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This post salutes the spirit of those gutsy women selling ‘vadapav‘ to make ends meet. They definitely are our ‘nukkad entrepreneurs’.
You will have definitely heard about these women! I have also seen them at almost every corner of the lanes of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai in the evenings. Yes, I have seen these women selling vadapav with helpers in tow. Basically coming from lower middle class families, these women are out for this business to make both ends meet.
Adversity may sometimes become a chance call on diversity. We all know, when the earnings of the families are not enough, women of the house take an extra effort to increase the earnings in other ways by doing multiple errands. These lower middle class families are no exception, who mostly have hand-to-mouth existence. The situation becomes more grim when the earning member or the head of such families loses his job or any such untoward incident happens, which only adds fuel to the problems. These adversities bring these women of the house to work for an additional or regular source of income.
The business of selling vadapav has turned into a blessing for them, considering the fact that not only these vadas satiate the taste buds and hunger, but also are affordable to all, be a student or a office goer. We often spot these women who take charge of this business of selling vadapav at the nukkads of our lanes in the evenings.
We Mumbaikars love everything about Mumbai. From street food, to small eateries, to Udupi restaurants, to Irani cafes, to the plush five course restaurants, Mumbai has everything. You ask any die hard fan of Mumbai about his favourite street food famously known as ‘chat’, ‘vadapav’ will top the list. I haven’t met anyone who has stayed in Mumbai and hasn’t tasted it. These women have smartly explored our taste and they serve us with those affectionately prepared yummy vadas with mouthwatering green and red chatnis.
This is not to give the impression that these ladies do not consider other options of work during the day. I have met a few who at times work as maids and some of them do various other stuff like stitching falls to the sarees during the day. But, all the same, evenings are meant for this business.
Kudos to these small entrepreneurs, who sell these vadas at prime location, like railway stations, near office hub, near colleges, and at our nukkads. It is not uncommon to see a Mumbaikar, after a hard day, taking a halt to grab a bite of this vadapav before heading towards his long and tiring return journey to his home.
Whenever I see these ladies, I can see their strength of character. I cannot help but see little difference between the literate women entrepreneurs and these women selling delicious vadapav at every nook and corner of our gullies.
Published here earlier.
All Images via Author
Header Image via Pexels
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