9:50 a.m.: Mahadev Yadav and his wife Vimala Yadav are washing the courtyard of their home with cowdung paste. Mahadev is wearing a pair of shorts but otherwise bare chested. “Naye saal ki shubhakamanayein,” he greets me for the new year. “Not likely to have too many customers today, so thought it good to clean up the house while we can,” he adds. The shop is closed, although its nearly 10 am.
Zaheeb Ajmal reports:
11 a.m.: A fire raged through the heart of the Sargana bazaar on Diwali night (last night). Dharmesh Srivastav’s shop was badly burnt (he suspects foul play). Most other shops remained shut today, including Mahadev Yadav’s, out of grief and shock at the incident.
Zaheeb Ajmal briefs:
8:30 a.m.: Mahadev Yadav is just about opening his cycle-repair shop. He is wearing a blue t-shirt and a pair of trousers. I notice the necklace he is wearing, and he tells me it’s a gift from his guru Ashutosh Maharaj. He lays out his tool box and other items such as an air-pump, and then proceeds towards the nearby handpump to fill water into a bucket. He returns with the bucket, now filled with water, and splashes it in front of his shop. After sweeping the ground with a coconut broom, he returns to the handpump, washes his hands and comes back. He prays for a few minutes and then proceeds to sit on a stool in front of his shop.
I gather this is Mahadev’s daily routine.