The line of shops at Gangamma circle has almost everything that an average Indian family needs for their day-to-day lives. The shops and services reveal a lot about the lives of the average cross-section of Indian society consisting of bankers, fruit-vendors, security guards, flower vendors, pharmacists, grocery vendors, bakers and sweet makers, garment shops, and of course the ubiquitous Indian masses.
Shivu or Shivamurthy, aged 19, has been selling greens on his cart for over eight years in the area. He has palak, methi, dil, mint, coriander and all else. Residents of the Gangamma circle walk up to the cart every few minutes to buy a few bundles of spinach with a bundle or two of mint and coriander.
“All kinds of people come to buy from me, big and small. But it’s mostly people who stay around the Gangamma circle. These people don’t go to the supermarkets, they come here,” he says. “My brother used to run the cart earlier, but now I have taken over. I don’t own this cart, the owner is my relative, a truck driver.” Unlike most vegetable vendors, Shivu’s day only begins at noon when he goes to the Shivaji Nagar market to pick up the daily supply of greens, which arrives from Hoskote.
He then transports it by truck, with the help of his family, which he keeps at his home in Gangamma circle.
He reaches his spot at the circle by half past three and he is stationed there till half past ten. “There is lot of demand for greens. I have at least 80 to 100 people coming to buy from me. By the end of the day, I am completely sold out. So our stock is always fresh.”
Shivu is rather reluctant to talk about how much he earns, all he reveals is that he shares profits. “The owner is family,” he repeats. “So whenever I ask for money, he gives me.” Shivu maintains that he is satisfied with what he gets.
Shivu is originally from a village in the Chitradurga district, where he studied until the senior secondary level (SSLC).
“I moved to Bangalore in search of work. I like Bangalore only because there is work here. There is no work in my village,” he says. Not even farming? “There is no water,” he cuts me off. “And this is the only job that I know to do.”
Occupation: Greens Vendor
Location: Gangamma Circle