Mohammed Zahid has been selling Bansuri (flute) at the Kala Godha Art District in Mumbai for 13years now. He is from Faizabad, in U.P. He sells flutes from rupees 30 to rupees 300. He walks around the area playing the flute and calling out for customers. Many of his customers are foreign tourists. He earns an average 150 rupees a day. Sometimes even about 500 rupees a day.
According to a custom, in certain areas of Rajasthan, women are hired as professional mourners after the death of a male relative. These women are referred to as a ‘rudaali’ (roo-dah-lee), literally translated as female weeper. They in turn publicly express the grief of family members who are not permitted to display emotion due to social status. The rudaalis make a scene crying out loud. The impact of their mourning also compels other people at the funeral to cry.
The fortune teller with the bull walks around neighborhoods and market streets. His special bull would answer a set of questions by nodding its head in a yes or no. This fortune teller carries a small drum and collects alms, in cash and kind. Children and adults come out of the houses to watch them.
Maruti Bhai Rao is a 65 year old man, who travels in Mumbai with his weighing machine from KanjurMarg Station to Powai garden, spending a couple of days at each spot. He charges rupee 1 for enquiring a person’s weight once. He visits the garden during weekends and spends more time on the station during weekdays keeping in mind customer traffic. He manages to earn about 30-40 rupees a day. He has 5 sons - all of them work in Mumbai.
Mohammed Alim has a ‘junk collection’ shop at Lamington road, Mumbai for the past 5 years. He belongs to Lucknow, U.P. and has been working in Mumbai for the past 13 years. He used to Go about in neighborhoods to collect junk from houses and small shops before setting up the shop. He refused to disclose his monthly income.
This peanut seller sits at a bus stop near Crawford Market in Mumbai. He seasons the peanuts wit salt and lemon and sells them in paper cones and packets. He earns about rupees 3000 a month. His sales dip heavily during the rain months. He belongs to Allahabad and has been selling peanuts for the past 5 years. He used to sell fruit before that.