Let's Get Inspired! The Man Who ?Never Gave Up? On Selling Hand Crafted Trinkets!
Sanjay Biswas, who sells trinkets at The Hazarduari Express from Beldanga town, he carries a large basket of artifacts of wood which included a charkha, a table-lamp, a car, a bus, and the single-stringed ektara.
Also, he sold china goods like keys-rings, toys, umbrellas, torches, lighters, etc.
The passengers on hearing the minimal prices on the well-crafted models, bargain with the seller and maybe not even buy it later. During these two hours, it is a peak time for the maximum business to which he sells his trinkets at the MRP and puts an extra charge to earn few profits. the train takes to cover the 100 kilometers between Beldanga in Beharampore subdivision of Murshidabad district and Ranaghat. Most of the vendors get off at Ranaghat, a few at Krishnanagar, both major railway junctions on this line. From there, many take connecting local trains to their villages and towns. Someone had asked Sanjay on the pricing of wooden art, where he said Rs. 300, the buyer was shocked hearing a steep amount to which Sanjay answered that the raw materials to make the models are pretty expensive, also he said these are not the local ones you get at a fair. Well, Sanjay allows all his customers to have a look at his hand crafted models with great detail and also inspect them by touching if there is a fault. And on that basis the people can buy from him. He likes people who don?t question much and simply buy from him whereas, when people ask too many questions, it is a challenge for him to sell his items.
It is an inspiration that this man even if he doesn?t earn anything, he doesn?t give up. He meets all kinds of passengers and during his selling hours he is always lighted up and more delighted when he gets good customers. Alongside the china trinkets, he even sells his Indian wooden items which he carves them with his own hands. Sanjay had this art since the class 8, he somehow couldn?t complete his education and so he started this handcrafting. This 47-year-old man initially repaired harmoniums but soon din find a path to it. So he started with this occupation of selling. And since 1.5 years he has been enjoying his occupation. He still continues to work part-time with repairing harmoniums.
Sanjay?s usual train route is between Plassey (or Palashi) and Krishnanagar. ?I sell for three days a week and the rest of the days go in making the artifacts. It?s subtle, and cannot be done casually. The profit margins are very thin. The raw materials come at a high price. These items require Burma teak, Segun or shirish wood. He buys these from wood merchants and gets good quality paint and spirits from Burrabazar or China Bazar in Kolkata. And dedicates all his hours to work. He makes items ranging from Rs. 40 to Rs. 500, but somehow manages to survive. Therefore, he never gives up on his selling skills and has hopes that one day someone will appreciate his work!