If you live in India or have ever traveled to India in the second decade of 21st century, you would have found a lot of places having fancy street foods, specially, in the metropolitan cities like, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

If you exclude the posh areas of New Delhi and NCR(National Capital Region), and then walk on a very normal street/roads which connects welfare housing societies, you are likely to easily spot the following roadside options like, Ice-Cream tricycles, Open roof stalls of Sugarcane Juice, roasted corn and maybe the push-truck(thela) tickiwala(also called, Chaatwala).

An addition to this group is the roadside “Gol-Gappe”(also called PaniPuri). Now, what’s PaniPuri? It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of flavored water (known as imli pani), tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas. The complete setup on which Gol-Gappe, Pani and other spices are placed is very easy to carry and move, and also can be quickly placed anywhere and can start selling it back. Now you are thinking, why I am writing about all this stuff? Here’s why.

Every evening when I am traveling back home from work, in the last part of the transit I have to make a 20 minutes walk to get to my apartment. In these 20 minutes, starting from getting down from the auto, finding the Panwari(guy who sells Paan, which is made up of betel leaf with areca nut) and cigarettes(which is sold more than the paan these days), interestingly, his wife also sits during late hours to keep the business up. Some 200 steps ahead, I find the Ice-Cream tricycles from Vadilal, Kwality Walls, Creambell and newly famous Havmor, which is expensive to my pocket. πŸ˜›

After 5 minutes, I find a little boy selling Gol-Gappe at the corner of the right turn of the road. I walk towards him, and ask for the rates. He replies, “4 pieces for 10 bucks”. I said, “Can I have it?”, he offers me a dona(which is a paper bowl). The Panipuri tasted amazing!! πŸ˜€

Yesterday evening, I left early from work and while getting back home, I met the boy again. He is 3/4 of my height, considering I am not tall, so he looks short. He should be around 10-12 years of age. I asked him, “What’s your name?”. He replies with a smile, “Vansh Gupta”. I asked him if he goes to school, he replies “Yes, I go to school”. With a thought on how he gets time to study, I asked “When you study or do your homework?”, he says “during night, after having dinner”.

I asked him if I can take his picture which I will share on internet with my writing. He shakes his head with a smile. πŸ™‚ I said “Okay, can I take picture of your setup?” And he says “Yes” this time. I also checked with him, “So, where are you from and who else are you in your family?”, to which he replies, “I am Mirzapur(in Uttar Pradesh), and here I have my father and brother who also sell Gol-Gappe, whereas my mother lives in hometown(Mirzapur)”.

He has friends of same age. They also sell Gol-Gappe. One is Rajkumar and another is Komal. I have ate Panipuri from them too. πŸ™‚ Komal is the smart one, like a leader among these boys. I think he likes momos because I have found him eating momos a couple of times. Whereas, Vansh is the good-looking one. But they all are very simple and happy going boys. πŸ™‚

At the age of 12, helping family to earn enough so as to get one time meal is really unbelievably appreciable. Just think about the sacrifices they have been making, like missing their mother, not playing outside in evening so that they help their father and surely not able to spend enough time to learn and study so that in future they don’t need to sell Panipuri.

The least you can offer is a Smile πŸ™‚ to them, do not see them as someone lesser than you and just be good and motivate everyone around you. Life is not easy for everyone.

Tweeting:Β @thebrokenspecss


497 thoughts on “Pursuit

    1. I think this is a wonderful story and would not dare to look down on a person/people who strive to do what they have to in their own way for the betterment of their hopeful future.

      Great photos of the experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Just wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your post is simply spectacular
    and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your
    feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please
    keep up the enjoyable work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the article you write.
    The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not
    afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charu!
      I believe you have had those paani puri on the streets and can relate more. πŸ™‚ Show respect to these vendors whenever you interact with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content.

    The article has truly peaked my interest. I am
    going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week.
    I opted in for your Feed as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this post. Praying for all the children, who work hard for their family even in such a small age when they should rather be playing games and enjoying around. Hope that all the hard works they have been doing will pay off, sooner or later. ❀️
    By the way, we have almost same dishes in Nepal and India. And this post of yours made me miss panipuri and momo in this quarantine.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Arati, wonderful to hear from you.
      Happy that you liked the post, haha I really didn’t wanted to arouse the cravings! Make it at home or wait when everything is normal. πŸ™‚ Be safe. Happy to find a message from you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha..
        Actually we have made it a lot of times at home during this quarantine and trust me it tastes even more delicious when it’s made at home and eaten with family..πŸ™ƒ
        You stay safe too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I have holidayed in India many times (Goa but have also visited Karnataka and have friends in Guwahati, Assam) but don’t think I’ve tried this particular street food – I must try next year.
    You are so right about the work ethic of these young people and what they have to do to support family – he least they deserve is respect … and a smile. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy you found this post good, and great to know you have travelled a bit of India, do try street foods when you here the next time.

      Yes, they deserve respect for sure. Thank you for reading. πŸ™‚


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