"the men came back from Dhanbad and Delhi and Calcutta, leaner, darker, angrier, but with money in their pockets"

Temporary migration for work from rural India to the cities is common. Generally, men migrate and women and children stay behind, and while the money earned from seasonal migration can be vital to those families, the women are often left behind with very little money, and the men who migrate are entering a difficult informal labour market, without any security.