Mallarpur is a little town that lies somewhere between Bolpur and Rampurhat, in the district of Birbhum in West Bengal. It's a little over 200 kilometers away from Kolkata. But this story is not going to be about Mallarpur, it is going to be about a tiny, tiny village called Garia, which you won't find on GoogleMaps. It takes about an hour by car to get to this village from Mallarpur, which is the nearest town. Garia is perhaps typical. Typical in the sense that there are hundreds of villages like Garia scattered throughout the state of West Bengal, throughout India, in fact. For someone like me, born and bred in a metropolis, visits to this place were unique experiences. The village can be covered on foot in a couple of hours. There is nothing to see. There is nothing to do. But there are vast, open fields. There are mountains in the distance. There are people waiting to become friends.
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It's around nine on a cold December night and the chill has begun to spread to our bones as the car takes a sudden turn....