Sunday, May 11, 2014

I walk down Lodhi Road from the Indian Habitat Centre (where i sometimes work) to the nearest metro station in the evening. When the Sun has already set or still borders the horizon, hence making the sky appear in orange and crimson and a myriad of other shades in between. Across the road are the Lodhi Gardens and the residences of some of India's politicians and other people of that class of our society.

In the corners of the road, are the traffic lights (red light or lal batti as they called in Delhi) to guide automobiles to stream one after another in various directions. As i stand in one such corner, near one such traffic signal waiting for it to turn green so that i can cross the road, i turn around to see if something else catches my eye. I do see.

I see a man in his late forties, squatting in front of a raised platform. This man is dressed in a shirt and a dhoti which was once white, both hugging his thin frame. He is one of the million nondescript laborers that keeps a huge city like Delhi on its feet. A small piece of aluminum foil glitters in the semi-dark environment. Some small cuts of paper and a powdered substance lies on the foil. He rolls some of the substance into the paper and lifts the new roll to his lips.

Turning to look at the traffic signal, i see that it is green and i cross the road. No, i didn't look back at the man smoking a drug, maybe ganja or smack.

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