Pg. 3 Not crystal clear anymore

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Luckily, by the time we reached Bansi uncle's home in Neergaon, rain clouds were rolling in and a cool breeze began to blow. Bansi uncle was overjoyed to see me after so many years, but inspite of the smile on his face I could easily tell that he looked tired and much leaner than before. We got to know that aunt Lata (his wife) had gone to Golnagar two days ago, along with some other womenfolk from the village, in order to display her needlework at a handicrafts exhibition. He said, "The money she earns from this from time to time is of great help. Especially now when my farm produce is declining...." When I asked what was the reason for the decline, he said, "I think you've already realized that the iron ore mining uphill has lead to the clearing of some forest patches. During the first monsoon showers following the deforestation, the river carried so much silt and other debris that our canals got choked and our fields had a thin coat of silt. The following year, when the mining operation was well underway, the river brought with it silt and