Maria has no money left to treat her ailing husband. Neighbour grandma who arranges female contacts for some men from ‘decent’ families suggests a way that shocks Maria. What happens now by way of solution could be termed ‘crisis behaviour’ by a social psychologist (in ‘Saitaan Enters.’) Marginal farmer Matthan joins a smugglers’ group but gives it up after one scary experience, which taught him that easy money comes in with very sharp thorns (in ‘Smugglers’) Two fine anecdotes depict how the nameless poor struggled in the Travancore cardamom hills during 1940–50s to make Kerala the top cardamom exporter of India (in ‘Not So Spicy’ and ‘A Cardamom Story’). A Pulaya, who has all his life worked for a Nayar family and doesn’t have ‘A Handful of Earth,’ joins a Church merely for ‘a place’ in its cemetery. ‘Husk and Husband,’ besides documenting the misery of coir workers when it rains in coir-land, pays a tribute to the silent role of women in Kerala’s coir heritage – now totally a factory sector. Beggars and pavement dwellers come alive in two other engaging episodes (Shelter for Beggars’ and ‘Viceroy is Coming!’)