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Rece ntly, I sold bangles of about Rs 50,000 to a foreigner. All you need to utter in English is the cost of the product and a few other common words," he says.
Pandey earns Rs 10,000 a month, which he gets in cash. He does not have a salary account, nor other employee benefits.
Despite his experience, Pandey can take nothing for granted. "There is no job security.
If the owner wishes, he can ask me to leave at any moment without an explanation," he says. If he quits this job, he would have to compete with younger and more educated men and women. "When I go to other stores, they offer me only Rs 4,000 or Rs 5,000," he says.
Pandey lives in a rented one-room accommodation in Narhi locality, about a kilometre from his workplace. "I pay Rs 2,000 as rent.
Another Rs 2,000 goes for food. I save only Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 a month which is sent to my wife and three children in Jhulaghat," he says.
Pandey visits his home once in three months.
"The mobile phone helps me stay in touch with my family and I try to call them once every day," he says.
A salesman's job is not how he sees his future. "I am 40 now. After two or three years, when I have saved some money, I will go back to my village to start my own bangle store and live with my family," he says.
'I REQUEST THEM TO SPEAK IN HINDI, AND THEY ALL DO'
JYOTI LODHI I 21
JYOTI LODHI, petite in a striped shirt and trousers, with a neatly-tied bun, is busy folding jeans and placing them on the racks at the Reliance Trends outlet in Aashima Mall on Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal.