Yasmeen is a Muslim and Jayanth is Hindu. They are one of the few inter-caste love-marriages. Their house is at the far end of Yetavakili a bit apart from the other houses. When we asked her about the household head she told us that their 17 years old son is the head of the house. It took us a while until she disclosed the name of her husband to us since it is rather obvious that it is a love-marriage – which must have been and to a certain extent still is- a big scandal. The couple lives with their two grandchildren (2 boys). She gets a daily wage of 40 Rs (30-35 Rs last year) and her husband 100 Rs / day. They have recently constructed a new house and plan to move in once the final alterations are completed.
The family owns two cows and two hens. Both, Yasmeen and Jayanth do kuulie labour for about 20 days a month and Yasmeen is taking care of the cows, but none of their grandsons is engaged in agricultural labour. Both are still students.
They used to rent-in land from Viswanatham Reddy of Yetavakili seven years ago, but stopped that since there is no water. Later she added that they don’t like to be tenants on a permanent basis – practically working for a landlord. They used to do sharecropping – the land and water was provided and a tractor. They only used the tractor when they could afford the diesel and the driver. They had to provide all the seeds, fertilizer and pesticides but had to give half their yield. At the end of the interview she told us that she wants to see their grandsons in good positions and would not mind to leave the village to join them in a city.
Notes Olsen (Jan. 07):
Yasmeen’s husband is there with his sister Tulasi (amma) and Brother Muniswanny. Her house is a large round, smoky, thatched hut. Her husband brought some kerosene to start fire with. She’s cooking tea (for us only) with small . We had lovely tea while we played with two baby goats twins just three days old. Her house is a real farm although they just have one kunta of house land. Around it are fields and it feels like a farm due to goats, cows and chickens outside. Her husband’s sister is older. She sat there with the two goat babies in her lap. The two boys in the room are Yasmeen’s grand children. When the current went out, they lit a kerosene lantern. Her hut has a set of three large pots of seeds, about eight feet high: gaadi –food storage –one is empty –all three are empty. The interview is in Telugu. During the interview the sheep went to sleep. The three men went out. The two children listened and eventually one got bored. He took a big school book and began to do some close work. It seems he is studying in Telugu medium. The interview was done in full fast Telugu. There were just a few interjections in Urdu. Aktawala did the interviews. The two women were scathing about the possibility of growing crops. They used to rent lots of land, 4-6 acres. [It emerged a month later that they are still renting in land. They did not want to tell us at the time. They are afraid to tell this situation to strangers. Daniel Neff found out indirectly later on.]