The Many Ballis of My Punjab

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The Many Ballis of My Punjab

Illustration: Mudit Ganguly

I

n the last one year, we’ve had two break-ins at our ancestral house in Daanewala* village in Punjab’s Moga district. The first time it happened, we suspected the local petty thief. But when we realised that we were missing an ATM card and an old laptop, we suspected one of the many youngsters in the village who used chitta.

Then a few weeks after the incident, one of our neighbours reported a similar theft. They’d installed CCTV cameras a while ago. The following morning, the village panchayat was summoned and shown the CCTV footage – the boy in the footage was Harry*, a handsome college-going boy in his early twenties who’d been using chitta since he exited his teens. Harry’s father, a respected former member of the panchayat, was distraught and wanted to disown him.

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