"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




Raju hid behind the banyan tree and watched the elders gathered around the sacred fire pouring ghee into it, while chanting the mantra as per the priests' direction. He cranked his neck to look at the piece of meat he had precariously hung over the branch right above the ritual fire. The meat was tied to a thread whose other end was in Raju's hand. He just had to tug it a little and the meat would fall into the fire, ruining the ritual and rendering all the villagers' efforts wasted.