Post 74, Abdullahpur Basti, Ludhiana

6:00 p.m.: Bhullan stands with his vegetable cart outside Kamal flour mill selling his wares to passers-by. Rachit is chatting with him. I ask Bhullan if he plans to go back to his village in Jaunpur to vote in the upcoming legislative assembly elections scheduled for March 8. Slightly annoyed, he shakes his head and mutters: “What is the point? All politicians make idiots out of us. Why should I care?”

7:00 p.m.: Kamal flour mill is abuzz with activity, although not all workers are in. Vishnu has gone back home to his village in Gonda, where the elections are due on March 11. His co-workers inform me the elections are not the primary reason for his return to the village. Hiralal, whose village in Gorakhpur went to the polls ten days ago, is packing flour into a ten kilo sack for delivery. He asks me, “Why would anyone want to return home to vote? Nobody’s paying for our travel, are they? Who wins elections? The mother*****g politicians win, that’s who. Not us.” Kalki Prasad, who hails from the same village in Gonda as Vishny, assents with Hiralal. As he weighs the sacks of bran and flour before packing them up, he tells me, “It really does not make any sense to return home only to vote.”