The Desert

Chhattar Singh digs silently atop a dune, pulling out a handful of moist sand. We were about 22 months into a drought. Yet the dune evidently held water in its belly. At the base of the dune were giving hand-dug wells.

Twilight in the Thar desert comes with its own palette and veils of rain

Women at a lake brimming with harvested rainwater in the Thar

Inside a “gowal” hut — a temporary shepherding outpost.

The village women sing as they return from the “beris” with pots full of water. For them, this outing is as much essential socializing as a chore.