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We are thrilled that India has a constellation of billionaires and that our companies have set their sights on buying some of the world's oldest and most prestigious brands. We exult that despite the economic meltdown in the West, our mammoth middle class still marches on into malls, takes flights with gay abandon and buys apartments at prices that their parents could not have dreamt of in their wildest dreams.

This is one India.

Another India lurks in the shadow of this glittering growth. Where debt-ridden farmers kill themselves every day in despair, and poverty forces thousands of children to drop out of school. Where the future of many is pegged to a good monsoon this year and rising price are a huge concern. Where people still suffer from hunger everyday and die of diseases that can be easily cured.

Which is the real India? What is life really like for Indians from different regions, economic strata and backgrounds? Launching a new series on how India lives.

Series Editor: Archana Masih. Design: Dominic Xavier

The hope from two acres of land
In a land of breathtaking beauty, lives the small tribe of Korkus. A Ganesh Nadar meets Rajaram Mawaskar, a tribesman devoted to nurturing whatever little remains of his ancestral land.
'What will a poor man do with a nuclear bomb?'
Long after India abolished royalty, Padam Singh showcases a bygone era of kings and palaces. Archana Masih meets the keeper of a period lost to history.
This is how the other half lives
People earning huge salaries may find it strange reading about women who make Rs 60 a day. A Ganesh Nadar on the lives of two ladies who work at a village petrol pump.
'I am Sikkimese, but my desh is India'
Duba lives near India's border with China and earns a living giving tourists rides on his yak, Rahul. Vaihayasi Pande Daniel meets a teenager on India's eastern frontier.
Oh god, hear their prayer

This poor farmer's family eats roti and onion every day as the rains fail repeatedly. Vicky Nanjappa meets Kattigere Thimappa who hopes for a better life, but whose hopes are as dry as his land.

'India has great opportunities, you just have to take your chances'

Makrand Maiende tells Archana Masih that he may not have flown in an airplane yet but his dreams are just waiting to take flight.

The auto driver whose kids want a life abroad
Robert Misal, a school dropout, wanted his children to do better than him. They have. A Ganesh Nadar found a humble man who made his life with an auto, a few animals and spices.

Diary of a successful Indian
Ajay Goel represents India's elite IT workforce, professionals who have built successful lives through merit and hard work, discovers Vicky Nanjappa.

For the love of Billo
He dropped out of school to pick up the reins of Billo. Archana Masih meets Sonu Kumar, a horseman more concerned about feeding his horse than feeding himself.

Why K R Babu is happy with inflation
His living room walls are made of glass. His garden has a gurgling waterfall. A Ganesh Nadar meets a man whose stake has only gone up with inflation.

No power and lions as neighbours
Lakhibai has never been to school. She rarely ventures out of the forest which is her home. Vaihayasi P Daniel meets a longtime resident of the Gir forest.

The exorcism of Nandai
Living off food provided by devotees, she calls herself damned and says she is 'possessed by evil.' Prasanna D Zore meets Nandai who spends her time seeking deliverance from the Lord.

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