“I wonder why are people shocked to see me work, they ask me “why do you work at this age?” I laugh back and say to myself why not! Working for myself makes me happy as well as lets me buy some food for myself. I spend my day selling these packets on streets. I’ve had great expectations from the government to take care of old and helpless poor women like me. This might take some time but I hope people at least get support in terms of employment at old age. After my husband died, I turned to selling crispies. We never had children to support us in tough times.
The only happiness in my life now is earning a couple of rupees more than a regular day. There are times when people pity my condition and handover money to me with a smile, without taking any of these packets in return.. despite the modern fast-paced development, humanity persists strongly in the hearts of people of this city. I request them to buy the packets so that I feel better without sympathising my own self. Food is a luxury for me in the present times. Some day I have enough money to feed myself or maybe someone lends me leftover food by the end of the day, and then there are days when I have to ask for water and fill my stomach. Hunger pangs work the same way for all, I mean just like any young fit person even I feel hungry and it becomes difficult to fall asleep on an empty stomach. The crispies don’t fill me up and so I barely eat them.
There are various facets to the population around me, each restoring your faith in God’s mercy. Having a peaceful silent sleep by the end of my time is the only thing I look forward to now, anxiously! I wonder why the young generation don’t value things, may be because they get everything so easily.
I miss my husband, he used to bring sweets for me every Diwali. We used to eat together and he would work really hard for the family. We fail to value people and their actions most of the times and realise it only after it’s too late. Time never comes back, I wish I could thank him for his love and efforts but I know he knows how much I value it now. I talk to him every morning, you would never understand the pain of being absolutely alone. I wish I had someone to listen to me or just be around.”
(She sells crispies near Bhima Talav-Vikhroli).
Story By – Mansi Dhanak | Mission JOSH
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