I lost my parents when I was six or seven years old. As none of our relatives in my native village in Villupuram district came forward to take care of me and my brother, we came to Chennai to start afresh. We started our lives in Ambattur by doing small jobs. After I got married, I moved into my father-in-law’s house in Kannagi Nagar.
While I was working outside, my father-in-law maintained the fruit shop, but he handed the shop over to me due to his old age. We live together in Kannagi Nagar and my brother lives nearby with his family.
I completely cut the relationship with my relatives in Villupuram as they did not care for us when we were struggling. I keep my son and daughter away from them. If my parents were alive, I could have attended school. Education is everything and is very important.
Even though I earn little from selling fruits, my children are attending a private school. I do not want my children to end up like me. I go to Koyambedu to procure fruits and the police here are friendly. They help me when nasty customers create problems. Even one inspector gave me money during heavy rains as I could not open the shop. I visit Villupuram once in a year to conduct pooja in our ancestral temple. But I never visit my relatives who are living there.
S Siva (36), Fruit vendor