Village life in India remains as difficult as it was centuries ago. As we have driven through Central India, where the IT, steel and coal tycoons do not tread, we have watched grain being threshed and water being lifted from a Persian well by oxen. We have seen the same oxen pulling carts through village streets and women pumping water from roadside wells.
Cattle, sheep and goats are herded on the roads as trucks, tut-tuts and ancient buses vie for the same narrow and rutted pavement. Donkeys are beasts of burden.
Yesterday we saw a village funeral procession. Somber men bore the body on a pallet and were followed by neighbors, each bearing a tree limb for the funeral pyre.
Women tote bundles of sticks on their heads to use as cooking fuel and the roadside trees are stubbed as high as a person can reach.