Although life in the slums near the Union Carbide factory is still difficult, the Bustees' dwellers continue their daily routine lives with pride, dignity and loads of smiles.
However, before we accept their "happy smiles" as proof that the Bustees' lives are fine, we should be reminded that so many of us envy the ‘happy smiles’ without ever realizing that behind the mask is a face that sees the truth and knows deep down that everything is not what it seems. As Big Bill Broonzy, an old-era Chicago blues singer, once sang,
"I smile to keep from worrying
And I laugh just to keep from crying."
These portraits were shot in Atal Ayub Nagar, a community of about 2,000 people right behind the Union Carbide factory and in Blue Moon colony.