Vendors on Bazaar street
Interviewing has become an integral part of GCIL. Seeing the world through another’s lens has never seemed more important. Last Friday, as team Hasiru Dala walked through bazaar street, our little group of three met many interesting people. While some were a little uncertain about being interviewed, everyone eventually opened up. Initially, there were doubts and confusion as to what our goal really was. However, the beauty of this exercise allowed us to learn anything about the Indian lifestyle. Hesitant but curious, our group went to the first vendor we saw and asked if we could interview him. The vendor was more than happy to talk about his life. It was a great start to the exercise as the vendor explained how great life was and that he had everything he could have hoped for. All his children were married and on good terms with him. He was making enough for rent and didn’t have a lot of worries. We felt really great for him and this came as an unexpected surprise to me as I had this mindset of being ready to learn about the struggles of life for a common man.
As happy as I felt, reality struck quickly to remind me of the world we live in. The next person we talked to was a lady selling flowers on the side of the road. She seemed a little timid as we approached her, but she was willing to talk. I asked the general questions at first, such as how long she had been doing this and how she felt about the environment around her. She opened up quickly and it did not take long for us to realize that she was working completely for survival. Sleeping on the streets at night, barely making enough for food, and being neglected by her children were just a few of the problems she talked about. On top of all this, her husband, who was also sitting beside her, would interrupt her every time she got a little carried away about some of the issues. Feeling bad for the lady, we kindly offered a hundred rupees as a little token of gratitude for talking to us. They accepted gladly.
Now, thinking back about it, it occurred to me that most people would not know about the struggles of everyday life for these vendors on the street. It is not often that people go out and just focus on others and not themselves. This world is filled with amazing people with amazing stories and I regret not learning about the people around me earlier.