It is that time of the year, plants seem to have gotten a makeover and road side pavements are all dotted with street vendors. The little rain North India gets is once again making my world look pretty.
Bhutta( corn on the cobs) Season is on. All the trips that I make around the city includes at least one Bhutta Pit Stop. I stop to enjoy different kind of lives unfolding right in front of my eyes everyday. My most favourite are the street vendors who sit on the road leading from Ashram to Apollo Hospital in Delhi. The whole road is full of children and old people selling Bhuttas, inticing people with their yellow gold beautifully displayed on their carts.Well spoken siblings and friends teamwork on their stalls can put many big corporate managers to shame. Many of them finish school at 2pm and and are seen three o’clock onwards. Sitting there waiting for my sweet golden treat being roasted to perfection I have very often witnessed good and not so good examples of humanity.
A popular wise saying doesn’t seem to be common sense anymore … “How we treat people who are less fortunate then us … speaks volumes of our character”. And how true is that… I see big cars taking roadside pit stops but some break my and kids selling their bhuttas hearts everyday by being rude and insensitive. Some amaze me by bargaining over a 20 Rupee bhutta ever so often.
The Gods were smiling yesterday and the much needed rain showers were making their presence felt. I stopped at one of best Bhutta guy’s cart in Noida, happy to see him resourceful enough to roast his bhuttas in the rain. His partner was holding a plastic sheet over the burning coal and together they were working fast to attend to their clients. The car before me had in it’s driving seat a lady with salon ready look and a young girl – (must be the daughter) waiting for their perfect Bhutta. Sadly the lady did what many humans do nowadays ….she threw out her frustrations of daily life and screamed at the guy for giving her a not so good bhutta. He came to me and asked me to taste my bhutta and asked if it wasn’t good enough. His sad tone pierced my being when he said,”Look at the rain didi, I am working in this rain because my house depends on my hard work to feed them “Do Roti”. But the lady in the car kept complaining completely oblivious of my drenched clothes, The weather from inside the car must look amazing but outside it isn’t as rosy for me.”
What the parent me was thinking when I saw her being rude ? Instead of being sensitive to people on the street, we sit in our big cars…big bungalows and throw verbal garbage at people who can’t speak back. And the vicious circle goes on and on. Our children who go to expensive schools and for whom we buy books to teach them values are seeing how we are living our lives. We are failing miserably at being good human beings and also at our parenting responsibilities when we disrespect people based on their economic position in the scoiety.
Let’s stop bargaining and minding paying more for the street vendors’ hard work and open our hearts a little bit more. Isn’t it easy for us to shell out a few hundreds for one scoop of Baskin Robbins ice-cream or a candy floss from a lovely little kiosk in a mall. Let’s teach our kids what is dignity of labour … let’s teach them by our own example.
Saluting street vendors, my favourite bhutta guy and all the children and old people sitting on the pavements who make our journey more interesting by selling their best golden juicy bhuttas at ridiculously low prices everyday.
Dedicating this post to all the street vendors of this world!