“Well, you can call this picture an honest representation of my life- a single woman fighting through all odds for survival and just living for the sake of a few smiles.
I’m fifty-two today, spending my time as a part-time vendor at the beach. I’m no stranger to Marina and my days go about, either selling bhel puri or vegetable chips based on the type of situation prevalent. When crowds flock in, the former gives me more profits, especially from people who do not bargain. However, with Chennai’s weather getting increasingly unpredictable, I resort to making my humble chips on the evenings when we barely have any buyers.
Now, I often get asked why I still work, though my daughters are all married off, but I guess the taste of financial independence is far more addictive than that of being lax. With my husband passing away suddenly 7 years ago, life, you see, came to an abrupt halt. Within a day, I was put in a spot where I could either work towards survival or eat away whatever my husband had left for us! And I chose the latter, though I was a homemaker until then with literally no clue on how to lead the family well.
Plus another thing I was extremely sure of despite the uncertainty was to get my daughters educated no matter the battles. Hailing from a remote village in the interiors of Tiruvannamalai, I’ve not had the luxury of going to school. We were a family of three sisters, with a younger brother to take care of, in addition to managing the family business of agriculture. So my days went about mostly in our fields and babysitting my sibling. And coming from that background to a metropolitan city like Chennai, I’ve seen the difference a good education can make towards a family’s future.
Nevertheless, I’m not complaining! When I look back, I guess god has been kind amidst all the chaos. I could’ve been put through so much more hardship but I’ve somehow been lucky to find a small way of earning the required bucks! Having said that, what I do wish for, is to spend the rest of my limited life here peacefully, balancing both my work and my time with my grandchildren. They are my world, and I’ll want to provide for them, all that I could! In the end, it’s truly about their smiles, you see!”