The migrant woman on the Bombay roadside possesses a plethora of stunning textures. She wears clothes from every place she’s been, with beads and threads that are coal black, crimson sindoor, pale dust grey. Her hair is coarse but her skin is as though polished: shining, rich, dark. Too soft for someone who has spent life like a flower offered into the salty, dirty ocean, being swept here and there.
The nonchalance with which she throws her ragged sari pallu over her shoulder and glares her raven eyes has been mimicked by many wealthy actresses and fashion models. None of whom can match her impossible combination of carelessness, frustration and softness, because none of them have her history.
The wealthy Indian model has been flown all over the planet, and requires many attendants to take care of her needs. The migrant woman has walked all over India on her own bare, hard feet, while being a strength for many more, and all of that gracefully. Facing life head on because she has knows no other way to do it. With her heavy silver ankelets singing.
What takes me is that such women don’t know that they are doing something that is difficult, because they have never done anything that is easy.