Push-cart and bicycle vendors were very common during our childhood in Bangalore. The sellers would announce themselves by ringing a bell or shouting out and we’d run to the compound wall with our baskets. Many of them would have a standard route and schedule. If you bought from them once, you could be sure that they’ll be looking out for you. Regular vendors like the bread man would bang on the gate to get our attention. These days, some of them play characteristic music and use a megaphone.
Getting something to eat and drink at your doorstep, round the corner or on the go, is taken for granted in our close neighbourhoods. Especially with Covid still going strong, it’s very convenient when you don’t have to go to the market place or to crowded restaurants and shops.
They’ve survived despite the commercialisation of our residential areas, home delivery services and malls all over the place. In many cities, it’s quite a luxury to have such personal door step service, minus the apps and technology.
Pushing those loaded carts is hard work. Out in the sun and rain, they’re all trying to make an honest living.
Even if the vendors just park themselves at a spot for the day, knowing that they’ll be there if you need the food they are selling is reassuring. Like, after you walk down to the bus stop, you can get those favourite groundnuts and a drink of sugarcane juice while you wait for the bus.
“… when times are tough, be in the food business, because no matter how bad things get, people still have to eat.”
– Lee Iacocca