Delhiwale: Rickshaw puller’s bedroom
Entry to this pavement bedroom is not restricted but you should have worked hard during the day to find sleep here.delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2017 14:56 IST
Traffic has slowed to a trickle near Jangpura Metro station where two tired rickshaw pullers are calling it a night.
Dressed down to their lungis, Bhajan Lal and Vishwajeet Mondal carefully unfold a pink mosquito net, rig it up, and then tie the loose ends to their rickshaws.
After spreading a sheet across the pavement, they smilingly suggest we join them. “Don’t worry about rain,” advises Mr Mondal. “We’re protected by the elevated rail roof…”
As we slowly crawl in, Mr Mondal relates a recent disaster in his life. A native of Malda in West Bengal, the wheat harvest at his family farm was ruined in monsoon flooding. “Hamara saara dhaan doob gaya.”
But now it’s getting late, and the men need to rise at five. There’s a problem, though. The cracked pavement is giving us back pains.
“Don’t you need a mattress?” we ask.
“We do so much hard pulling that we sleep very well,” replies Mr Mondal. Minutes later, he’s drifted off.