My early years were spent in Paturu, a village in Kadapa district. I was born here, in my mother’s house. Our house was located on Kapu Veedhi, the street of Kapus, who were also known as Reddys. If a person of a higher caste or status was around, men had to leave their dhoti unfolded, letting it fall to their ankles. Only with people of their own or lower socioeconomic strata could they fold it up! Also, if people from the scheduled castes had to pass our street, they had to carry their footwear in their hands! Life then was steeped in casteism.
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