Inspiration is everywhere - the story of a peddler

In a life of momentary victories and agonising losses, I happened to come upon a peddler from Ghaziabad, UP in the recent past.

Selling gola syrup (a popular street beverage in Eastern and Northern India where ice chunks are sweetened with syrup and served), this peddler is nothing but a story in himself. He has had experiences ranging from having a shop of his own in Surat, Gujarat to losing his son in the famous Godhra riots in 2002. What keeps him going?

Nitish, an orphan, born and raised on the outskirts of the national capital, made a shop out of his hard work in Surat in 1992. Falling in love with a Muslim lady, he underwent a change in religion and subsequent marriage soon, having a son by the time the nation was adjusting under a new Prime Minister, post Rajiv Gandhi’s demise. The political scenario was changing in Gujarat drastically, forcing him to relocate to Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad.

The tragic loss came when he lost his shop and son to the Bhuj earthquake of 2001 and the Godhra riots of 2002. A happy, successful Nitish (now Saqib) found himself on the road with a mad wife and an empty pocket. Resurrection began.

Nitish parted ways with his wife at the Ranchi Mental Asylum, built himself from scratch yet again as he vowed to avenge his losses with love and service. He hates no religion, he has had both and he blames none. He blames lack of humanity. He travelled all over the country in search of business for his beverage commodities before finally happening to crack a deal in Kolkata on the eastern fringes of the nation.

Today, Saqib is the owner of one of the largest beverage chains of Kolkata in existence. But, he’s never in one of his shops. You’ll always find him chattering and laughing and making jokes with a pushcart at some school gate or some lovers’ point of the city.

He came to terms with life. Humanity before everything else.

Image credits: Pinterest