Metal Fatigue

Around the village of Velguem in the tiny state of Goa in southwestern India, growth acquires a different meaning during the monsoon. Vines creep up wooden electrical poles and swallow street signs. Hibiscus and jasmine drip over rusty fences that separate brightly painted homes from the roads winding through the verdant hills. Any man-made creation left at rest loses this seasonal battle with nature, and the iron-ore mine at Velguem is no exception — a deep pit in the earth whose now quiet terraces are bright green with moss.

It used to...

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