We live in an age of intertwined contradictions. Nature is yearned for, but in the artificial space of infrastructure - the built environment - like buildings, gardens and landscaped features. The word 'infrastructure' rings through our consciousness as more natural than nature itself. We relate to infrastructure as the rightful owner and its absence is frowned upon.
The makers of this infrastructure are the labourers who live in the open - the natural infrastructure. They have no concrete roof over them, no brick walls with murals imitating natural themes nor do they have conditioned air to inhale one's breath that is re-circulated through the acrylic filters. They drink water not from the 'natural' Himalayan spring bottled up, but from the well or the river or even the pond.
The stories in this volume have attempted to capture fleeting glimpses of the human experiences of these forgotten toilers - the real makers of infrastructure - whose sweat and, sometimes blood, create our habitat and provide identity to our cities.
Provisional is about the ironical fate of the people. The very cause of the catastrophe became the mitigating escape from the tragic consequences - compromises made even by the well-meaning people in compelling situations.
Retribution brings out the depth to which the caste tradition has permeated into the psyche of the people.