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Delhiwale: The busy homemaker

Taro Begum’s house — comprising a carpet, a radio and some kitchen equipments — is organised along a central Delhi pavement

delhi Updated: Feb 22, 2018 14:04 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilliwale,Taro Begum
Taro Begum at her pavement dwelling. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Taro Begum has a fully equipped kitchen on one side and a drawing room with a floral design carpet on the other. Everyday she sweeps away the leaves that pile up on it, even as chickens flutter about nearby.

For over seven years, Ms Begum and her family have lived rough, on this central Delhi pavement across from the posh Delhi Golf Club. Needless to say, nothing comes easily.

She admits that her days are indeed long.

“I wake up every day at six and walk to the store where I get chai packed in a plastic bag.” She heads back to awaken her husband, a rickshaw puller, and their five children. After the morning tea, the kids are dispatched to a government school.

During the day, when she’s alone, “I listen to songs on the radio,” she tells us while peeling onions. She’ll soon start dinner preparations which will include aloo-baingan and rice — a staple food for the big family.

She’ll lay out dinner for the children by 8pm and immediately afterwards put them to sleep. Her husband returns from work two hours later. “I heat up the meal and serve him — and then I also eat.”

They will head to bed around midnight in what amounts to their bedroom.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 14:04 IST