Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M - Migrants of Bengaluru

M - Migrants of Bengaluru
Mobile musings - the theme for this A to Z
challenge features a blog with pictures
clicked by me on my mobile phone

New age Bengaluru  is a city in the making.  A city of migrants.   This post is about the people who keep this city running.

Construction labourers from Gulbarga, Shimoga, Kolhapur and Belgaum make a living as daily wage labourers in Bangalore. The contractors lease out empty plots of land for an year or two where they set up their huts.  Discarded tractors from erstwhile farmers who sold off their agricultural lands to big developers lease out their vehicle  to transport these workers to the huge construction sites where they work on daily wages to build the multi storeyed apartments and office complexes that make the city of tommorrow.

Photo courtesy : Google free images

Tanmoy and Akash maintain the swimming pools of the apartments in this area, have the contract to wash the 100 odd cars in the parking lot and help do all the odd jobs of plumbing, carpentry and drainage cleaning in the apartment complexes. A few years ago Tanmoy, Akash and the boys in the village near Dhenkanal in Orissa were inspired by Ranjan da who got them to Bangalore and put them across to Nanjundaiah and his connections.
Photo courtesy : Google free images

As a strapping young boy of nineteen Ranjan da fled the village overnight as an outcast when the Zamindar's ( landlord's)  daughter complained of eve-teasing when returning from school. When he returned 8 years later the prosperity showed in him. His mother who did back breaking labour work at the Zamindar's cattle shed came to work in a new saree and glittering in gold jewellery after the Holidays.   While she still continues to loyally work at the Zamindar's ( landlord's ) cattle shed, she is no more the prey to the local pawn broker's taunts. Her debts do not compound on  a daily rate ever since her son returned  from Bengaluru loaded with glittering gifts for the entire neighbourhood.           

That year three boys from the village went away with Ranjan da when he returned to the big city of Bengaluru. None of them have returned as yet with as big a success story as Ranjan da. They share a room with six other boys from other places at the makeshift room on the terrace of Sri Doddamma water supply. They plan it in a way so that some of them do the night shifts as security guards at the swanky IT offices, while others manage to clam up and sleep in the 10 by 10 room with one bathroom downstairs. When the shift roster does not happen in a way that is conducive to their household arrangements some of them end up sleeping in the terrace braving the nippy Bangalore weather with multiple blankets and mosquito repellants. 


Photo Courtesy : Google free images
Surupa is a beautician by profession.  A bubbly young woman in her late twenties she directs three of her juniors at Stritva, the beauty parlour  that does roaring business with customers from the multistoreyed apartments that have settled here in the last 3-5 years. 

Surupa has a comforting smile that leaves one feel at peace when she attends to you. But it is not her smile that brings her repeat customers.  She has knack to get into her customer's psyche and suggest a different hairstyle or sometimes just lend a patient hearing to the over stressed super mom's rantings about her mother in law. 
When she is busy waxing her customers arms or doing an eyebrow the you can see the mutliple cuts on her wrists where she must have slashed away in depression and helplessness somewhere in the not so distant past.    

Girls from North-east flock into Bengulru and make up the bulk of workers in the Beauty parlours. The beauty business in the middle class neighbourhood runs predominantly on their labour.  When the North–east tension in Bangalore intensified, the first business to to feel the shake up was the beauty business.  With a bulk of beauticians from the north east most Beauty parlours downed their shutters for the period until they returned.          


It is their sweat and labour that makes this city such an enticing place to flock for others to make a living.

* Some names have been changed and photos not revealed inorder to protect their identity.  
** If you still think you can put a face to these names then please remember all characters are fictitious and any resemblance is purely your imagination. :)


1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful and poignant post as most would not showcase another person's struggle in work and life. many complain on how they take their own jobs away


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