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Woodsmoke and Leafcups is a first-hand account of life in Bastar: the routines of communal life and the interactions of the Durwas with the State machinery. He writes of a culture where energy and laughter are currency, although of no value to anyone else. He draws a portrait of friends and teachers, threats and ways of eliding them, and the lure of politics for those long indifferent to it. At a time when ‘there are few places in which to lose oneself’, Ramnath writes of a people and a place that exist outside, sometimes counter to, known narratives.