The rest of the world paints their walls white above waist level and in darker colours below to protect them from passing hands, leaning feet and oily heads that rest against them while sitting cross-legged.
The effect is unique and pleasing to the eye. Greek island-like some even have blue doors contrasting against the white of the walls.
The driver who drove us into the jungle said, “The people here can’t afford distemper (paint). Along with slaked lime they buy a small pack of colour and paint only a part of the outside walls. Looks good too. In the money people spend on painting a room with distemper an entire house gets painted here”.
But the driver is not a local. He has migrated from Raipur, the capital city of neighbouring Chattisgarh. So I also ask a local. The answer doesn't change.
In an article titled, ‘The year the world changed’ in today's Indian Express, Lord Meghnad Desai writes how the recession has created a new multi-polar world. To quote him, ‘The poles are of unequal size but India is one of the pole’.
And one hundred rupees is all a villager in Kanha can afford to spend on painting his house.