Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We, The Puchka Pickers.

Yesterday, I was standing outside Byculla station, waiting for my Boss to come. We were to go for a client meet. Client had called me earlier in the morning, asking if we were coming for a meeting. That made me feel important. (And note the last line, it would matter in the end!)

So, here I was, in front of Byculla station watching people hurrying to catch their locals. Bunch of people who had smuggled a Konkani fruit trying to distribute amongst themselves so that individually they can sell maximum. Then I saw ‘the’ incident!

One hawker, carrying guavas in his cart, was trying to enter the station premise. And the Police-wallah shooed him…cause is irrelevant, but the cart spilled some 10 guavas on the ground. And then came the story of shining India. A woman, not exactly beggar, the type which carries crap stuff from here to there (god knows where!), saw those guavas on the ground. She had a baby with her and at least 7-8 kgs of crap bundled in an old saree on her head. It was really difficult for her to even walk. Yet with all that load, she actually ran towards those guava, picked two, gave one to her baby and held one firmly in her hand. There was no intention to eat it. May be that was lunch. May be dinner. Whatever it was, the happiness she had on her face, even Dhoni did not have it when he held that T20 WC in his hand. (May be because Dhoni didn’t work this hard!)

That reminded me of one incident that happened in Nagpur, my home town. Me and my friend, Kapil, were chatting in front of the ‘Eternity Mall’. In front of the mall is a footpath where you could find hawkers selling eatables and small stuffs. Legally, they are not allowed to stand on those footpaths. But they are in India. So its allowed. One Police-wallah, may be out of sudden consciousness of his job or may be out of frustration or whatever, started shooing these hawkers. And during all these haste, one ‘Puchka-wallah’ (Pani-puri wallah) spilled his Puchkas all over the footpath. And he just ran away with his only fixed asset, the cart.

Here we were, looking at those Puchkas. And suddenly, one gentleman, mind you definitely not a beggar again, started picking those Puchkas. And he was so, so happy. (Dhoni, are you reading?). A mall, an MBA and an M.Tech., the ‘pucka-picker’ and the posh road of Nagpur under a flyover! Shining India!

I was disgusted. And Kapil caught that. So there he goes, the legendary lines. (context: Kapil works for Oracle Corporation, Bangalore) –

“We are just like this guy. In my case, Larry Ellison throws some Puchkas to me, I pick them up and I am happy.”

How, how true! We are not entrepreneurs. We don’t create anything. Its just the fate of us that we attach fancy word like MNCs, I-banks, CRAs or whatever. What if Godhas not gifted us with that ‘IQ’ thing, the ability to think a little bit extra than others? We might as well have been there!

The thing is, WE are, in simple words, the Puchka-Pickers.


  1. And note the last line, it would matter in the end!

  2. Brilliant one!!!! as expected from you... (& yes, that line didn't matter in the end)

  3. dude i can so relate to this... we truly are puchka pickers! waiting for the puchkas to be thrown to us at the end of the year... and slogging our backends off in an effort to prove more deserving than the other puchka pickers around us!!!
    My only grouse with this is the resignation to fate.... yes we may all be working in mundane jobs only for the pay (if at all) but we do have our chances to make life that little bit more easier for a client by going the extra mile... you don't need your boss' permission to give some genuine attention to the client... heck u don't even need a bonus... when the client at the end of a long week (read 20-25 days w/o leave) says "thank you we cudn't have done it without you" it somehow seems a whole lot satisfying....
    and as for us puchka pickers... lets attempt to have a separate paradigm which we relate to, which we are passionate about... and work on that so that at the end of an arduous day we have something to go back to...