From fruit wallahs where marigolds pile for benedictions, I was cycling home down past nearby Dana Pani Restaurant, on the fragmented, monsoon eroded road, where the weekly red truck met with the waiting crowd of cycles, rickshaws and patient sitters, to collect their allotted bottle of gas.
The simple puff and whine of a gas flame so essential for Indian cooking where electricity can be sporadically cut.
Seeing my camera in hand, a young man, approached all smiles. A whitish rag absorbed the sweat of his brow. Where my country men would complain of inconvenience, he excitedly pointed to the 9 kg canister strapped to his bike.
Nearby , women cranked water into head heavy bottles, where hours before men soaped themselves down to their boxer shorts.
I sensed Joy is in the hope of life’ journey. He raised his voice in the optimism of the moment .
“India is not a poor country. We are progressing!”