Arjun’s food cart in Sector 44 is always busy. All through the day, you could find him busy making Maggi, Bread Omelette, Tea and other snacks with unbridled enthusiasm. I am his camp constant on a daily basis, for my daily cups of Chaai and occasional Maggi.
Today in the evening, surprisingly, his cart was deserted, and I felt I could use this opportunity to know his story.
“I’ve been in this business for close to two years now. I hail from Muzaffarpur (Bihar) where my parents and siblings live. I currently stay at my Mama’s place here in Gurgaon and run this business”, he smiles.
Arjun is 20 years old and is already supporting his dad, who was caught in a debt which he was unable to repay. So Arjun had to leave his education after Class XI to take care of his family.
“I shouldn’t have left my education after Class XI. I was very good in academics in my town. I scored 67% in Class X, one of the highest then. Now, it’s been a two year break. I am writing my Class XII Boards on Feb 24, for which I am travelling home on Feb 21. I will clear the exams, I am sure”, he says with glittering eyes.
Does he find time to study?
“I take care of the shop from 10 am to 10 pm. Your yourself know I don’t have anyone to support. I am kept busy throughout the day, with little rest. When I reach home at 10.30, I am completely exhausted. I try to find some time in the morning for my studies.”
How is the business doing?
“Mondays and Tuesdays are a bit down. People do not generally eat egg on Tuesdays. So Maggi sells. On other days, I sell upto 50 plates each of Maggi and Bread Omelette. Cigarettes, Snacks and Tea sell anyway. When the guy opposite me shuts his shop, obviously my business goes up.”
What does the future look like?
“My friends who studied Class X with me are now in their BA First year. I want to study too. Let’s see what the future holds. For now, I want to learn basic English and apply for jobs here. I am weak in English”, he blushes.
“Immediate focus is on Class XII boards. Let’s cross the bridge when it comes”, he signs off.
To me, the thing that makes Arjun stand out among his peers (other shopkeepers) is his attitude towards work, his attitude towards life, his confidence in himself and his never fading smile.
Well, all the best Arjun!
Keep inspiring us.