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Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg
Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg

Bidis: The Hand-Rolled Cigarettes That Keep More Than Four Million Indians Employed

The poor man's smoke, cheap tobacco wrapped in a coarse leaf, the bidi cigarette is the fragrance of the jumbled streets of India. It's something rarely present in the comfort of air conditioned rooms. The scent of the bidi swirls around you when stepping into an auto rickshaw — flavors include chocolate, cherry and cinnamon — or walking through an alley, past a group of day laborers. More than four million Indians make bidi cigarettes for a living, some 90 percent of them in homes or small workshops. Photographs by Udit Kulshrestha for Bloomberg