Those who work out in the open under the blazing sun don’t say it’s NOT a big deal – after all, it’s their livelihood

Seventy-year-old Vijay frequently refills his water bottle to quench his thirst as the mercury rises to 42 degrees. He can’t stop working despite the scorching sun overhead — after all, it is his job. For the last 50 years, he has been working as a parking lot manager, be it sweltering summer or freezing winter. Thus, the only way to face Delhi’s harsh summer is to beat the heat.

Like him, many are in professions which demand they work under the open sky. With the summer in Delhi, which is getting hotter day by day, all they can do is to fight against the blazing summer season. They gear up to face this ‘fiery’ season of the year boldly.

Another old man’s indomitable spirit is almost enviable. “I’ve been in this profession for about 25 years now,” says Vinod Kumar Gupta, a newspaper vendor. He is in his late 60s, but ‘age is just a number’, he believes. “I used to distribute papers for eight years, today also I do the same,” he replies. When asked what does he do save himself from the searing summer heat, he says, “I take breaks frequently. I take shelter under a tree and drink some water or juice. That’s it.”

Similarly, Bharat, who works as the security guard of an office building near ITO says, “Well, it doesn’t affect me any more. I’m just used to it. All I do is drink a lot of water.” For him, the harsh summer season is just like any other. He never loses his cool, it seems.
Nachatar, who has been working as security guard almost all his life, always carries an extra shirt with him during summer. “It’s not good to wear the same sweat-drenched shirt the whole day! So, I always keep a change with me. It’s much better that way,” he says. Other than this, he prefers having ‘nimbu paani’, “it saves me from the sweltering summer heat.”

“I work 12 hours a day,” says Mofiz, a young fruit-seller, who has been working for three years. When asked what’s his way to beat the heat, he points towards the big umbrella over his head, placed over his fruit cart, and says: “This is what saves me from the scorching sun.”

Ankush adopts the same method. He has been selling ice creams for eight years now. “Bas chhata laga lete hain yaha (I just put up an umbrella over here)” he says with a smile. And just a little distance away from his ice-cream stall, a group of men – some of them security guards and some working on the parking lot, have gathered to drink water from the newly placed thermos on a wooden bench at the roadside. They seem least bothered by the harsh summer heat. Rather, they take it as a challenge to work against all odds and make it through Delhi’s scathing summer.

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