The workers

On the construction site,
In the central suburban Mumbai,
Female workers working as a team
Pass on the heavy red bricks to the other,
Every movement graceful and precise,
Like the steps and movements of
Ballet dancers agile;
These ballerinas rough but full of life,
Their heads covered with torn dupattas,
Against the howling wind and swirling dust
That makes the fat contractor gasp and cry;
Immune to this,
Lean bodies half-bent and perfectly synchronized,
Making the back-breaking physical labour
A breeze for these famished women
Standing in a semi-circle in the rising debris,
Laughing and joking and
A young one feeding a child,
Turning through this sisterhood
Of pain and understanding,
The dull and demanding work
Into a pure sensuous delight.

Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma's picture

Freelance journalist, academic, writer and poet, Sunil is from India and published poems, fiction and a novel. He is also literary editor, reviewer, interviewer and critic. He is a bilingual writer who deals with current Indian realities and a globalised world and its impact on his country.

Last updated November 27, 2011