Abdul Mallik a 40-year-old primary school teacher in Malappuram, Kerala has no ordinary commute. Every weekday morning he wades across a river with an inner tube tied around his waist, shoes in one hand and clothes in a bag just to reach the primary school where he has been employed for 20 years.
"If I go by bus, it takes me three hours to cover the 12-kilometre distance, but swimming through the river is easier, faster and I reach school on time," he says, after he emerges from the river 15 minutes later.
He then changes into a dry set of clothes on the river bank, and treks uphill for 10 minutes before he reaches the school. An average salary for government teachers like him is around Rs. 25,000 (£250, $380). The compensation, he says, lies elsewhere.
A staunch environmentalist, he often takes his students swimming, hoping the field trip will impress upon them the need to save the river, swirling with filth, that he navigates every day.