It’s a cold, drippy morning in the Western Ghats, the mountain ranges running along the south-western coast of India, and recognized by the UNESCO as the “hottest hotspot” for biodiversity. In the small town of Kalasa, near the Kudremukha National Park, life is stirring. A tempo carrying sleepy pilgrims wheezes up the slope, in the […]

It’s 9.30am on a Friday morning and the rush-hour traffic is moving relentlessly in all directions. From afar, a smiling face enclosed inside a green motorcycle helmet drew closer as it stopped outside the local hospital in south Bengaluru. In response to my request for a conversation, Surya* a now-retired engineer and ex-employee had suggested […]

Hello from Bengaluru! I’m a doctoral candidate in the South Asia Studies and Anthropology departments at UPenn. This summer, aided by the CASI travel funds, I’m conducting summer research in Bengaluru, Kudremukh, and Delhi. My dissertation studies the conflicted notions of livelihood, resources, and nature in the Kudremukh region of south India. Here, a state-run, iron-ore mine […]