From Balloon to Tea

I was the Branch Manager of a small branch in Damoh district of M.P. It was my first assignment as BM. One evening, I was sitting in my lawn, when a young boy approached me with request to purchase a few balloons that he was holding in his hands. I told him that I didn’t need any, as there were no children in my house then.

But the boy was insistent, saying he had not eaten anything and he had to go back to home, where his ailing mother was waiting for something to eat. I offered him some money, but he refused, tersely saying that he was selling, not begging.

Suddenly, a lot of things crossed my mind. First of all, he was not lying, as his facial expression looked so genuine. Moreover, he refused to take money from me for nothing. I purchased three balloons from him and asked him to sell something else, as balloons are not so needed by all.

One day I was going to Riyana, an adopted village of the branch to attend monthly meeting of Krishak Mitra Mandal (Farmer Friends’ Forum). As I was entering the village, I was surprised  to see that same chap sitting on a few bricks with a kerosene stove, a kettle and a few clay cups. He was selling tea.

I stopped there and asked him when he started this business. He said, “Just a few days after meeting you.”

“But where from did you get this idea?”

“From you, sir. Tea is a thing that most people take. Not only my villagers, but passengers also stop by and take tea. I earn more money than from selling balloons, that too staying close to my mother in my own village.”

His name was Jokhan (or Jokhu for short). When I went to meet Sarpanch and others at Gram Panchayat office, they offered me tea, but I insisted to have one from Jokhu and requested them to support that honest and hard-working boy. I also gave a loan of Rs 5000 from my bank under IRDP scheme.

When I left Damoh branch after two years of my assignment, he had purchased a handcart and additional tea-ware and started selling biscuits, snacks etc along with tea. I don’t know how and where he is now, but looking to his strong will to strive and survive,  I’m sure he must be living a decent life.

–Kaushal Kishore



  1. I am back, Kaushal, and my first impression was spot on, I love the story of Jokhan.
    Two reasons are important to highlight here:
    firstly, the decency that made you buy the balloons and then offer the advice
    that changed Jokhan’s life.
    secondly, the young boy’s intelligence and determination to follow your suggestion,
    indicating that many people could be helped if there was someone around who genuinely care for others.
    Your inspiring story, Kaushal, confirms my love and admiration for your country and its people. Thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joanna, for such a lovely response, especially for India and its people. When Jokhan met me for balloons, I was not aware that he was from Riyana village, as I knew that village and its people very well. But destiny holds upper hand as I met him again. But kudos to him that he took the initiative on his own with his limited resources.


  2. Everyone needs encouragement at times in their lives. You were wise to realize the boy was not lying about selling the balloons. Another person may not have seen that. You were even wiser to buy a few balloons and encourage him to pursue rethink his “career”. Your input and his desire to better himself while caring for his mother made for a wonderful joint venture of communication, thoughtfulness and dedication. Kudos to you for your guidance and to Jokhu for his determination. A beautiful story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m overwhelmed! What an awesome response, Nancy! It’s your graciousness. In fact I had suggested to sell something that is needed by more people. He drew his own conclusion and acted upon. So I appreciated his initiative and therefore I gave a small loan from bank to bolster his confidence. Thank you, Nancy, again for your generous comment that means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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