Inguru Dosi

He boards the bus, carrying just a bag on his side. He puts his hand in and takes out a little packet, “inguru dosi, rupiyal pahai”. He’s selling ginger candy, at five rupees a packet. I know of no one who has a particular liking for inguru dosi, I’d never heard of it until the first day I saw this man, and I bought a packet. I saw him once again just yesterday, and I was his only customer.

Why am I blogging about ginger candy? Well, the only reason this guy’s selling this stuff on a bus is because it’s how he makes a living. He’s not your typical salesman, because this guy sells what’s made in his own home. I’m not one for charity. I’m hardly a charitable person, but I’ve had my moments.

I once gave a random beggar on a bus a 500 rupee note, after which he ran to the door and jumped out as soon as he could. There have been times that I’ve seen beggars in the worst conditions, and turned away. There have even been times I’ve seen through the guise that some of them come in, eye patches, loose bandages, irrelevant medical certificates, pharmaceuticals that don’t even treat the disease they claim to be ailing from.

When I see these people, I don’t even feel like laughing. I just feel a tad of disgust, but mostly pity. Pity that they don’t realize how easy it is to see through their facade. I wish more of them sold inguru dosi, really.

And I wonder if the others realize the farce, the ones who give them their money, but wouldn’t buy inguru dosi, rupiyal pahai. Why do we give to charity anyway? Is it just to make ourselves better? To look better in society? Or just to get rid of these people, as soon as possible? Why don’t we all just buy inguru dosi?

I’ve never tasted inguru dosi though. So I don’t know.

photo-credit: Google

6 Responses to “Inguru Dosi”
  1. rannelee says:

    Strangely enough I was actually thinking of all these people who made a living by selling various (mostly things we don’t need but buy it anyway to support them or to get off from the pestering), singing baila off tune (and some do sing with tune), showing the operation they had in general hospital and of cause begging, because they do not have the ability to do a job due to various reasons. The reason for me to think of them was because the government passing a rule as no one can sing, sell, and beg in buses. Anyway, is it effective still? I guess not.

    It is a pity that a person have to come to each and every person to sell and/or beg for money. I really don’t know how I feel about it. I too once bought from a lady (she gets from Dehiwala I think) selling lottery ticket. I am not in to lottery but I bought one, because by looking at her, I felt her agony, her fatigue and strive to make a living. I might be wrong about her, but still for me it’s another human being selling a ticket for 20 rupees and I was another human with 20 rupees to spare.

    • St. Fallen says:

      I know this woman, see her quite often on the way to Colpetty, when passing through Dehiwela. I’ve never bought any tickets from her though. But I get what you’re saying.

      Didn’t know about the new rule, I guess you can’t really stop them. But I’ve seen a lot of conductors and bus drivers asking them to get off the bus as soon as they open their mouth. So yeah, I guess it’s up to the particular bus and its conscience.

  2. Me-shak says:

    I know this guy you are referring to. He is a thin fair chap who smiles a lot ne? I have once brought from him I think. Can’t remember. So this friend of mine is doing something for street kids, you should check it out. I know so many people who just bull shit around. Yeah i wish more people start doing businesses like this. Great post.


  3. Chavie says:

    Well, I don’t have a problem with street merchants and buskers or ticket sellers, but what really makes me sad is seeing able-bodied people begging. I saw a post (on your blog or somewhere else – maybe Halik’s) about a roadside shoe repairman and I really felt like that guy was doing the right thing, and not the easy thing (which would be begging). I think the Inguru dosi guy is also like that.

    So, how did they taste? 🙂

    • St. Fallen says:

      that was Halik’s post.

      I’ve never eaten them. I usually buy them and give them to the person sitting next to me. Or just leave it there. Not a fan of inguru 😛

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