. I looked around and saw an old lady sitting on a raised platform in a corner right at the entrance of a temple. A gigantic Banyan tree had clutched the decrepit walls of the temple and its roots had spread rampantly all over the place. An Indian pariah dog was curled up just next to the old lady and its head was resting on her lap. “But I don’t have any money to give,” I said thinking she was asking for…