Post 84, Abdullahpur Basti, Ludhiana

7:45 p.m.: Bhullan stands with his vegetable cart adjacent to Kamal flour mill, chatting with Hiralal who takes a 5-minute break from work in the mill. Birjinder buys a few bottles of cold drinks from a neighbourhood kiosk and passes them by on his way into the mill. Hiralal mutters: “Those are for his guests”, and then chuckles: “If he ever bought cold drinks for his employees, he would see their productivity surge.” Hiralal walks back into the mill to resume his duties.

Rachit arrives, driving a Black Nissan. Birjinder’s wife and children have just returned from an amusement park in Rakh Bagh, where they spent the better part of the day. Birjinder’s thirteen year old daughter pops her head out the window and brusquely orders Bhullan to get out of the way: he has parked his cart at the entrance to Birjinder’s garage. An annoyed Bhullan begins to wheel his cart away, while Rachit steps out of his car, and looks apologetically towards him. He then proceeds to raise the shutter of the garage and walks back into the car and drives it in.

Once Rachit has parked the car, he comes over to ask me what I have been up to. I show him the saree I bought earlier today for my mother. He likes the look of them and is even more pleased when he hears the price. He asks me for the address of the shop from where I bought the sarees, so he can purchase a couple for his mother when he returns. I show him the visiting card of the shop. He clicks a snap of the card and we walk into the mill.