Abysmal an adjective is derived from the word “abyss” or “abysm”. An abyss is a “seemingly bottomless chasm”. Very few people can say “my future is abysmal” and literally mean it. But many in the ‘rat-hole’ mines in the Jaintia Hills in the north-east India have this unfortunate honour as they descend everyday into this abyss of darkness only to ironically render many homes lit. The 2015 documentary film “Fireflies in the Abyss”, made by Chandrasekhar Reddy, narrates the stories of these individuals as it explores their lives horizontally and quite literally- vertically as well.