January 9, 2009 2:16:18 am
Unlike many of us,his day starts unusually early and amid a lot of chaos.
Shiv Kumar,who brings news to us every morning,wakes up at 3:45 am and has to reach the Clock Tower within 15 minutes to collect different newspapers from his agency.
Kumar,better known as Pardhanji, has been supplying newspapers for the past 35 years. Our working conditions have not changed in all these years. To collect newspapers,we have to sit on the footpath under a dim streetlight. There is neither proper light nor seating arrangement. But we still serve the people of the city.
It takes another half-an-hour to add supplements and pamphlets to the newspapers. At 5 am,he leaves on his scooter to deliver the newspapers. Kumar,in his mid-fifties,supplies newspapers to areas including PAU,Kichlu Nagar,College Road and some areas of Civil Lines and has also hired ten young men to assist him.
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By 9 am,he is back home to catch on his sleep,a break that only lasts for two hours. I never take lunch. I prefer a light brunch around 11:30 am. Later,I go out to collect payments and meet people.
His second visit to the Clock Tower is in the evening. I have to deposit money a day in advance to the agency I subscribe to to get the newspapers and magazines. My visit to the Clock Tower is a permanent feature regardless of time,weather or day.
His day does not end here. Once back home,he prepares the list of bills to be collected next day and attends calls from customers who want papers or magazines. It is only after dinner that Kumar gets time for his family. Though he couldnt pursue higher studies,he says: Family circumstances did not allow me to study further. But I taught my two sons to the best of my ability. They are graduates,run their own business and have travelled about half of dozen foreign countries. What else does one need?
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