Wah Kya Mochi Hai!
In Mumbai city it’s quite a common site to see the BMC officials demolishing road-side stalls of food, vegetables, clothes, etc. and practically running away in the sarkari trucks with the confiscated goods.
It’s whole other story that once that these road-side hawkers are back at the same place the very next day, either by bribing the BMC officials or by the influence of their local political party.
But then there are some who go a step further and come up with innovative ideas to sustain their source of daily bread-&-butter. And one such example is a cobbler named Namdev Shelke, who in a way has beaten the law with the help of the law – literally.
A cobbler on AB Nair Road, Juhu, against whom residents of the area have been complaining regularly, has now got his lawyer by his side.
Says Shelke, whose stall measures 4×6 metres, “While I have a licence for a 1×1 metre stall, I am yet to receive permission for extending my stall. I fear the BMC may demolish the extension any time; in fact they have already done so a few times. That is why it is reassuring to have my lawyer friend with me.”
Kelkar, who claims to be a social worker, is from Shelke’s hometown in Vidarbha and has been seen at Shelke’s stall for the past two to three months.
“Kelkar’s presence has assured that residents do not start arguing with me. The residents are beautifying the area and want me to shift. His presence in the shop has helped bring down the complaints. Otherwise, they would ask me to move every week,” says Shelke.
Ever since the incident with the lawyer, residents have avoided another confrontation with Shelke. An ALM member Nina Fernandes said, “Once we find a 1X1 metre plot of land, he will have to go. Then, I am sure, the lawyer will not be able to do much. As of now we feel that there is no point arguing with the lawyer until the land is ready.”
When I read this story, I couldn’t help but tell myself “Ki boss is Mumbai-nagri mein yeh surely ek hatke addmi hai”. What say?