Not chewing on life’s dregs

Not chewing on life’s dregs
Anjay busy in cutting his tobacco leaves along a pavement at Marwari Patti in Dimapur, January 22, Thursday. (Morung Photo)

Dimapur : When it comes to business in the commercial hub of Nagaland, anything which is carried out with zeal and patience can be flourishing here. This small and viable town of northeast India accommodates everything, almost anything, legal and illegal, big and small businesses. With favourable business traits, Dimapur has also become a hotspot for both legal and illegal migrant workers.

Some of these migrant workers run big business while others do petty works for survival in this money-making district of Nagaland. Anjay is one of such migrant workers. He sells “sada patta” or tobacco leaves at Marwari Patti in Dimapur, for survival. Anjay belongs to the Bihari community and is a permanent resident of Muzaffarpur district in Bihar. Anjay, who is around 35 years, is happily married and has two children, a girl and boy.
While describing his business, Anjay said most of his customers are from his community, who are engaged in small business and manuals  as well. He hesitantly informed that he brings the leaves from Muzaffarpur and Vaishali districts of Bihar.
Anjay, who pays Rs. 250 per Kg to buy the leaves from Bihar, sells here in small sachets with price ranging from Rs. 3 to Rs. 10 and sometimes even more than that. The leaves – a hit in Bihar among tobacco chewers, is also slowly catching up here in Dimapur, mostly among the migrant Bihari workforce. According to Anjay, the taste of tobacco leaves is much stronger than ordinary tobacco, which is readily available in the market.
Anjay, who manages to earn around Rs. 100 to Rs. 150 in a day, said he starts his business at around 7 in the morning and winds up his business by around 5 in the evening. However, he takes an hour of lunch break at around 1 pm. Though, he does not have a permanent shop to do the business, he sits along roadsides or pavement at Marwari Patti. With 3 years of working experience as a tobacco seller in the town, he does not have any plans to change his profession at the moment. 
He also informed that there are around 4 to 5 such tobacco sellers in the town and they are mostly found in the Marwari Patti area. The machine that Anjay uses is a self-made machine with parts taken out from bicycles and a sharp object fitted to the wooden frame to cut the leaves finer.
Anjay, who eats at hotels during day, cooks at night at his rented house, as eating twice at hotels will cost him extra money. This middle-aged man, who tries to save as much money as he can, wants his children to study and wants to see them become good people holding better positions in the society.
Anjay visits his village twice a year, as he has agricultural fields over there. During his absence, Anjay’s wife and parents tends to the fields. For Anjay, life is a challenge so he takes every step in a positive way and accepts failures as stepping stones to success.