The Kosi’s several channels meet and part with a playful abandon over he vast expanse of plains in Bihar’s Saharsa district. From a distance the river seems at rest but is flowing fast, its face dusky from the silt it is carrying. The river is two-faced in these parts, “mother” and “witch”, a boon and a curse. People cross one of the shallow channels on foot. The wheat fields are a spread of gold in an April afternoon. Beyond them are vast stretches of fine white sand, a bea