All of us are looking for success but unfortunately the way this ultra competitive fast-paced life of the 21st century is, we’ve created several yardsticks through which we measure success. That too, to equate ourselves with the other!
A fast car, even better if it’s luxurious. A penthouse, if you are super rich, if not, then a fancy apartment. Investment in multiples of lakhs- too poor if it’s just 10-50 lakhs, as an example but ideal, if it’s north of 2 cr.
Sending kids abroad. A hand held device that measures not less than a lakh in price. Foreign holidays to Switzerland- ideal but to Thailand, just no good!
Is the above not true to define just what we’ve become and all that we are running after?
Unfortunately, most of us have self created these benchmarks to compete- not for self betterment-but to prove a point to the others. Yet, all of this compels a question- just how sane a logic it is to lead a life according to some template whose creation is to ‘defeat’ the other and not work on the self?
If you are someone who’s doing the above, then perhaps the story of MA English Chaiwali would, in no situation, appeal to you. But if you are someone who believes in looking beyond the craziness of breaking news in an India that does after all, have positive stories to tell, then you’d gladly look at the life story of MA English Chaiwali.
First things first! MA English Chaiwali, as the name suggests is an educated Chaiwali, albeit one who has no qualms at all for being called a Chaiwali.
In the exact same instance where, hypothetically speaking, you’ve judged this lady for running a tea stall despite being educated (as the name of her stall suggests), the lady herself has discounted your opinion about her.
Is it a crime against humanity to be running a tea stall despite being ‘qualified? Has the Indian Constitution passed a verdict on those who wish to run simple, run of the mill businesses despite being armed with degrees?
To answer some of these very simple but profound questions, one has to delve into that bit of news that has meaning for us all. We the so called stock-trading, fancy car-driving, pub-hopping, digital evangelists whose lives are often dictated by what the other thinks of me- my clothes, my dressing sense, my brand, what restaurant I do luncheons at and what’s the current status of my bank account!
So let’s hear about the famous Howrah railway station-bound owner of a simple, normal Tea stall called MA English Chaiwali:
“I had been giving tuition for years and had saved up little by little. Although I liked teaching, it kind of felt stagnant, and I was hungry for more. I seriously had no idea opening a stall in a railway station was this big of a deal,” exclaimed Tuktuki Das when asked to express her life’s story to the common public at large.
But she’d add more, plenty of insights that make her life journey no less interesting than any page turning work of fiction, except the thing that stands out is that her tale is too good to be true but actually is!
Yet, one wonders whether there would’ve been such a thing as unhappiness or something forlorn that led to the force and concept of MA English Chaiwali? As a matter of fact, this is all true! MA English Chaiwali wasn’t too happy. And this wasn’t difficult to note as per her confessions to Indian Express:
“It honestly pains me to see how people think selling tea or being a hawker at a railway station is a lowly job. All jobs should get the respect that they deserve, as it all requires a great deal of hard work. While researching about the business I short-listed three places where my business wouldn’t tank: hospitals, colleges and railway stations,” concluded Das.
To conclude, there’s no golden rule in the book that one has to necessarily do an MBA after college and get ‘settled’ into a cosy, comfortable existence. While all of that is fine and great and much to common, what’s also fine, at the same time, is to do things how one wants. To one’s own comfort and how one sees it.
By that count, MA English Chaiwali, who candidly shared that her work had picked up, and that she’s doing quite well by god’s grace, can continue to do what she wants the way she’s desired it.
These two contrasting Indias, one that aspires huge things and succeeds in achieving those and those who have normal aspirations and aren’t compelled to prove a point to one another- can actually peacefully co-exist. And guess that? It doesn’t increase the price of fish about who judges whom and how?