Vendors on the Bus

To travel, I have often opted for the economical option of a bus. Covering vast areas and helping thousands of people to commute at a nominal charge of 7, 10 and at the max 15 – buses have been the go-to option for daily commutes. I have traveled on the bright blue public buses and the mini buses almost on a regular basis.

The buses, while an option to commute for the masses, they are for many vendors also an option to reach more buyers. While on my way to office, I observed a vendor aboard with his cloth bag full of lozenges. Made using spicy chutney and sugar, lozenge is a candy enjoyed by many and is believed to also soothe sore throats.

Having a capacity of seating 40+ commuters at once, buses are a convenient option for the vendors to widen their reach in shorter span of time. Keeping a watch on the traffic lights, the lozenge seller would wait for the buses to arrive. He got up on the bus and sold lozenge to the travelers until the next traffic signal. In his sing song voice, he also informed the buyers about the qualities of his lozenges.

Skilled in time-management, he would ensure that the transactions are done within the 5 minutes of time that he had in his hands. At the signal, he would off the bus and crossed the road to get on the other bus. This helped him save the ticket charge.

About 20 such trips in a day enabled him to reach more than 100 prospective buyers in a day. A transparent packet containing the candy in black and orange colour was a favourite amongst the kids. I wished to click a picture but I’m sure he didn’t have time in hand to comprehend the purpose neither share his approval for the same. Neither did I feel confident enough to approach him for the same.

After having completed close to 20 posts for the Hawkers of Kolkata series, I’m surprised with the varieties of professions and trades that our country has. Unending hard-work and dedication enables many such vendors to make a living and live a life of dignity.

Pic Courtesy: TrekEarth dot com

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