“If people think inflating a balloon is fun, then they should try bursting them sometime. It’s even more entertaining! Especially at a place like Marina beach where the winds are calm and the atmosphere, relaxed, people stop by my shop to specifically pop a few of these balloons to their heart’s content.
And in my ten years here, I’ve realized that these tiny air pockets often act as major stress busters. One can witness an instant elation in people’s faces when they keep shooting them correctly, back to back! It’s as if they feel a sense of pride for unlocking an achievement that they were completely new to!
Now personally, I look forward to college students who pool in, in small crowds. Their banter and harmless mockery specifically at the peer who’s taking the shot, almost always leaves me in splits. Some even go about curiously analyzing the gun and it’s silver pellets, questioning me why they’re made of millets. And all this infectious energy never fails to seize the onlooker’s gaze, who stare wondering why there’s so much laughter around my stall.
But besides the lighter side of things, one question that people have repeatedly started asking now, is about why all of us balloon-stall owners have increased our rates to 30 Rupees. Now, this saddens me because the amount that seems huge to them is hardly ever enough for us to buy a single meal.
Adding to that, the pandemic again has made sure we remained shut for about eight months, thus directly piercing into our livelihoods! Earlier, I took care of my house and came here in the evenings while my husband worked full-time with the corporation. So there were two streams of income for our sustenance. Nevertheless with 2020 and it’s lockdowns, all of it took a hit and we had to sit back home in the hopes that our stalls would reopen one day. So at least, in the years to come I hope there’s an increased understanding amongst crowds to support micro entrepreneurs like us. We need all the help we can get to fix our financial adversities, and thereby our lives too!”