The Indian Shopkeeper

This morning, I went to my local corner store here in London which is run by a family of Indian immigrants. Since it closes at 2pm every Sunday, I asked whether it was because of some government regulation. ‘No’, came the answer,’ I work everyday of the week and take Sunday afternoons off to relax’. He has been following the same routine for the past 15 years he added. Other than being awed at the level of commitment and persistence this implied, I was struck by the fact that most of the shop’s clients live in a large council estate nearby. I asked what he thought of working so hard to serve people who in the main do not work and are taken care of by the state. His answer was very brief and all the more profound because of it: ‘People here have been destroyed, there are druggies in here all the time shouting and abusing me. But we just ignore them, agree with them and continue working’. That is the difference between people owning themselves and building their lives on that understanding and those who are owned by the state.

About bulletsandhoney
I read my first book when I was three, then my second one a few weeks later. It has carried on this way for decades with only temporary distractions of eating, fighting, loving, heartbreak and other such irrelevant biographical details.

3 Responses to The Indian Shopkeeper

  1. mshairi says:

    Hi Kimani, I know you said ‘on the main’, however, not all people who live on council estates are on benefits. In the council estate where I live and where I have lived for many years, most of the homes have been bought off from the council (by housing associations and individuals) and the majority of us are hard working individuals and families. Just a small point:)

  2. MMK says:

    Mshairi – Point taken, you are correct. Was not trying to beat on people, just pointing out the extraordinary waste that comes to many people’s lives when the state plays nanny as the British one does so well.

  3. I do not understand the story. What is the difference between the two people?

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