Majhot to Depda, Himachal Pradesh, India, 9 September 2016, 12:00 pm
Aunty took out two of her cows – Baggi and Lakhi – for grazing. The original plan was to take them to the nearby nallah and bathe them. But as soon as we came near the Village Well, both the cows changed their mind and started walking towards Depda. Aunty says they normally never go towards Depda – But then, what control does one have over what the animal wants to do and does finally. And so, here we are, walking towards Depda.
Aunty fondly remembers that just a few days after her marriage, she was sent out to graze three bulls from Dandi Bagh. It is a good hour’s walk down the valley from Dandi Bagh to Depda. She would find it difficult to control the three bulls and would come to Depda to visit her maternal grandmother’s sister. And after tea, she would tie the bulls near the house to feed, while she would be given makki ki roti (maize bread – in those days, wheat was neither grown nor available in these areas). By early evening, Aunty would start the journey back to Dandi Bagh, which would be a climb of around 2 hours, with a load of grass on her back!