The paper collector

The paper collector

The Raddhiwala

They call him






Not glass

It has no value



At rock bottom prices

To be resold




Stamped out


Bought at paper rates


The sturdy ones

Like the refrigerator


He pays a bit

They are reused


Washing machine

Only hundred

The weight

It’s worthless







All worth

It’s weight


In metal


Most of them

They’re dead


But sometimes

They’re gold


His mechanic

He charges

Two hundred

But only if

The thing

Comes back to life


Sometimes the buttons

They light up

Two hundred

To pay


He’s hit the jackpot

He’ll sell it

For a tidy sum

Paying the mechanic

He doesn’t mind

At all



The books

The magazines

He doesn’t know

How to read

He spreads them out

On the front

Of his store


They come

The children

The youth

The old

He haggles a bit

He lets them go


They are

His best customers

Those who don’t bother

Checking the


Or negotiating

The rates


He’s not swindling

It’s upto them

To check


The papers bundled

In a jiffy

Hauled to the auto

To his tiny shop

He’s done


He’s rigged up

The scales

But everybody


He won’t make money

If he doesn’t

He can’t then pay

As much

As the others do


They check

They insist

On starting

With zero

They tell him


He’s trying to cheat

The haggling

The talk

The posturing

It’s all part of the game


The young

They don’t bother much

He gives them

A decent rate

And he’s off


The old

It’s another matter

The fight

For every rupee

They want more

Than the rate he quotes


They peer

With their spectacles

At the number

On the scales

It’s one they exclaim

You’re cheating

Correct it

To zero


Sorry he says

You are welcome

To check

He answers

They feel good

They think

They’ve caught him

They don’t know

He’s rigged them

The scales

Even more


The five kilos

After the adjustment

Is six


They bring their own

Weighing machines

No he says

Your’s are not



He’s not cheating

He earns an honest living

Going up and down the stairs

Lugging the newspapers

To his tiny shop


The ragpickers

Theve stopped now

The garbage

It’s all recycled

Or taken away

By the government


Every evening they come

They’re rates are fixed

They have their own weighing machine

They segregate



And they’re gone

He’s earned his living

For the day


He’s part of

The recycling process

He’s proud

Of what he does

He’s just

Trying to survive

The same as the other

Paper collectors


A honest living

By the sweat

Of his brow


He’s saving


His dream

One day

He’ll own

A grocery store


No haggling

No cheating

Honest business


He’ll make a good living

His conscience clean


Hie weighing scales

Will then

Not be rigged

He will not be called

The Raddhiwala

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s