All of us have certain tasks in our lives for which we have to fight some internal resistance to start the action. For me, one such task is going to the vegetable market. It is something I keep putting off until the fridge is bare. But once I get to the ulavar santhai, then the sight of the heaps of fresh vegetables is invigorating. I invariably buy more than we can eat in a week and stagger back with loaded bags.
This morning, I made the trip early, by scooter which is the easiest form of transport as Ooty gets busier in summer. And I had two interactions which stayed in the mind.
One was talking to Ibrahim who was selling cauliflower and broccoli. Just finished with his plus two exams, he is working at the market in the holidays. I told him about the program to be conducted by Hotel Sullivan court – a 2 week program of internship at a 3 * hotel, with food, stipend and a certificate. We are finding it hard to get students who want to make us of this opportunity! Boys would rather wander around with cell phones and taxis driver friends and if possible, girl friends, than go to work. And like rare wild flowers we have boys like Ibrahim and Nallendran . Nallendran, is studying in the 10th standard. Before and after school, he works in a milk booth where he also sleeps at night.
Then I was buying oranges and I didn’t have the money to pay for them. The lady vendor, with whom I was not familiar, said pay next time. I was so touched and gladdened.