He was all muscle and bone, with not a milliounce of loose flesh. And though close on 60 years of age, he was slogging away in the fields of Rayagada, Odisha, for a pittance. This was in 2001, and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme had not yet come into existence. His stance and rhythm were eye-catching. He and other labourers were digging at a Food for Work site, preparing it for tree plantation, when our band of travellers stopped by.