The Water Cooler

A kilolitre of tears

(Or a  dummy guide  on why the Delhi  powers that be cannot hear the common man in Manipur, 2005, 2010, 2011 )

(Petrol selling in mineral water bottles on the black market)





(Onions, potatoes being sold straight off the lorries)

Some 2011 prices may be inconsistent with daily variances in official rate lists in both capital cities . But probably not as inconsistent as  the willful opening of the three highway entry points  that Manipur depends on. Manipur has no state transportation network to speak of, so reliance on private vehicles is heavy and be it petrol, kerosene, etc., it's been a jerrycan life.

(How people protect themselves on these burning highways)

A final word from a Manipuri many Indians will be familiar with.

"A litre of petrol at Rs.200 in the black market and a cooking gas cylinder for Rs.1,500 or more... After two months of a blockade in Manipur, world boxing champion Mary Kom says she's at her wits end trying to balance training for the Olympics with the slow process of cooking with firewood."

For those who want to know more of what the Manipuri mess is all about, do see for the back story in  2010 in print and  video. And for ways out of this mess.

(Photos credit: Paojel Chaoba, Imphal Free Press)

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