Davidson Kumam


Factory Hand

A factory hand. Gurgaon, Haryana. The finger-print reader drew blank. Then the officer had him rub at the violet stamp pad and press his thumb in the thumb impression area in the document. It was a blot of ink with no texture.

“You have no fingerprint.” The officer said. “We can’t go on.”

The man had lost his aadhaar card and he was required to give his thumb impression to get his card reissued.

A factory hand. Hard work had rubbed fingerprints off this man’s fingers. Metal and acid.

“Can you see to figure out what can be done about it? Maybe through social media.” S. Kocha, the kind proprietor of the factory asked tamo Thingbaijam Singh. “He needs his card.”

Celebratory Shot

Last Saturday night, or a bit before Sunday dawn. I had worked the whole day and the whole night on a Kakching District book to be launched soon by Kakching History Society. Finally I felt sleepy. But I somehow wanted to celebrate the hard work by taking a photograph of myself in how I spent the whole day and night–summer sweat, tousled hair, unwashed face, and so on. That was fun.


The new slum settlement with its houses that look like mounds that have grown out of the parched earth and the tall buildings jutting into and scratching the sky out of nowhere in the background somewhere in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. Both were surprising in their own right and their contrast was striking.

It is rumored in the neighborhood that the slum has got Rohingya refugees that entered India from Bangladesh, which has no reports of official confirmation.

Slums dwellers are an unofficial, unrecognized, and unacknowledged economic class in the country. For one, they form great part of the country’s renewable resources recycling industry. The dwellers of this slum are actively engaged in one of the early phases of recycling resources recovered by the municipal council majorly from household wastes.