Sunday, February 28, 2010


Observations from an American friend who watched workers on their way to work in Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon

So many people walking to work, reminds me of the scene set in NY City, but even this seems like much more. The difference with the crowds in NY and the Gurgaon flood of people is that, in NY, you find people of all different classes and backgrounds hustling and bustling to different locations. In Gurgaon, everyone seems to come from the same place and they all seem to be traveling in the same direction, all to work in factories, call centers, etc. for low wages, perhaps even under bad conditions. I observed two men limping severely, so much so that they had to use their hands to pick up their leg in order to take the next step. I wonder if it was a work place accident caused by difficult conditions. Regardless of the reason, that didn’t stop them from making their daily trip. It almost seems like a religious procession, everyone seems intent and devoted to their journey. Cars, buses, street vendors and rickshaws break up this constant flow of people, yet everyone continues along without paying them much attention. I took a picture of the scene; in the picture, it is sunny out, some stop to buy food at the stands nearby while others continue to walk along, pleasantly talking to their neighbor. In the picture, you can see that there are a lot of people, but you miss the sense of energy. When I saw the crowds in person, I was overwhelmed by the force of it. I took a picture, but how do I explain what is missing? You have to witness it to understand.

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