I am at Mahadev Yadav’s cycle-repair shop. It’s a place you can find all things you might need to carry out repairs to your cycle. Air pumps, oils, valves, you name it. An autorickshaw sputters to a halt in front of Mahadev Yadav’s shop. 21-year old Rachit Yadav steps out. He wears a checked shirt, plain white trousers and a red cap. Rachit tells us that the autorickshaw belongs to his friend, but he drives it from time to time. He and his friend had taken it to Araria, 30 km away, for repairs and had taken turns driving it back.
Rachit tells me he has been a driver for a Sikh family in Ludhiana for the past 2 years. He even has a driving license, with his employers’ home as his address. His employer owns a wheat grinding mill, where several people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar find employment.
Rachit plans to return to Ludhiana next week. I am somewhat relieved when he agrees to let me accompany him.