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  • Writer's pictureCapt SN Ahmed

He had knives but no vegetables...

I heard a strange kind of voice outside my house.

I came out and saw that someone is selling knives & he has a mini loudspeaker with a pre pre-recorded message. Interesting. I was instantly reminded of Jaya Bhaduri singing this song in the movie Zanjeer....

"chakku chhuriyaan tez kara lo....."

She was also trying to attract the crowd, by singing and dancing on the streets.

Curiosity made me talk to the hawker. He was Deva and has been doing this for many years now. He couldn't complete his studies after 7th grade and had to pick up a job to support his family. He was doing decent till Covid happened. The sudden lockdown last year made him sit at home with no work. He had knives but no vegetables to cut. All the savings was sucked up in the lockdown. After the first wave, the markets opened up and he too started his rounds on the streets of Hyderabad. He used his modified-bicycle to move from one colony to another, with knives-display in front and the sharpening stone attached to his front bar. His improvised moving-selling-store was all well organised. But then before he could stabilize the second wave hit and yet another lockdown. The whole family was in a grip of fear with last year's experience. Thankfully it was relaxed for some time and many daily wagers like Deva tried to do whatever they could. during this time. Survival was the only motive. While we were locked in the safety of our homes and cribbing & complaining, Deva was trying to double up his best, to earn a bit extra. He was moving on empty streets which looked like a ghost town. A creepy silence all around made his pre-recorded message even more loud. Good weather but not a soul outside to enjoy. Sad state of life today. I once again recalled Jaya Bhaduri. All bubbly and chirpy..., with happiness all around. Small earnings but big Happiness. Today that happiness & freedom is locked up. We can not even breathe freely, leave aside meeting freely. Hope the sharp determination of Deva & so many of us, cut this Covid spell and we see the happiness bloom..., once again.

C ya soon

Capt Ahmed

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