A retired professor of English, Raj Sharma has worked at universities in India, the Middle East, and the USA. His published work includes ‘In My Arms’, a collection of short stories, and ‘April in the Alleghenies’ (Red Ochre Press), a chapbook of poems.

Author’s note: The story is set in the countryside of Jhabua, a district place in the author’s native state, Madhya Pradesh, in India. It is inhabited by Bhils, a community of tribal people. Starvation and crime are rampant in this poor farming community. He has written many articles on these people, having visited them frequently.