City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

City Life – Heatwave Lives, Around Town

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

Dispatch from 40 plus degrees.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Amid the ongoing heatwave-like conditions, thousands of our fellow citizens lack the choice of sheltering themselves from the dangerous afternoon sun. They are obliged to carry on with their outdoorsy profession, and persist with it even during the hottest hours of the extremely hot day. A few of the citizens give a fleeting sense of their daytime life.

Arif, kakri seller: “I like extreme heat, they increase my sales.”

Virendra, construction labourer specialising in stonework: “Kaam to karna hee parega (one must keep working), but I regularly cool myself with the sherbet that I make daily (see right photo).”

Jaipal, auto-rickshaw driver: “It gets so hot between 12pm and two that my organs start to sizzle, but I have to be on the road… I try to be careful, drinking half-litre cold water after every half-hour.”

Farukh, pavement tailor: “I have to manage my children’s school fees, and my household expenses. So I continue to work on this pavement, this is the spot known to my regular customers. The silai machine gets burning hot as well… it cools down only in the evening.”

Sameer, kharbooja vendor: “Aag aag ko marti hain (fire beats fire). So I frequently drink garma-garam chai. But cold drinks are no good. My body heats up minutes after having a cola bottle.”

Jamal, daily wage labourer: “I have to be stationed here at Labour Chowk throughout the day to receive work (from contractors). It is very hot today, and yesterday was even hotter, but I was on this same spot as always, waiting for assignments I frequently walk to the mandir over there—it has free drinking water cooler for the public.”

Ravi, hawker of plastic tiaras: “I cannot let the weather pause my life. I have to sell every single day.”

Ghulam Muhammed, Rafi, Nisaar, Shabeer, Abdur Rahman–labourers who jointly haul goods on carts: “Upar wale ka saath hain (God is with us). Besides, our customers always give us cold water to drink.”

Suresh, phalsa seller (see left photo): “Kya kare, mazboori (what to do, it is helplessness).”

Chhote, mango seller: (He responds with a weary shrug, and stays silent).

Pappu, watermelon seller: “These days I spend the midday hours sleeping under a tree, and set up the fruit stall only at four in the evening when the direct sun is gone.”

Citizens in extreme heat

1. Arif

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

2. Jaipal

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

3. Farukh

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

4. Sameer

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

5. Ghulam Muhammed, Rafi, Nisaar, Shabeer, Abdur Rahman-

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

6. Suresh

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

7. Ravi

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

8. Virendra

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

9. Chhote

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town

10. Pappu

City Life - Heatwave Lives, Around Town