“Hello sir, what would you like today? I have different varieties of Aakukuralu(leafy vegetables). There’s freshly picked Gongura, Thummi kura, Bacchala kura, Thota Kura with me. I also have some coriander and curry leaves. I have been selling leafy vegetables for the last 40 years now.
I am 57 years old. I studied till class five and might have continued studying but dropped out as there was no one to encourage me. I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I did.
I started working when I was really young. I got married at the age of 11 and that was the time my schooling stopped. Looking back, I cannot blame my parents as that was the situation back then in our village. Thankfully, I was married to a supportive and progressive man and he encouraged me to work even after marriage. Unfortunately, he passed away three years ago due to kidney failure.
At my age, when most lead a retired life, I chose to work hard for my survival. I plan my day’s work accordingly. In the morning, from 5:30 to 9:30, I sell the vegetables by walking on the streets. I take a break for an hour and then go to the local government school to cook the mid-day meals. I go back home at 4 pm and finish my household works. In this way, I constantly keep myself occupied so that I could stay fit both physically and mentally and also support my family.
Am I happy with my work? Of course, yes. I look for happiness in the little things. Every time I make a sale, I make sure I count it as a blessing. It makes me happy. Sure, not every day is a fruitful one or a day that goes according to my expectations. But I believe that every morning is a fresh start; a fresh start to find happiness and opportunities all around me.”