When a newspaper seller bids adieu

When a newspaper seller bids adieu

His urge of selling the best to the readers and his customers was unquenchable

Representative Image. Credit: Getty Images

Empty chairs, no newspapers on racks, no magazines on stands, grief-stricken customers and deafening silence prevail at a shop that once used to buzz with life. It was the sudden and unexpected demise of my newspaper seller. I always banked upon Pawan uncle for newspapers and magazines since my college days. The hustle and bustle at his shop turned into a dull and irritating sluggishness. 

Be it Sunday or any festival, Pawan uncle was always on time and had never taken any day off from work. Although if it was inevitable, he distributed the newspapers at wee hours so that the newspaper vendors didn't face any trouble.

From a stranger to an integral part of my life, he always helped me with newspapers and magazines. He had a unique collection of magazines and newspapers in the city. I started going to him because the newspaper vendor in our locality distributes the newspapers late. 

The deserted look of his shop at a crowded Bus Stand market in Patiala, Punjab speaks volumes about the ravages of time, erosion and accretion and how everything is transient. The table where one could not find a space because of the nicely kept newspapers, magazines and books now only houses a lock with a key.

The lock kept on the table depicts so much; that which is layered, exhibiting a lock on his dreams, that which has parched the desires of those connected with him and no life.

His urge to sell the best to the readers and his customers was irresistible. He is survived by his wife and two children. His wife told me that it was a heart attack. His colleagues were in a shock too as they said he came a day before his death in the morning and left after distributing newspapers to the vendors.

It is never easy to fulfil the demands of the customers in times of a highly mechanised world where patience and trust have steeply dropped. The art of convincing was ingrained in him.

After his demise, I had been to purchase a newspaper, I didn't get a copy in the entire city which left me wondering how relations matter. Another newspaper seller said he had very cordial relations with all the newspaper distributors who were above him in the chain.

They gave him a variety of newspapers and he could return the unsold copies to them. While some newspapers are available only on order, he arranged those copies also. In the matters of life and death, nothing stops and life goes on but with adjustments and several alterations.

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