Quarter Life Crisis

Do we make conscious choices in our lives? Do we just go with the flow? Do we choose to be guided by the immediate option or do we probe further to learn what is best for us? How do we lead our lives? Time and again, I have noticed that many of my life’s decisions were guided by a parent or a relative. When I was clueless of what to do next, it was a friendly comment that showed me direction.

That day at Chowringhee crossing, I discovered a similar such story. 

A humid, summer afternoon, the serpentine traffic jam seemed to have come to a standstill. I had a friend to accompany me that day who made the wait bearable. The constant honking was getting on my nerves and the flashing traffic lights seemed useless. I watched as the pedestrians crossed the road and made towards vehicles who had no scope of moving.

In the meanwhile, amidst all the chaos, I noticed a number of hawkers had been approaching the waiting  commuters. Some sold fresh roses, some had key chains to sell while there were also some who sold toys and vegetables. Yes, I remember my mom had once purchased lemons while waiting at the crossing.

The vendors went car to car to sell their wares. There were also some beggars who tried their luck on earning some alms. Outside our taxi’s window, we had a toy-seller, Nitin, calling out to us. He had in his hands a couple of kids microphones and some more plastic toys. A peek into his bag explained that he had many varieties to offer. He demonstrated the capability of the microphone by talking to us through it. He seemed to be in his mid-thirties.

We happened to chat with him and learnt that about a decade ago, he was leading a completely different life. He said, I used to go about asking for alms. I had no aspirations, no willingness to work and no idea about what I should be doing. His quarter life crisis was quite relate-able. How did this change came about? What enabled him to change the course of his life towards something more meaningful?

He told us – One day, when I was asking for alms, a gentleman took some time to talk with me. He tried to understand my problems and guided me. He saw the potential in me and remarked that I should not waste my the days of my life. He added to say that I could live a life of respect and make the days more meaningful. Apart from guiding me, he also provided me with financial support to help me start my business. I started selling snacks at this crossing and then explored other options over the years. That day was a turning point for me and I’m forever grateful to the person who took the time to guide me.

Selling toys have proved beneficial for me and I look forward to keep up with the changing trends.

Years of experience and hardwork had made Nitin a commendable businessman.

Such is the power of a word, such is the power of a well-thought advice. It can change lives. Be supportive of a positive change and we can make the world a better place!

Remember any similar such incident? I’d love to know about the same.

You can read stories about hawkers in my previous posts for the BlogchatterA2Z Challenge at –

Amidst the City of Chaos His World Exists
Belly of Bertram Street
Connoisseur of Flavors Around the Corner
Dainty Dealers
Evening Feasts
Full of Life at 89!
Gleefully at Work
Hoichoi of Gariahat
Ink of Love
Jolly and Jovial at Chowringhee
Kolkata’s Answer to Parched Lips
Larger than Life
Mishti Makers of Kolkata
Navigating Life’s Journey
Against all Odds
Priya Puchkawalas!

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