She has been walking in the heat for hours on the highway with her two children and will most probably keep walking for days. While we discuss at length the ‘new normal’ beyond this lockdown and how anxiety and stress are building up all around due to our confinement, here is a mother who keeps walking and smiling! Her kids – one on her shoulder, another in her arms – are tired. She is tired too, but she does not stop walking, nor forgets to smile – as if the weight she is carrying is not a burden but a joy. Is she not amazing?

In those huge lines of migrants walking determinedly along the Mumbai-Nashik highway in Maharashtra, the image of this extraordinary mother sparked the imagination of the artist
PHOTO • Sohit Misra
In those huge lines of migrants walking determinedly along the Mumbai-Nashik highway in Maharashtra, the image of this extraordinary mother sparked the imagination of the artist
PHOTO • Labani Jangi

Note: The woman and her two children were spotted among the migrant labourers walking on the Mumbai-Nashik Highway. But with the crowd building up, and also moving fast, the television reporter who caught this scene was unable to speak to them. The artist, Labani Jangi, saw this image in a report by Sohit Mishra on Des Ki Baat, Ravish Kumar Ke Saath (NDTV India), on May 6, 2020. The text from Labani was told to and translated by Smita Khator.

Labani Jangi

Labani Jangi, originally from a small town of West Bengal's Nadia district, is working towards a PhD degree on Bengali labour migration at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata. She is a self-taught painter and loves to travel.

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