Post 69, Arati Chowk, Ludhiana

3:00 p.m.: Rachit stops by at my room on his way back from the hospital to his employer’s home in Abdullahpur Basti. As I finish up my notes, he shuffles through his whatsapp messages and listens a few times to the election jingle of the Samajwadi Party which someone has forwarded. His friends from his village in Sargana are circulating this jingle in their network.

3:30 p.m.: Rachit asks me to search for High Tech Construction Company on google. An acquaintance has offered to broker a job as a security guard for his brother Suraj at this company, but is demanding INR 16,000 as a fee for his services.

“We don’t have so much money to give away. My father is constructing a house, and we need to save for that,” Rachit frowns. “But if it is a decent job, then obviously it will help all of us,” he continues, the creases on his forehead becoming more prominent.