Mausam Ali Makes a Liv­ing at Bus Stand

Fiji Sun - - Nation - SHEENAM CHAN­DRA Feed­back: Edited by Epineri Vula sheenam.chan­dra@fi­

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.”

Photo: Sheenam Chan­dra

Mausam Ali.

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