Working class heroes: Grim yet glittery lives of porters of Kolkata


By Sreyashi Mazumdar

While strolling through the rugged pavements of Burrabazaar, one of the busiest spots in the city of joy, one generally doesn’t pay heed to the teeming crowd of porters sprawling over every miniscule section of the alleys, striving hard to earn a fortune. “It has been 15 years since I have shifted to Kolkata, and I don’t repent my decision. The trade might not bring forth a sense of certainty but at the same time I wouldn’t like to change it if given a chance,” says a porter.










“People might be lazing around…. but unfortunately we fail to do so… or we can’t do so…”










They kick off with their daily chores when the clock ticks 7 in the morning, struggling hard, leaving their reveries behind.














“We generally wrap up at 7 in the evening, waiting to get paid for the hard work we put in. It is during this time of the day that we share a laugh together… at times we even laugh off our reveries”










Like the wavered headlights of the truck staring at them, the porters at time stare at their bleak future, a future bereaved of certainty.










The darkness in the alleys inhabited by the porters with a streak of light blazing it narrates the story of their life- a life despite nibbling on an uncertain source of income etched with snippets of smiles.