Jaideep Hardikar is an award-winning Nagpur-based independent journalist, writer and researcher with interests in rural and peri-urban issues, and an avid story lover. His research interests are in rural transformations, agriculture, water and forests, people’s socio-economic collectives, social enterprise, natural resource conflicts, unorganized labour, internal migration, small town economies, and commons, among other issues. Widely travelled, Jaideep is currently a Roving Reporter and Core Team member of the People’s Archive of Rural India, (PARI), an online creative commons platform founded by his mentor and one of India’s foremost rural reporter P Sainath. Jaideep has reported extensively from India’s hinterland and heartland for 25 years and his writings appear in a wide array of publications in India and abroad. In 2009, as a Fellow in the coveted Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship (2009) programme he travelled to the US and worked at Sun Sentinel newspaper in South Florida. In 2015, he was one of the eight South Asian fellows at the Asia Leadership Fellow Programme at Tokyo, Japan. He is also a former Fellow at the Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy, Mumbai University, where he was part of an eclectic social action research project concerning participatory irrigation management (PIM) on two major irrigation projects. Jaideep is also part of the Monash South Asia Institute as a member of Professor Antonio Marika Vicziany’s team. He has authored two books: ‘A Village Awaits Doomsday’ (Penguin India, March 2013) that chronicles the pangs of development-induced displacement, and ‘Ramrao – the story of India’s agrarian crisis’ (Harper Collins August 2021) that looks at the country’s prevailing farm distress. Jaideep is currently a New India Foundation fellow (10th round), in which he is researching his next book project that will trace the nearly 130-year journey of the Tata’s first industrial venture, the Empress Mills, in Nagpur, its historic highs and lows and an eventual closure, and the mills’ lasting social, political and economic impacts on his home town, weaving into the story the many meta-narratives, relating to the mill life, the ancillary sectors, the trade unions, and city culture.