“12 diyas for 40/- Rupees”, called the little boy.
On the busy street emblazoned with Diwali decorations, a little boy with tanned skin and deep set eyes, occupied one small corner. He requested the passerby’s to buy the beautiful diyas he laid in a sack near the concrete road.I noticed a bunch of well to do ladies and high class families, they stopped next to him and negotiated on the price he offered.
Almost all the customers used one common stratagem, they would haggle him for a lesser price or discount and if the boy denied, they would simply move ahead without buying. Sad and helplessly, he would call them back and sell the diyas on a lesser margin of profit. He couldn’t afford to loose any customers!
This was his only means of earning!
“12 diyas for 2000/- Rupees”, she posted on Instagram.
My eyes popped out when I scrolled by this post of a well known celebrity on Instagram. She was selling colored diyas online. The same roadside diyas with a little DIY art for 2000 bucks!
She promised to give a 10 percent share of her earnings to a NGO. Seven thousand plus likes and hundreds of comments flooded within hours of her upload. I curiously opened the comments section, her followers were appreciating this altruistic idea and placing bulk orders without any reluctance.
This left me perplexed and despondent.
Normally it happens, whenever festivals turn up, we begin with all our preparations, planning, mopping of our houses, places where we work and much more. Buying of new things, clothes, and sweets begins just to break the monotony and dullness and to bring excitement in lives. One such festival is Diwali, the prominent one, connected with religious feelings of people!
For some its the home-coming and vacations that excites them, for some it is the family get together and celebration, for some its an excuse to do shopping and for the remaining it is the only season to earn money. The season for which they prepare and wait the entire year. The season of happiness!
It is astounding to see humanity alive and the zeal and passion in the youth for helping the underprivileged. But their ignorance makes me sad and ponder if all the common sense is lost?
By appreciating and promoting the idea of second hand contribution through a 10% share to an NGO, they are instead donating the remaining 90% to the celebrity.
Where on one hand they negotiate with the street side vendors over a small amount, on the other hand they are making a rich richer!
I really feel pity to bargain with street vendors.
The reason why I am vexed about bargaining with the poor is because their earning is not to become filthy rich and own lavish gadgets and luxury . Their earning is to make their ends meet. We are so greedy and self centered that we discard the feelings and grievances of the poor. We would never do this in a mall and you know WHY ?
Because malls are classy places, with air conditioning, salesman and escorts. Everything has a MRP tag on it,and tags don’t lie! We anyways can’t bargain there,everyone is so classy,what will they think about us, we don’t want anyone to think that we are poor or miser.
When I was a child, my grandmother used to guide me that don’t pay what you have been said by these road sellers. Now, when I have grown up, I can see this teaching in a different manner. You bargain with them, no problem, but to some extent only – where they and you both feel happy.
The crackers embellish the sky with different colors and smiles turn into enthusiastic laughter when we see the crackers burst. We rejoice the victory of Good over Evil!
But let us not forget that the sky is darkened again after every blast. Somewhere where you are rejoicing and full of exuberance, there is someone sad and sobbing.
We often don’t realize how a little contribution from our side can make a big difference in somebody’s life. We don’t recognize the happiness we will get when we see the surprise and smile light up their faces. We don’t discern that what goes around comes around too, in one way or other, sooner or later.
Let us celebrate this festival by sharing it with those who are not able to enjoy it, with those who are not bestowed with happiness like us. Let’s just contribute some in the glee of the poverty-stricken people, some organisations. Donate some clothes, sweets, and crackers, whatever you desire and make their festival as colorful as ours.
Let us not make our contribution via a third party. Let us not make the rich more opulent but instead help in uplifting the poor. Let’s be kind to the simple street vendors . Let’s banish bargaining.
Lets share the Happiness!