As the day clears they are a dirty green - dust blown and a little parched .In summer , there are forest fires - I remember a red flame line from my childhood one summer . However , the fire must be less now since trucks laden with logs from felled trees keep passing us by at regular intervals .
Jharkhand owing to its ethnicity attracts a major share of reservation benefits , but as is evident from the minuscule view of the state the day' journey affords us, poverty is rampant . The children have the stick legged , pot bellied figures of malnutrition. Although the harvest has been gathered , they eat a watery gruel with greens thrown in . It is enident . that as with all good things , the benefits of reservation are reserved only for a privileged few who study in missionary schools and hold down good paying jobs mainly in the Government sector with its Presidential directives and suchlike . The only problem here is that the uplifted keep getting lifted higher and higher whereas the poor remain as they were - tilling the fields and walking for miles under a load of hay , the face barely discernible , the figure hardly visible except for the two legs and arms that stick out at angles .
And the women take a break and enjoy their bidis and betel leaf and stare at us as we pass by ..
The preferred mode of transport on the highway are run down jeeps with travel weary dented bodies crammed with people inside ,while a dozen more hang on precariously all around the vehicle except the front.
At intervals , this symbol of Jharkhand crops up in the fields .
I am not quite sure what it symbolises , but he stands , small , grey green , but triumphant , flag waving in the air .
A little distance away , is the tomato market where tomatoes , in gunny bags, baskets and every conceivable receptacle ., abound. Matadors are lined up , laden with baskets of yellow-red and translucent green tomatoes , spilling on to the roads .Later much down the road , some 6 kilometres away , we see a woman carrying a basket of tomatoes on her head and surmise rightly enough that she was getting back home from the "tamatar haat"
Chandil Dam is incredibly beautiful -the approach road is stony
and crater ridden and the hills loom up as you
approach a bend to the right on the road leading to the lake -
and suddenly you see a glimpse through the shrubbery on the side - a line of water sparkling silver as it catches the last bit of the afternoon sun .
And closer the waters are choppy and froth in little breakers on the sandy shores.
On the other side of the approach road , the water pools around the great primeval looking boulders and scruffy plants in between .
The best part is saved for when we walk away - a great gaggle of geese emerges from the shrubbery and walks towards the crowds searching for bits of food , even demanding. The leader is noisy and leads the pack , long neck arching and squawking or whatever it is that geese do. She looks like one of those ladies who leads a morning walker group in the Dhakuria lakes - noisy, inquisitive and quite raucous .