Pursuit

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

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121 thoughts on “Pursuit

    1. Oh! How sad it would have been for her. And that too sometimes work at the lowest level to get your livelihood. Life is hard for many.
      Thanks for sharing your piece, Jolie.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey!! Thanks for taking some time out to read the post. I think I have read that story, it was nice.
      There are many children helping their families to eat a meal at night! So wonderful of them to do that bit. Hope all these boys I met, do well in their life. 😊 Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ankit, this is such a lovely story you shared, I can totally relate to it. When I was in India I saw exactly what you described but now I wish I had deeper conversations with the kids. What an honorable thing he is doing and you were so sweet to talk with him. He must feel very special now 😊😊 I had the Panipuri when I was in Delhi and it’s very good!! Thank you for sharing a piece of your life here, it’s really beautiful πŸ’œ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I knew if someone foreign land would know this, it will be you, Jennifer!
      They always have a smile on their face not matter what problems they have. Very happily they are doing this.
      Yes, they always feel good when someone ask them questions, and that too respectfully.

      India is your second home I guess. Haha. Thank you for reading the post, Jennifer Green. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha yes I think India is my second home too!! I love everything about it 😊 People are great and I agree with you, they are happy with what they have. Now I feel like coming back!!! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Such a nice story from you. After read your post, I think I should be more grateful for having a better life and not always complaining about things I don’t have. Those kids are so mature for their ages. Hope they can have a better future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your time on reading this out, Luna. We all should he grateful for what we have. I too hope somehow they should get to a better future sooner.

      Like

  3. Life for some people maybr served in silver platter and they don’t have value of their life. But to some people they have to sacrifice a lot amd struggle a lot to have just a single meal a day. And this article just is a simple example to this. But there are others children who have to work in factory or some harmful place by risking their life to earn a life.

    Very true. I liked this. Nicely written Ankit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! We all are just looking for that branded stuffs and better phones but these boys are happily with smiles are just trying to get enough money to contribute and get single day meal.

      Yes! There are places where the kids have given the healthy life to get some pay. Which is way to harmful for their health. Hope .. Just hope all of them can somehow live a better life. 😧

      Thanks, Aneri! This was the “something big” kind of post you thought off. πŸ˜‹

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. Thought of this big. Hut never knew this deep too. 🀩 haan we just can’t hope to get them a better life . But also can give them a better life by contributing a Penny to all these NGOs and institutions where they take care of these kids. Also these kids are future thus by contributing to them means contributing to our future . hope this thought can come to everyone and thus their lifes will be become better.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haan, I do contribute to the NGOs from time to time, but their are so many kids that we see them most of the times doing something at an age which they shouldn’t be doing.
        Hopefully! The better happens to them and that to sooner. 😊 Happy because you will also be relating to it much because of being part of the same country.

        Liked by 1 person

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  6. Hi ‘A’,
    I liked the blog but have a question, I do not know if you’ll appreciate the question but I wanted to know this since the day I read this post, so my question is what have you done for these children? You have so much empathy for them have you ever tried to help them in any of the ways?
    There is no such intention of being rude or hurting your sentiments its just that there are many people who have immense sympathy for poor and these innocent struggling children but they have never taken any step to help them other than criticizing and blaming the government.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi ‘Kundan’ πŸ˜‹
      Till now I had not helped them in terms of things, but I have motivated them to learn and be regular/good at school.

      They will be leaving for their village on this 20th as their vacation will get over, I will get some notepads and a box for them.. so that it can help them in their studies.

      Thanks for your concern and seeing things beyond kindness! 😊 Gem.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I really enjoyed this post. I believe more children, when they are able, should go out and help their parents. Not everyone needs to work to help their parents, but some parents would be very appreciative. ☺️❀️

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m from Pakistan, and I’ve encountered so many kids like these too, and they have the most beautiful and most breathtaking smiles… They go through hell, yet they shine as bright as heaven….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Rinum,
      So yesterday was exciting for Pakistan Cricket fans, I hope you were glued in it too.

      Recently, I had a talk with him again, and asked(all in Hindi), what he likes or sees as the best.. and he replied everything! I tweaked the question and asked, what you don’t like? He replied I like everything, nothing is bad.

      We complain so much and here’s a little boy on the side of the road near by the footpath tells you everything is fine and good.
      I agree they have a bright smile.
      Thanks for the visit!

      Liked by 1 person

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  10. Exactly 3 years back.. This was my routine, as walk to reach my apartment from the cab drop point was of 30 mins. Even I had this pani puri stop en route to my apartment where I would always stop and have it from the pani puri guy and would have such conversations with him! Thanks for taking me back to the memory lane of those good old days.. ✌ post was definitely worth a read πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful. Nice to know that I am not the only one. Few times a lot of people were having their bowl of Pani Puri, I used to get in and talk to the boy as if I know him from ages, people look at me in a way on why I am talking to the boy in a very friendly manner. Haha.
      Happy you found it good, Richard. πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. Haha very true..can exactly correlate to what your saying about the look or stare people would give.. Coz have very well been there.. Anyways thanks again for writing this up! πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜‡

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing!
    It is interesting to learn about India..
    When I started using Amazon India I was lost.. I know rice well enough but had to google Burfi πŸ™‚
    It is great that you are helping a family and enjoying their cooking.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Hey Kristian, Thank you for reading out the blog. The blog is hosted by WordPress at zero cost, and you will find this and many other designs over the WordPress site for free. Do explore. Let me know for any help. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you, Deeksha!!
      Yes. It is easier to take birth with silver spoon in your mouth then to see how these 10-12 year old helping parents to run a family.
      He was never a smile away. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. Yes.
      And hey, I am backing myself and believing that you should be from north. If yes, then you should have surely seen such small vendors on road.

      In my area, I mostly find them as kids, ageing 10-14. It is sad to see them doing this but if you know what it takes to support ones family, this is what they are doing. Just at very small age.
      Thanks Surbhi!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm….I’m from Rajasthan.
        Well Mr. A, I think its not about any specific region you can find these types of kids in every place of India.
        And ya, they all are hard working kids who knows how to find happiness in simplest things.
        but ofcourse before thinking abt helping them financially, people in India needs to learn how to treat them with equality and respect….✌✌

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Padharo maare desh re. Okay.

        I agree but I don’t see these kids in the southern region.
        Totally mutual on this, that everyone needs to upskill their behaviour and mindset.

        Hope we all make a new India soon. 😊
        Like your thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. hahaha lol yes….khamma ghani…πŸ™
        oh…looks likes you have been to the southern region. I have not yet travelled there so ya maybe you are right, can’t say much about that…
        yes! yes! hope so….improved indians thinking process….lol…πŸ˜‰
        and I like your thoughts….

        Liked by 1 person

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