Mission Delhi – Rena, Public Park, Gurgaon
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Like most women with a day-job and family, Rena’s life is more than merely hectic. She’s a gardener and her work shift in a public park in the National Capital Region lasts from 8am to 5pm daily. This obliges her to wake up every day as early as 5 in the morning when “I have to cook breakfast and lunch for everybody,” she says, implying her husband and three young children.
This afternoon, Rena is tilling the soil around a little plant with her rusty trowel. Her “never-ending” work at home, she says, includes cleaning the house, washing the clothes and looking after the kids.
Rena moved to the Futuristic City of Gurgaon with her husband a decade ago from her village in Mahoba, UP, where they have farm fields “but no water and no other resources to raise the children.” Her husband also works as a gardener in the same park.
Doesn’t he help her with the household chores?
The lady shakes her head but urges not to be judgmental about her man.
“He works as hard as me,” she insists, saying her husband, too, wakes up daily at the same time as her and heads to work in the private gardens of “rich people’s houses” before joining her in the park at 8am. This ensures some extra earning to the couple. And while, they both exit the park sharp at 5pm, he doesn’t head straight home, like Rena, but leaves for a few more freelance assignments.
“My husband works as hard as I do.” Wearing a yellow sari printed with red flowers, Rena looks up at the cloudless sky and says, “Our life is hard but I’m happy.”
[This is the 216th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
The portrait of a working woman’s marriage