Almost 3 months back, I was in the market with my mom, to buy some vegetables. My mom told me to stay with the Scooter, because there was no space for parking. So I was there, sitting on my scooter, waiting for my mom to come back. In the usual hustle bustle of the overtly crowded market, I saw so many people, who wouldn’t mind spending thousands on fancy hotel dinner, quarrelling with vendors over five bucks worth of garlic, they didn’t pay for. I noticed a vegetable cart with a large variety of vegetables, the cart was very crowded, and my mom was also there. And on the other side, there I also saw a woman. She sat on the right side of the lane, on a torn bed sheet. She just got onions and potatoes. And though she wasn’t physically too far away from the nearby crowd, I felt a weird calm surround her. Like she was there, but wasn’t really there. I went towards her, hoping that she will give me the potatoes at a cheaper rate. As I reached there, I saw that the vegetables were not fresh, almost like they are a month old. Also what caught my eye, was that she had a big bruise on her neck. Her bruise covers almost half of her neck, I was very horrible. I ignored And asked her the price of potatoes, to which she replied, ‘Son! 35 rupees per kg’. I was surprised, and said,’ isn’t it too much for these?’ She smiled, and asked me for the quantity of potatoes I wanted. I asked for a kg. She told me I could have them for 15 bucks. So I, pleased with myself, started to pick out the ‘best’ ones. I knew mamma would be happy.
A couple of days later I went to her again. And yet again, she only asked for 15 rupees. I hesitated, but asked her nonetheless, as to why does she give me potatoes at such a cheap rate? She put her hand to my head band smiled. She said I wouldn’t understand. I asked why? She ignored, and changed the topic by asking if I wanted a carry bag.
One day she finally told me why she sells vegetables at such rates. She told me that she’d buy onions and potatoes from her landowner, when they won’t sell out, and were of no use for him.He’d give them to her at just 5-10 rupees per kg, and then she would sell them so that she can buy food for the day. I don’t ask much that day cause I was in a hurry.
Every time, I went to her, her bruise would distract me. So once I asked her, how she got this bruise? She smiled irritably, and told me not to ask this question again. I was surprised, Cause I’d never seen her rude like this before. After buying potatoes, as I was starting my scooter, I saw some tears in her eyes, but I ignored it. I don’t know why… I didn’t mind much. Maybe because she was rude to me.
One day as I was buying potatoes, a man from municipality came to her. She smiled, and gave him a five rupee coin. The man gave her a slip and then moved to other vegetable stalls. I asked her what that was. She told me, it’s kind of a tax, which is taken from her every day, as a rent, to put her stall there. I said you don’t even have a stall, plus you also don’t earn that much daily, so why give it? She said I only need 50 rupees, for two square meals daily. I asked why? Don’t you have a family? She didn’t reply…
Then one day, as I was normally picking up potatoes, she started to talk. Pretty unexpectedly. And she starts telling me about her bruise. I was surprised and excited at the same time. She started by her son. She and her 5 year old son lived happily in the village. A month ago, she and her son were going somewhere on the bus. But the bus got hit by a truck from the back, and in the accident, her son got seriously injured, and she got this bruise. Her son fainted right after the bus hit the truck. She collected all her savings, that were around 40,000 rupees, and called the ambulance. On their way to the hospital, her son died. She left the ambulance and gave a funeral to her son. From that day she was in the city, waiting to die… I really got emotional that day. I actually got nothing to say, I mean what can I say?
For 2 weeks, I went to my grandmother’s home for a family function, but when I came back, the lady was not there. I asked around, and the man with the stall called me. When I went to him, he laughed and said.. ‘SHE IS DEAD!’. He laughed because, maybe I never use to buy potatoes from him.. I guess… he just hates me. I don’t believe in him, I haven’t seen her from the last two months.
I didn’t know what to say, or feel at that moment. I was happy, emotional, and upset. I was happy, because she always wanted to die or whatever, but I was sad because I knew I’d miss her… It’s a true story and you know guys why I shared this story, because that woman, whom I hardly knew, inspires me to live, even though she wanted to die. She had the money, she could have gotten treated and stay healthy, but without her son she didn’t want to leave. I was living my life without any goals. I mean literally, I was just living. I did what people around me did. But that lady with the bruise, inspires me to live my life. She showed me how much my parents love me. They sacrifice their comforts for me, to make me a better man. But me…? I just waste my time, trying to get a girl, and be like the fake people around me, trying to impress the world… without thinking about my parents. Now my goal is to give those comforts to my parents, which they sacrificed for me. That lady came into my life, to show me the importance of my parents, but guys don’t wait for someone, maybe this life lesson that I learned, will inspire you. I love my parents, no matter what we go through, no matter how much we argue, because I know, at the end, they’ll always be there.
I just hope that she is alive, I wish once in my life I can meet her, and say thank you for whatever she’d done for me…