One day, I joined one of these processions and began shouting, “Desh ki neta Indira Mata” as I walked with them. After some time, I asked the person next to me, “Bhai, how much money did they give you?”
“How much did they give you?” he asked in return. I had also worn an old and torn pant and sleeve shirt. Even my face was covered in the sweat of the summer heat, the drops dripping continuously.
I said, “five.”
“You’re a fool. I never agree to anything less than ten,” he said with great pride.
“What do you mean never? For what all processions and rallies do they pay you this amount?”
“The same thing: ‘desh ki neta Indira mata” procession. It happens once every three or four days, right? I come every time. Are you a newcomer?”
I said “yes” and left the spot and joined another place in the crowd. This time I asked the same question to another co-sloganeer: “Bhai, How much money did they give you? I got five.”
“That Thekedaar (broker or middleman) is a Badmash! He gave you five? I got only three! Let him come tomorrow, I’ll tell him I won’t come for anything less than five.”