Couple of months ago, I saw a video on youtube about a kid named Ravi who sells peacock feather fans to people visiting the hanging gardens in Malabar Hill, Mumbai. This kid speaks a tonne of languages including non-Indian ones like Spanish, French, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese and so forth.
Anyways, I was in Mumbai as part of a business trip two days ago. On a free day I made a visit to some popular tourist spots and hanging gardens was one of them. As I was exiting from the garden, lo and behold, the Ravi I saw on youtube couple of months ago was trying to lure a Philipino couple into buying his peacock feather fan. Not wanting to waste an opportunity to take a pic, I told him how famous he was on the internet with the video a tourist put up on him a while ago and then asked if I could take a pic. The kid blushed a bit and happily obliged. Its too bad that the hundreds of thousands of hits hes getting on youtube as the “lingo boy” isnt monetized. He has no formal education. He knows all the economics and marketing about selling the fan and I doubt anything more. This lingo kid isnt any more special than the thousands of other similar kids doing the same thing. Ravi gets his stuff from his hometown in Gujarat. His mamma makes them and he sells them.
This meet up with him was one of the highlights of my Mumbai trip, but will exist as a dark reminder of the plight of many kids in India whose situations force them to forgo any pursuance of formal education to meet the bread and butter needs of the family. By the way, the video is here