Working as a member of the volunteer team from JJSS (Jan Jagran Sakhti Sangathan) that conducted social audits in three panchayats, I had the opportunity to meet Comrade. Giranand Paswan, a Communist Party of India member and former upa-mukhiya and ward member of Gorraha-Vishanpur panchayat. Com. Giranand is a district council member of CPI, state council member of Khet Mazdoor Union (Union of peasants) and former director of Indian Public Theatre Association (IPTA) of Araria district. Warm and knowledgeable, Com. Giranand struck a cord with the audit team at once.

നല്ല ജില്‍ - ജില്‍ന്നൊരു പകല്‍ . അത് വെട്ടി പൂളി മൂന്നു പൊളി ആക്കിയിട്ടു.....

കാലത്ത്‌ എപ്പോഴോ തുടങ്ങിയ ഒന്നാം പൊളിയില്‍ ഞങ്ങള്‍ ആകാശത്തെ ചുടുവേരുകളില്‍ കോര്‍ത്ത്‌ ഒട്ടിച്ചു നിര്‍ത്തിയ ‘കോമ്രേഡ് ഭാസ്കരന് ’ സ്പര്‍ശ രേഖകള്‍ വരച്ചു മടിക്കേരി–തിരുവുലകം സര്‍വീസ് റോഡിലൂടെ തൂവാനം നനഞ്ഞു പാറികൊണ്ടിരുന്നു....

When Kumbalangad Unnikrishnan, the General Secretary of Madrasi Kerala Samajam and Director Board Member of Kerala Pravasi Welfare Trust asked me if I was interested in taking part in the May Day celebrations held at 'Hotel Chicago', I was amazed. I was hearing this name for the first time. “'Hotel Chicago?'”, I wondered. (It was in Chicago, USA where the general strike for the 'Eight hour work day' was held. )

Today morning, I asked a friend of mine:
"Did you read about Tunisia?"
The reply:
"Who is she?"

I was a bit relieved. At least I knew that it is the name of a country. To be honest, that was all that I knew till last week. But, in last couple of days, the puzzles (ya plural) that Tunisia poses is nearly filling my thoughts.

The first of January is a very special day for the residents of Jhandapur. This is the day that they come out in large numbers, in a festive spirit, to remember and celebrate the legacy of Safdar Hashmi, the actor-playwright who was killed as a result of an attack on Jana Natya Manch on 1 January 1989. Also killed in that attack was Ram Bahadur, a Nepali migrant worker, who worked in a factory near-by.