So I was telling you about the lady from Tamil Nadu who showed me the calluses on her knees. And about her lovely smile. I met her the day I went to the women workers’ accommodation (I cringe every time I hear the term labour camp) in Al Quoz with Juhi and a few others.
A different world there. In those dusty, closely built, unremarkable buildings that flanked the dusty, unremarkable roads with no pavements. A very different world inside the buildings too.
in pale neon
pale and watery
and tired lips
“Doesn’t it remind you of our hostel, Mini? All these girls, gathered after an evening bath, walking around, smiling and talking…” Liza had asked me the first time we had gone there.
I met her there the second time I went. Fair skin and long, black, wavy hair. Kohl-lined eyes above smiling lips. In a sky blue T-shirt and a printed skirt. Which she lifted up to show me the calluses her knees.
Later, I wondered how she would look in a Kanjeepuram sari and a large red bindi. Beautiful enough to break a few hearts, I’m sure. Bad knee or not.