We have a cycle wallah close to our colony. He lives with one or two more people on the pavement, making a small hut, around 6 by 3 feet, that is his residence, kitchen and shop all in one. Last time i went to his shop, i asked him where i could get a good cycle pump. He had said he would get me one – a more durable and quality one within a week.
This time he had got one, and he showed to me. It was indeed a better quality one, than the one typically sold in markets and one which i found did not last long. He said this one costed Rs 160. I gave him Rs 200, and he was returning Rs 40. I was surprised, that he did not expect any money extra than what he would have paid ! What about the cost of his effort of procuring it ? Does anyone, any businessman do this, even for known ones, leave alone strangers? He showed later that the pump had a printed price of Rs. 299, and wondered why people overpriced products so much and fooled other people.
I looked at his torn shirt. I also noticed a younger worker in his shop for the past few days. He was deaf and dumb, no less skillful in his job. Earlier, i thought he was the deaf and dumb boy who was with this man for long; but realised he was another one (? younger brother of the other one). I do not know if these two were his children or not. But certainly, he had passed on his skills to these two, so that they would survive.
The elder deaf and dumb was inside the hut, eating food. The cycle wallah in the meanwhile told a visitor ( ? acquaintance ) if he had eaten. He said “kuch khaya hai”. The cycle wallah said – ” khana bana hai, kha lo”; seeing that the visitor was not sure if there was food for him as well, the cycle wallah said – “khana hai, sab ke liye!”. Do we welcome an uninvited person over a meal ?
The cycle wallah’s hands were bleeding. He showed me, saying a rat or a chuchunder might have bit him during the night, and he has called some vaid to give him an injection. ” Vaid aata he hoga !”