Fashion on cart: The life of a bangle seller in Visakhapatnam

bangle seller, visakhapatnam

Surya Narayana, a 54-year-old bangle seller, sells an array of colourful bangles from door-to-door at Seethammadhara in Visakhapatnam. Reminiscing the bygone times, he shares his story with Sruthi Sahini.

“For the past sixteen years, I have had the same routine. My work usually starts at 8 AM. I set up my cart with a variety of bangles, including the ones made from glass, metal, kundan and fancy material. Young women and little girls, flock around to buy cosmetics, hair ties, bindi packets, and other accessories. I manage to make about Rs 500 before calling it a day at 9 PM. This is far less than what I used to earn a decade ago.

The bangle trade was in the boom when I had started the business in 2003. During the early years, I used to earn up to Rs 800 per day. Of late, my business has been spiralling down owing to the growing online market.

Unable to bear the expenses in the city, we moved to Simhachalam five years ago. I live there with my wife and sons. My elder son works as an AC mechanic and the younger one is still looking for a job. Though our home was severely damaged by the Cyclone Hudhud in Visakhapatnam in 2014, I could not afford to rebuild it. All said and done, we are happy with whatever little we possess.

With my family’s encouragement, I’m planning to switch over to a new line of work. Either setting up a panipuri stall or a cool drink (sharbat) cart at Simhachalam will allow me to earn better and spend quality time with my family.”

It’s never too late to start over in life and we wish the bangle seller the very best.

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