Post 19, Abdullahpur Basti

6 p.m.: Rachit spruces up Birjinder’s Toyota Etios for him to ride out. Ambika has been loading 5- kilogram sacks into the dickey. When he had finished, 20 such sacks had been neatly stacked up. Harjinder drives out in a few minutes: he will drop of the sacks to a few of his friends on the way.

6:30 p.m.: Rachit is having troubles with the facebook app on his mobile phone. We re-install the app and it appears to be working fine now. While we do this, he receives a ‘missed call’, indicating that the caller would like him to call back. Rachit sees the number and blushes. Ambika and Vishnu roll their eyes, while I ask him who the call is from. An embarrassed Rachit tells me it’s the sister of his friend’s fiancé from near Sargana.

“We met last June when I had gone home, and have been chatting ever since,” he whispers coyly.

“And that’s all you have done- talk. Why don’t you give Atul her number?” teases Vishnu as leaves with his cart and deliveries.