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'Homebound': A Powerful and Humane Look at the Migrant Exodus During COVID-19

The Quint, India, 15 December 2021 - Award winning journalist and author of Gangster on the Run and The Front Page Murder, Puja Changoiwala, recently came out with her new book Homebound, which novelizes the migrant exodus that followed the COVID-19 lockdown in India last year.

Homebound captures the hope, resilience and fortitude of the millions of migrant workers, who trudged hundreds of kilometres home, and those hundreds, whom the long walk killed.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

16 April 2020

Dear Ms Farah,

Minutes after the Prime Minister’s new national address, where he announced an extension to the lockdown, WhatsApp messages started pouring in again. Not those riveting opinions on reality that I mentioned before, but ones that conspire to alter reality, warp lives. Like those recent murders that you reported on, ma’am, only a few hundred kilometres away from Mumbai. Social media messages about prowling child-kidnappers were doing the rounds across the country, but in a small village in Maharashtra, those texts murdered five men. The victims, all wanderers, had offered a cookie to a young girl, so the villagers dragged them for a kilometre, beating them with sticks, stones, bricks and shoes.



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