PHOTO ESSAY: All work and no play

Published May 22, 2016
Labourers load trucks with mud bricks at a factory on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Labourers load trucks with mud bricks at a factory on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

We are often defined by our work; indeed the work we chose to do is often an extension of our personalities and our roots, but often it’s merely an accident of chance and circumstance. Regardless, society often associates us with our work and it can often find its way even into our names — the Paanwalas, the Botalwalas, the Daruwalas, and the Gheewalas are a testament to that.

Here, we look closely at the interaction between labourers and their environment in the hidden corners and streets of Hyderabad; the workers who keep the city running like clockwork but who are often forgotten; the labourers who work hard from dusk to dawn and without whom society would come to a standstill.

A baker slides cakes into a clay oven; his cakes and confectionaries are very popular locally.
A baker slides cakes into a clay oven; his cakes and confectionaries are very popular locally.

From the baker who toils hard and perfects his craft to the bangle maker at Choori Bazaar who deftly shapes and decorates glass, each picture captures the people they are and the story they have to tell: where they are, where they’ve been and where they want to go.

A chaiwala at Hyderabad’s Ghanta Ghar on the lookout for customers.
A chaiwala at Hyderabad’s Ghanta Ghar on the lookout for customers.

Choori Bazaar in Hyderabad is famous for the bangles it churns out. Here, men are busy separating them by colour and design, and packing them in boxes that will later be distributed across the city as well as the country.
Choori Bazaar in Hyderabad is famous for the bangles it churns out. Here, men are busy separating them by colour and design, and packing them in boxes that will later be distributed across the city as well as the country.

A labourer mixes sand to make mud bricks at a factory on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
A labourer mixes sand to make mud bricks at a factory on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Glass-making is as much an art as it a science; here, a worker at a glass factory melts the glass to pour into pre-made moulds. He makes cosmetic bottles at the factory.
Glass-making is as much an art as it a science; here, a worker at a glass factory melts the glass to pour into pre-made moulds. He makes cosmetic bottles at the factory.

Photographs by Mohammad Ali
Text and captions by Images on Sunday staff

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, May 22nd, 2016

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