Street Vendor (A Diwali festival True Story)!
Short Stories By Ahmed Taher | February 22, 2018
Street Vendor is a true story of a street vendor.
who has been juggling between the politics of local authorities and rich restaurant and shop owners.
In India this (Mid – October to Mid November) is Diwali season, when markets get flooded with street vendor and buyers. A well-known central market in Gurgaon, usually flooded with food street vendors.
Most of them serve delicious food; on hygienically managed stalls.
Being a South Indian food freak, my most loved food stall is the only South Indian food stall in the market. I used to visit there usually to have my evening breakfast or light dinner.
My visit to the stall was so frequent that after a point of time, Bhaiya! (the stall owner), started recognizing me and at times before I used to order, he used to say Idli. And, I used to reply, with only nariyal chatni and less sambhar. (Idli,Sambhar and nariyal chatni, a south Indian delicacy).
One day during the evening, I went there out of Idly craving. And found that the south Indian Street Vendor was not there.
The first thing came in my mind was “He might be visiting outstation as it happened once earlier also. And, he told me that he is from somewhere in U.P or Bihar. I do not recall the name of the city.
Thus, I thought he would be back in 15 to 20 days, like last time. I went there again after about 20 days and he was not there. In fact, I noticed not only the south Indian food street vendor, few other street food vendors were also not there.
I passed by the place, again after 15 to 20 days. My favourite street vendor, along with some other street vendors were missing again. This time I couldn’t resist and inquire at the shops nearby but they replied they have no clue.
Months passed like this and the Diwali season came. During Diwali season, I again visited the market. To my utter surprise, my favourite street vendor was there. I was certainly happy to see him there and so as my taste buds. Thus, I ordered idlis again.
Since it had been really long. He did not recognize me. I couldn’t resist to ask. Bhaiya, where you had been these many months? He smiled and replied, what to say ma’am! I inquired again, please tell me, I want to know. He replied hesitantly and slowly “Ma’am, all this politics, whenever the President of the market changes. During and after the elections we small street vendors has to suffer”. He added further “Actually, we pay them less, they get a good amount of money from big restaurant owners and shops. We cannot pay, as they pay. Near to Diwali some settlement happened and we all got the permission to sell again.
I thought in my mind; Bhaiya! this politics is not only heavy to your pocket but ultimately to our (the buyers) pocket as well.
You can read about South Indian Cuisines, following the below link-: