City List – Daily-Wage Carpenter’s Kit, Sadar Bazaar
Delhi by list.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
You may know what it’s like at Central Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar, so congested you can literally crash into somebody.
The Delhi Walla almost stumbled over Muhammed Jaafar, a carpenter sitting around on the pavement with other daily wage badai and painters. Mr Jaafar is waiting to be hired by a building contractor–and is definitely prepared. With him is a tool bag so small that I can’t resist asking about the contents.
“More than you think,” replies Mr Jaafar, who earns at least 700 rupees daily. He spreads out the tools for my inspection. Some look baffling, but he has just enough time to rattle off their names, mainly in Hindi. Here are a few:
I’m puzzled. What are they called in English?
“I don’t have time to help you with that,” laughs Mr Jaafar, and rattles off a few more names for later contemplation:
Lakri katne wali Aaari
And more! Shaking my head, I at least now know the sort of words that make up the vocabulary in Mr Jaafar’s working life: a badai waiting patiently on the hot pavement for the day’s labours.
Daily tools for daily bread