Lucknow Homes




The morning sun reflects, and the fog burns away, from the river that divides the Gomti Nagar area of Lucknow from the rest of the city.



In capitalism, wealth adheres to private persons or their surrogates private corporations.   Like magic, some are born into circumstances that allow lives of fulfillment, ease, and pleasure along with access to resources that could support hundreds or thousands or ordinary persons with ordinary needs.



Gomti Nagar is a microcosm of our world-order in which 20% of the world's population "own" 83% of the world wealth and the other 4.5 billion people share the remaining 17% of the world's wealth.


Men and women work together in creating these palaces for the wealthy.  Wealth and poverty go together under capitalism: the poorer the workers, the less they can be paid for their work.  Therefore, the wealthy can afford to live in even more sumptuous splendor.


Here women gather the sticks into bundles to construct roofs.  Sticks are also used for cooking fires.  The poor migrate from building project to project building temporary shelters for themselves obviously without bathrooms, electricity, or water.


Poor laborers washing their utensils and clothes.



Sometimes, instead of stick houses, the migrant builders will live in loose-brick houses built of the bricks used in construction.  When the palace is almost finished they can deconstruct their loose-brick home to put the finishing touches on the master's gate or wall.



Here is one such community of slightly more permanent homes in Gomti Nagar.  The chances are very good that these people do not own this land and are subject to eviction at a moment's notice should someone buy it and decide to build another palace-home.


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Lucknow is one of the richest cities in India and the Gomti Nagar section is bespangled with luxurious palace-homes.  This photo is of Ramakrishna Mandir Temple.



These sumptuous palace homes were clearly designed by the finest architects.



Once finished, these homes are often barricaded behind high brick walls.



A new private home-palace under construction.  Notice that the construction workers construct huts for themselves while working on the building.



Notice the sticks lashed together on top of bundles of sticks used as a "roof."  Plastic or blankets are thrown over the top to slow down the rain.



Some builders may end up remaining in their shacks and become employed as servants by their masters whose house they built.  Of course, under capitalism all employment is a "free" contract between the employer and employee.  Hence, these workers are always "free" to leave their employment, invest in the stock market to become rich, and then build their own sumptuous home by hiring others as "freely" contracted cheap labor.



Probably a husband and wife working together here.  I am told that they are garbage pickers and not construction workers.



Occasionally, the temporary shacks turn into more permanent communities of poor, perhaps because some member of the migrant builder family got a "permanent" job in the area.   Here and there in Gomti Nagar, there is a lot with such a collection of shanties.