Post 53, Arnia, Jammu

10 a.m.: Pradeep and some 10-odd co-workers are laying bricks on the roof of the apartment next to the church and convent school under construction. The apartment will eventually house the school principal and the pastor of the church. Four of the workers are, like him, from the Rishideo community, with homes in and around Sargana. The others are Muslims from Kishengunj. I do not see the Munshi whose presence was ubiquitous in Chandhak.

His nephew Shailendra Rishi returned to Sargana on January 15.

1 p.m.: The workers break for lunch. Pradeep and the workers from Araria cook their lunch in the same building that they are constructing. The other co-workers head off to the church where one of their friends is cooking their meal.

2 p.m.: All the workers gather at the church where the thekedar and his assistant have arrived to pay them their wages. The Kishengunj workers ask their wages to be paid into bank accounts of their family members back home. Two of them then request for advances of INR 5,000 each because they want to purchase mobile phones. But the thekedar persuades them to accept INR 3,000.  

Pradeep has already taken an advance of INR 5,000 the previous week. He asks for a further advance of  INR 1,000. The thekedar offers him INR 500, which Pradeep reluctantly accepts.

2:45 p.m.: The thekedar departs, after asking everyone to increase their pace at work.