“My life as a street vendor, selling popcorn began five years ago, upon catching the last train that left for Tamilnadu. I was all of eighteen and remember pondering over how unfair life was. With a family that’s predominantly into agriculture, poverty wasn’t anything new to me. But things stooped to an all-new low when with the whole farmer’s crisis back then, forcing me to drop out of school.
And as someone who enjoyed studying, it felt like my whole identity was snatched away! Adding to this, I saw so many other kids my age, all dressed well, and having the time of their lives, while mine went in stark contrast. My family was barely able to afford 3 square meals a day, let alone education and entertainment.
Nevertheless, those hungry nights and empty pockets did somewhere trigger in me an anger to prove myself. Education was out of my reach, but I was determined to step up and make a name for myself, without being a burden to the family. Of course, what I do today is barely anything but I believe it’s a step in the right direction. After all, I am starting out without any guidance or support! So, though it’s just a pushcart, I’m happy that it’s my own!
I also live with my friends who are all similar small-time vendors. We work, eat, and live together in the same room, and there’s a genuine sense of brotherhood amongst us, which has aided me in more ways than one! Furthermore, interacting with customers on a daily basis has had its benefits too! I still recall a customer once telling me that ‘life is like popcorn- Everyone starts out as humble kernels before the intensity of it makes us pop one after the other. Eventually, we all become white fluffy lumps, nearing each one’s end. So it’s important to live in the moment and grab opportunities as and when they pop.’ So going by that, I wait here with the hope that life has something special in store for me in the days to come!”