What would 50 paise in India buy you..? Not sure, but it seems to give this guy a lot more than what he wants to make in a day! He is the one who sells our my grandparents salt ever since I wasn’t even born and according to him, the prices have not gone up never ever.. And that is pretty much what he does for a living.. Going from door to door and shouting at the top of his voice, announcing his arrival .. :)

My grandmother shoos him away reminding him that she had just bought a month’s supply of salt the other day from him.. This same exchange occurs until the next time she buys salt from him.. Well, it depends whether it technically qualifies for an exchange.. It is mostly a single sided conversation.. He just pauses at each door step for a minute, gets bored or whatever and moves on.. It doesn’t matter if they want to buy or don’t.. If you want to buy, then you run, chase him down at the next door or further, pay and carry your goods home.. You see, the problem here is, he is deaf! I remind my grandma of that, she doesn’t care, I smile at this guy to greet him, he doesn’t care.. !! Phew!

On my recent visit to India, I went to visit my grandparents.. I made all those usual rounds around town, meeting family and friends, teachers, acquaintances etc.. etc.. In my head I was doing this one day lying on the porch, people I have met, some of them, whom I still haven’t met, and there I can hear in the distance, the SALT-Guy!! I run to see him, and then there for the first time, he looks at me with a smile.. I was so happy that I had to do something to celebrate.. I run inside and rush back with something in my hand.. As I approach him, he sees the note in my hand and starts filling up his measuring container.. I tell him that that is not necessary(of course by hand gestures) and he looks at me nonchalantly and shakes his head and starts moving away.. I insist and he would just keep going.. !!

What does that mean… ? Are there still people in this world, who really think there is nothing like free lunch?!

The favorite part of my trip to my home town is seeing him do what he has been doing every single day for the last 35 years .. This is a picture of his truthful and honest journey!!

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