I thought she was too beautiful to be with someone like me.” Surender, now 30, won her heart through his romantic poetry.Twelve years after they started dating, they married. Surender’s grandmother and Preeti’s mother were from the same “gotra,” or clan.She mops floors, scrubs bathroom tiles, takes out the garbage and sweeps and wipes the apartment stairs. Her employers joke about it, but it’s one way to get through the tedium that comes with spending the work day with her back bent over or on her haunches. That’s her day off, she said as she mopped my apartment stairs. She’s the first woman from her family who makes her own money.They’re from Bihar, hundreds of miles to the east, and they’re conservative.She lives in one-room flat in the Jhuggi Jhopri colony – a settlement developed by the city government near the easternmost edge of Delhi for poor people as an alternative to illegal slums.“I don’t really want any expensive gifts, or to go to big restaurants.
“We used to meet in desolate lanes and ask the younger ones to be on a lookout. It was years before I took her to have a burger at a Mc Donalds’ outlet in Connaught Place.Delhi has a per capita annual income of 300,000 rupees (,615) - the highest in the country and three times the national average.But nearly half of the city’s population lives in slums without basic services and facilities like drinking water, garbage disposal or a proper drainage system.These things are superficial,” said Anuradha, who said she likes watching romance movies and is a big Shah Rukh Khan fan.When she and her boyfriend meet, they talk about their lives and walk around the park, or eat aloo-chaat or golgappas at a roadside stall. You have stories to tell, and passions to share, and things to talk about that are more interesting than the weather.