The field survey was conducted in phases alternating between Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Each time I visited one state after the other, one of the most striking aspects was how different women’s lives were in each of these states. The experience of conducting the survey as a woman travelling alone was also quite different in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. While in Tamil Nadu, mobility was much greater due to the excellent public transport system and not many restrictions on travel after dark, in Uttar Pradesh, the lack of public transport and the constant reminders by everyone that one should get back ‘before dark’ resulted in the survey being slower and more tedious.1