Rajistan Deserts, A Twisted Ankle, Opiate Drugs
Salopek advances into the Thar Desert of India, crossing from Punjab to Rajistan province. His latest observations are of ancient relics of the 4000-year-old Indus River civilization, and of pastoral and roadside life. He has been experiencing throbbing summer heat and hot winds known as 'loo'.
He is joined by a new walking partner named Prem Panicker, who, just as his journey has begun, is suffering from a twisted ankle.
In his latest article he talks about the vanishing opportunities for Punjab farmers and the resulting two directions taken by most Punjabi young men and women. One is a downward spiral into opiate drug use, and one is an exodus out of the countryside, to cities, or to industrialized countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, UAE or South Africa.