Saturday, April 10, 2010

Street Vendors


Recently I asked all of you to share with me details of street based vendors of goods and services we find normally in our residential localities. I thank all of you for your enthusiastic participation. I got more than fifty in my list attached. Someone wondered why I am asking this info. I shall try to explain.

Every morning when I am brushing my teeth around 5.00 am I hear a vendor selling Rai Moggu (stone powder for Rangoli). I used to wonder, almost daily, who will buy this stuff on a daily basis? I can understand the vegetable vendor, the Flower wala coming daily. This nagging question has been coming so regularly everyday that if that vendor does not come for a day I feel my brushing is not complete. Another old man who sells Idli, Vada, Upma etc, riding on his bicycle, comes at about 10:30 in the morning. That makes think: Is he not too late for breakfast? Is he in the last leg of his morning trip? If I order foodstuff from him, will I get cold (stale) stuff? When I hear the Plantain (mouse / khela) fellow shouting and go out, he is nowhere to be seen; the sound is coming from the next street, parallel to ours. Have I missed him? Should I hang on?

Such questions set me thinking further: Are all these vendors of equal use (value) to us? Whom else we may expect to serve us at our doorstep? Are they coming at the right time? How to ensure that we do not miss an important vendor? How do I avoid getting lost in nostalgic memories, when I see some street vendor? To get answers to such most important questions I needed to list out the service providers, eliminate whom I don’t care, examine others and problems relating to each. As a responsible citizen, what can you do to mitigate their problems, if any. For example: Keep correct change, come to ground floor if you in a multistory apartment, talk to him politely etc. The task appeared formidable and sss-global came to my mind. That is why I sent that question.

I had another hidden agenda too. Lord Krishna said that he descends to the earth by taking a new Avatar every time Adharma saturates the earth. Like that, whenever the sss-global group declines to low ebb of activity, I discreetly try to seed a few new discussions. I have observed that if I ask you serious questions like: “Please comment on revision of NPOP” or “Let us enumerate all good qualities about senior citizens”, “How should we handle stubborn government authorities who refuse to listen?” etc, I do not get any response. If I ask simple things like: “How to thicken Sambar?” Or “Who are the daily street vendors we come across?” I get plenty of responses. Sri Ramana has been correctly and closely observing me and is able to understand this group dynamics. He is cent percent correct.

Now, enough of pulling your legs. Here are the results of your labour, love and concern. Don’t you realize that putting many brains together yields a lot of synergy? That is the real reason for my asking all of you that simple question. How is my summing up? Am I not full of questions?

Enumeration of Vendors of Services and goods for the common household at the street level

1. Flowers
2. Allam Moraba
3. Moggu (Stone powder for drawing Rangoli)
4. Sooth sayers (who come with decorated bull)
5. Safai walah
6. Goorkha
7. Milkman
8. Newspaper guy
9. Murai vaasal ladies
10. Aaku Kooralu(green leafy vegetables)
11. Bread, makhan, Ande wala(in Delhi)
12. Idli
13. Paper kayatalu(they buy)
14. Free lance barbers on the road, with hand held mirrors
15. Koorgayulu(vegetables)
16. Seasonal fruit viz Oranges
17. Car cleaners
18. Koora wala,
19. Flowerpot man,
20. Jadu seller
21. Selling ice cream...
22. Selling bangles
23. Tea venders
24. Knife sharpners - with a wheeled machine
25. Old / used paper vendors
26. Beggars (they get you Punyam by accepting your alms)
27. Akukuralu(leafy vegetables only)
28. Kuragayalu(vegetables)
29. Bananas
30. Brooms
31. Narikuravaas selling needles, stones, mala etc.
32. Fishermen selling Fish both dead and alive.
33. Water tank cleaners (young boys)
34. Car cleaners including scooters motor cycles.
35. Gudugudu Pandi telling your fortunes, astrologers, palmists, soothsayers etc.
36. Kitchen Vessels repair and zinc coating people.
37. Fancy dress makers dressing like Rama, Krishna, Hanuman, etc.
38. Dressing like a brahmins and chanting mantras.
39. Tiffins like dosa,idly
40. Sofaset repairers,
41. Sharpening knives
42. Pillow/bed makers, repairers (re-fillers).
43. Pav wala
44. Greens leafy vegetables—Chillies
45. Idli vada Dosa
46. Sundal
47. Ullipayalu
48. Maid using 'Broom' and 'Muggu'
49. Umbrella Repairman
50. Pesticide sprayer
51. Coconut tree climber to pluck coconuts for you
52. Stone Mortar & Pestle – chipper who roughens the surfaces
53. Zinc coater for brass vessels
54. Vepa pullalu (Neem tree shoots (sticks) for brushing teeth)
55. Early Morning Sangeerthana bands (Bajan groups) selling divine blessings
56. Coconut water
57. Rag pickers (they serve you by removing unwanted stuff)
58. Flowers & Fruits sellers
59. Water storage containers (cement, plastic etc)
60. “Seconds” biscuits, bun, bread & bakery items
61. Pickles seller

How many you could not recollect?
How many you did not know?
What brought back sweet memories?
Whom do you miss – not coming nowadays?
Who would you like to see but not as such available?
What items do most people easily recollect (duplicates)?

If these vendors form a union and come to you write out a petition to, say government, residents / public, police, municipality etc what could be common contents? (Their common problems?)

If you have plenty of time, you think on these lines!!

(Above write-up is the result of an interaction among senior citizens in a Yahoo Group Called sss-global)

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I am researching hawkers and find few articles that are personally narrative. I've written about your blog on my own site,
    Street Vendors +

    Thank you once more, it's lovely writing.
    ~ ally reeves