*#2 of the ISMAEL ORTIZ ESCRIBANO series. Extract from my Photography blog, Through Frog Eyes. Each month a guest photographer is featured and a short story is woven around a set of photographs. Please click on the link to read the previous stories and the complete version of the story below. 

Desafío de luchador
Desafio de Luchador (Fighter’s Challenge) – Ismael Ortiz Escribano

Ramesh had been shadowboxing for the last hour at the far end of the courtyard. It was close to high noon, when most other people opted to sit in the shade or remain indoors, but he needed the air and the illusion of being free again. Rivulets of perspiration running down his back felt good after the long hours of sitting in the dark prison cell. The days were long without anything to do, and since his cellmate had been sent down to solitary confinement for a month, he had nobody to talk to either. He yearned to returned to the life back in India where he could move around the village and be greeted with respect by the younger people. As the only boxing trainer of the region, Ramesh had built up a reputation over the years as the maker of champions.

Money, however, was always tight and there was no regular flow, since it all depended on sporadic sponsorships. His wife had died years ago, and with her the only steady income the family had ever known. It had been almost ten years since he last heard of his daughter as well, and the evil tongues of the villagers claimed she was working as a prostitute in Mumbai. Ramesh was no stranger to legal entanglements, but he had always managed to find a solution among former students and old boxing friends. Home was not exactly a palace, since had neglected the upkeep over the years and financial difficulties forced him to sell off one item after another. If there was a way to turn back the clock, he would never had agreed to be a drug mule to Thailand. Ramesh was blinded by the money flashed before his eyes that fateful evening at the corner liquor shop, and he was desperate.

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