Namaste Sirji. Oh you don’t know me right? I am Ramshankar Yadav son of Dayashakar Yadav. I sell balls(those multi-coloured ones) at this crossing. I see you are trying to recognize me please don’t try sir you won’t remember as there are a number of us. No sir I am not asking you to buy one ball as I have sold all of them today like I mostly do. But do you remember that Saturday night. The night when it was raining cats n dogs and traffic was hell. You were with Madamji(she looked so happy) and I approached your SUV. Your baby who was on Madam’s lap looked at the ball and wanted it, so put his little hand out to hold the ball but Madam quickly pulled his hands in and rolled up the window. It was raining and the little boys hands were getting wet so memsahib did the right thing. But sir your boy liked the ball very much and he was squealing. Actually sir kids like the balls very much.
I waited there for sometime hoping that you would buy it from me. Its not a very costly ball sir just Rs.25/-. You could have bought it easily if I may say so. Its not a Chinese product, sir we make it with our own hands. The mahajan gives us the raw materials and we make them and sell at this crossing and give the mahajan back the amount excluding our ‘commission’.
Well you could have taken the ball for yourself too. You could have kept it in your cubicle sir or you could use for the basketball on your floor. You are wondering How a ball seller like me knows about cubicles, basketballs. You see before coming here I was working in garment factory as office boy. There the computer bhaiyaa(a very nice guy) had told me that in big offices people have games, toys, gods, fish bowls etc in their cubicles. You must be thinking that what I am doing here when I had a ‘secure’ job. Well actually the Boss(the factory owner) used to beat me for small mistakes and one day I thought it was enough. You know even my father had never hit me so I left the job and landed into this ball business. I don’t regret sir as initially the business was very good because I was the only one here but then with time many more joined the fray and sales have started dropping but still I can manage and I am happy because I am my own boss here.
But sir that day business was very bad due to rain and I needed that money badly for Chutki. Chutki is my little sister sir. Since our parents were washed away by the floods she stays with me here. She was very ill for some days and I needed the money to buy some fruits and milk for her. We don’t worry about medicines because we have Tom uncle in our basti, provides the medicine from the charitable trust’s home free of cost. Tom uncle is not a doctor he is what you all call a ‘quack'(he is courier boy by the day) but in times of need its his medicine that works. Don’t be perplexed sir Chutki is fine now and has started going to school again but that day I waited for some more time in rain and then went home as it was getting late with just milk. On the way back I dropped at Tom uncle’s ‘clinic’ and he gave some fruits which was given to him by one of his ‘patients’. Theres a saying in bengali “Rakhe Hori mare ke” which means “If God’s with you no one can harm you”.
Anyway sir the signal is turning green you have to hurry. Sorry for disturbing you and wasting your time. And thank you for listening to me and not rolling up the window this time. Are you wondering what happened to the last ball? I couldn’t sell it that day.
PS: This is a work of fiction though I have known some of the characters from very close quarters specially the Tom Uncle(obviously name changed).
Image Source from internet