2 years ago
Souls of my city: Smile that speaks of sorrow
“The first day I started selling cucumber on the street, metropolitan guards chased me away and I went to the People’s Plaza [in Kathmandu]. There, I cut a cucumber and ate it.
Seeing me eat, customers came to buy cucumber,” recalls Putali Maya Hayu. “I sell all day, with big smile on my face. I go back home and take care of my disabled daughter.” Hayu, 54, hails from Sindhuli. With six daughters and five sons to look after, she has faced a mountain of troubles in her life. But that does not stop her from smiling. And whoever sees her, eventually smiles because her smile is that funny. It has been a year since she came to Kathmandu with her sons and a daughter.
“My husband fell off a cliff and died when he was 69. From that time, I am all by myself with my children. I have small house in the middle of a forest in Sindhuli. Fearing landslide, we came here. When I first came to Kathmandu, I had no idea what to do,” Hayu recalled. “So I invested Rs 1,500 on vegetables and after some time I lost Rs 5.000.
I used to sell peanuts initially, but now I sell cucumber and watermelon.” If I were alone, it would have been easier. But I have children to take care of. Sometimes, I had no food to eat even when I was pregnant. I am more concerned about my disabled daughter,” she said. “ I have struggled to come this far, and I am not giving up. All my tears have dried and I have this smile which is left. So whatever is inside my heart, I turn it into a smile.”