We live quite close to the most famous market in our city. People from the farthest areas take pleasure in visiting this market – the Malleswaram Market. Here one can buy everything from the most obscure herb, to the most expensive diamond and everything in between. At a range of prices.
We have a wonderful vegetable market, flower market and supermarkets. There are silk saree shops, haute couture tailors and boutiques, electronic malls and just about every brand’s showroom you can think of.
Alongside are the street vendors who sell a version of everything you get in the shops, which, they playfully say, make you pay for their overheads.
The most affluent people who shop in the area have their own personal vegetable vendor. They may come to buy a saree worth several thousands, but they will not leave the area without doing business with the smiling vegetable vendor who knows exactly what their family prefers. She will pack the right quantities of various vegetables and greens and keep the bags ready for the customer to pick up when they finish their shopping and head back home.
She always has a smile on her face. She is a friend who cares.
As she packs each vegetable, she will tell you why it is good for health and give you tips on how to cook it.
So maybe she will use a couple of eggplants or onions or potatoes to weigh her produce, but who cares! Her vegetables are fresh, cleaned and ready to cook. For some of her favorite customers, she will also offer to shell peas, peel the onions and clean the bunch of coriander or other greens she might have brought for the day.
She has been in this area for the 18 years we’ve been here, and perhaps more. She looks ageless to me. I suspect it is because of her good nature.
Look at her smiling, so amused that I’d want her photo, and quite happy to look into the camera. That pouch in her hand? Shelled peas, especially for me. So kind. No extra charge.
She scolds me when I don’t buy greens and beans. They’re good for you, she’ll say. As I am paying her, she’ll ask how come I didn’t buy okra? “Your husband is fond of it, no?” she’ll ask. And I’ll add half a kilo, because she’s right.
“Why are you looking tired today? Did you have lunch” she’ll want to know.
“Why are you walking around in the sun? Go home and wash your face. At night, grind some sandalwood and apply the paste on your face. You are so beautiful!”
Any time I need a pick me up, I look at the photos of these women who are my friends, and who care.
She’s a woman at work, but she obviously enjoys doing what she does. And as her “regulars”, we are more than happy to buy from her. She always has a kind word.
I love her look of affection when I take her something – a saree, a bedsheet, a thick large sheet of plastic and bags she can use. She’ll just receive them, smiling, beckon me close and place her hand on my head.
She has a firm grip on my heart. She inspires me.
I feel blessed. She is a fine example of this quote.
“Be kind whenever possible. Kindness is always possible”
I am joining Parul at Happiness and Food for the #WomenAtWork bloghop. Please join us.