Indian builder

Pic of the Week: 30 September 2012

A builder on a site in Sarojini Nagar market, New Delhi

by Kay McMahon © 2003

A builder on a site in Sarojini Nagar market, New Delhi.

Kay adds:

“When living in Delhi I used to enjoy going round the city on photo expeditions. This builder was working on a site at Sarojini Nagar market in the south-west, where a lot of the expats and better-off Indians used to shop.

“I took several photos of people working around the market. (Anil, a young coolie, was another.) A couple of days later I went back with prints I’d had made, and gave them to the people I’d photographed. This man was busy working, but his boss (a rather self-important character with a big belly) imperiously summoned him over to receive his photograph from the memsahib. He was chuffed to bits! (I just hope he didn’t get a telling-off for stopping work to have his photo taken.)

“This photo’s unusual in that it was virtually impossible to get Indians to smile for the camera. And they all insisted on standing rigidly to attention.”