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. 😛

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!! 😀

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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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 🙂 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: @thebrokenspecss

9/11- Ground Zero

September 11, 2001. A day the whole world will never forget.

Do you remember a world when September 11th was just another day? It’s hard to believe, but this year marks the 13th anniversary. It’s been 13 years since 9/11, 13 years since terrorists hijacked several airplanes, flying two in the World Trade Center in New York City and one each into the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

World Trade Center(WTC) New York 2001, International space station pictures from space.

World Trade Center(WTC) New York 2001, International space station pictures from space.

 

Jumped from the tower

Jumped from the tower

Even in impending death below, 2 people give some solace to each other. “You’re not alone!” No, none of those who were in those unfortunate upper floors of the Towers “deserved” what happened to them, but a couple of people here & there (there were 200+ people who fell from the burning buildings without any hope of rescue) held hands to help each other.

 

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial

A decade after the 9/11 attacks, two gaping voids still sit in the ground where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once loomed. But today the towers’ footprints are filled with reflecting pools and waterfalls, in what is now the 9/11 Memorial. Bronze parapets engraved with the 2,983 names of those who perished in the ’93 WTC bombings and at the hands of terrorists on September 11, 2001 wrap around the pools. The names of the victims are listed not in alphabetical order, but in “meaningful adjacencies” that reflect where they were, their affiliations, or personal relationships (as requested by their surviving loved ones).

 

Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in 9/11, pauses at his son’s name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial.

Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in 9/11, pauses at his son’s name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial.

After 13 years gone by it still brings goosebumps when we see the documentaries which are telecast. The people who lost their life’s may not be from the same blood but it still feels like they were no different.

Today, tomorrow or 10 years from now – we will remember 9/11, for the husband who told his wife ‘I love you’ one last time before his plane went down. For the wife who stopped in the stairs to call her husband to say ‘I will love you forever’. For the mothers and fathers who kissed their kid goodbye the morning they died. For the policemen who rushed in with the fireman to help others only to die themselves. .

“We lost a lot, but we gained more. United we stand. We learned freedom isn’t always free..”

 

“How day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different”

What does the title line mean?

This is about things moving slowly but relentlessly. A day doesn’t seem very long, but changes do happen. Each day, a little different. A little bit of drift this way or that.

Then, “suddenly” you notice everything is different. Well, it’s been changing the whole time, but you hadn’t noticed until just now. And that is how life tends to come at you.

Consider what has happened in the last year. What about the last decade? Somehow, the changes seem so much greater, don’t they? Especially in the active years, from the time you’re out of college until your kids are out of college.

Whether it is the small changes in a town, a tree, your partner, your business, or even in you, there is always a little bit of change.

 

Time is like a moving sidewalk or an escalator. You don’t really notice that you’re moving, except that things around you are changing. Their positions are changing, and you know you must be the one moving, and you have a changing perspective on the world around you.

Time is a very slow moving sidewalk. While there are changes happening all around you, they are so small that they are easily overlooked. But the farther back down the path you look, the more reality differs from your memories. Time has passed, things have changed, as has your perspective.

Beyond that, as time passes, different things become more or less important. The first person you ever had a crush on, would you even admit to it today? Your first true love, how do you feel about that now? Again, looking back, it is way different than it was back then, right?

You may not feel your love today changing, but it is. Will it grow or fade? You’ll know for sure in a few years, perhaps a little sooner, depending on how much changes. But day to day, how can you measure it? That might be something you might want to think about.

 

Think about this. Change will happen. There is no stopping it. Will it be random, or will you apply some of your own influence to help shape what happens? Life has no guarantees, but if you don’t try, you will be at the mercy of random chance. That doesn’t sound good to me.

What will you do to make your life different when you look back on it? All at once, it’s hard. But day by day, change will happen. Is it the change you want, or just something random?