Home Sweet Home – Rickshaw Puller Vishwajeet Mondal’s Bedroom, Near Jangpura Metro Station
A whole world.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Traffic has slowed to 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 The Delhi Walla joins them. “Don’t worry about rain,” advises Mr. Mondal. “We’re protected by the elevated rail roof…”
As I slowly crawl in, Mr Mondal relates a recent disaster in his life. A native of Maldah in West Bengal, the wheat harvest at the 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 5. There’s a problem, though. The cracked pavement is delivering back pains.
“Don’t we need a mattress?” I ask.
“We do so much hard pulling that we sleep very well,” replies Mr Mondal. Minutes later, he’s drifted off.
Bedroom under the tracks