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The first girl to study from her village, goes back in the lockdown. Here’s a video walk through Sawau Moolraj, Rajasthan.

Jyoti has participated in the Travel Log programme with The Third Eye for its City Edition. The Travel Log mentored 13 writers and image-makers from across India’s bylanes, who reimagine the idea of the city through a feminist lens.

Jyoti was the first girl from her village to move to the city for a better education—a decision taken by her parents because the village had no such provision. Since then, Jyoti has been an outsider-insider, moving in and out of her village home in Sawau Moolraj and the city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration in Ahmedabad.

Throughout the first Covid induced lockdown of 2020, Jyoti sent us her Vlogs. She would take her phone and walk around her village, as if looking for what she left behind. As a certified shehri ladki (city girl), she found herself at an intersection of gazes: looking, and being looked at. This, then, is an alternative tourist video (despite its splendid Rajasthan colours), where the urban looks at the rural, while remembering its own rural roots.

Video shot by Jyoti Rathi

Edited by Shivam Rastogi

The Third Eye is being written and developed by a team of educators, documentary filmmakers, storytellers; people with extensive experience of gathering narratives, oral histories and developing contextual pedagogies for the rural and the marginalised.

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