Mausam Ali Makes a Living at Bus Stand
One familiar face you will see in the hustle and bustle of the Suva Bus Stand is Mausam Ali. The 68-year-old street seller who has been selling bean, peanut and bhuja for more than 50 years.
“I was about 12 years old when I started selling bean and peanut at Suva Bus Stand,” he said.
“My family was poor and I had to financially provide. My mother was working for a Gujarati family.
“I used to work odd jobs for some of the families from India around Suva and I used to get 50 cents a week as my pay. We were paid in pounds and shillings.”
Mr Ali is originally from Ba, but was brought up in Suva. Although Mr Ali dropped out of school before he began his secondary school education, he decided he would work the hard way to earn money.
“I am a man, I have to sweat so that you can earn a living. One has to think of his family,” said Mr Ali.
He said hard work was the most important thing in life. “Nothing in life comes easy and we have to sweat for the dollar.”
Mr Ali lives with his wife in Nadera and said he has travelled around the world.
He also said that people might think that selling bean and peanut around Suva Bus Stand is a job looked down upon, but it is the other way around.
“It is better if we work hard rather than stealing or other dirty deeds to obtain money. I am not ashamed about my job and I can talk about it without hesitation,” Mr Ali said. Even during bad weather, hurricanes or even cyclones, one will always find Mr Ali selling his packs of bean and peanut. “All my products are home-made and I have employed two workers who help me preparing and packing this,” he said. “We always prepare in bulk so we have don’t have to work every day.”