This was originally a part of a longer post published years ago and came across it recently. So I’ve decided to share it once again.
Just a quick note: I’ve been watching in many places as roads and even houses are built and can’t help be amazed at the processes. Rocks are brought up from the river bed by donkey …dumped in one place near the closet existing road, and then sari dressed women, some with babies tied to their banks or toddlers following them, carry them on their heads and dump them closer to the actual work site
…and then they are hit with sledgehammers in such a way as to create one side which is completely flat. These are then place one next to the other with the flat side facing out to build retaining walls…or the foundation for a road – the spaces between them are then filled with cement and layer upon layer is built in this way. The cement is mixed by hand, with no seeming consistent way of doing it…water is added (and sometimes gravel – which is also made by hand by men, or women, sitting all day and pounding stones into gravel) until the cement “feels” right – like you might mix bread dough.
I’ve seen branches cut from trees and trimmed of bark with sickles being used with string as surveying instruments, and I’ve even seen a place where optic cables are being laid, but the labor is still done with pickaxes, shovels, hand ploughs etc., and the debris carried away in trays on the heads of sari dressed women.
This is all part of what India is, and although I really haven’t written much this trip, I’ve been reading over some of my older journals, and realize that much of what I found worth writing about in the past, I simply take for granted now
….Nothing seems as strange as it once did, or even noteworthy…it is just the way things are here and accepted as normal.