Text: Archana Masih | Photographs: Seema Pant
On a bright Saturday morning, we are hurtling down the Patna-Hajipur road to make it in time for the morning assembly at a government school in rural Bihar.
Once we leave Hajipur -- the constituency that had set a record for electing Ram Vilas Paswan to Parliament with the highest-ever margin in the 1989 election -- the road becomes narrower with traffic on both sides. Save some bumpy patches, it is turning out to be a fairly smooth ride, till the car stalls by a cluster of small stalls at the roadside.
We are already running late, the Saturday school timing we are told is 8 am to 11 am, and there is no chance of finding a mechanic in a village where the few shops haveno boards to indicate the name of the place we are stranded in.
The driver tries his driver routine, the car is pushed but after a few tantalising gasps, the vehicle stops breathing. That is it.
Image: Morning assembly at the Islampur Middle School, Bihar.