The past few months have been heavy for the world, and India has been no exception to that. The pandemic which is nowhere even close to ending took away the livelihood of many people and left others to unimaginable levels of despair. 

One of these people was the couple at now-famous Baba ka Dhaba. Before last week they were struggling to make ends meet as no one was visiting their humble tapri for food. 

But as they say, miracles happen in the most unexpected ways. 

Someone shot a video of the food shop, and soon, they were trending across the country, leading to a huge crowd of customers the very next day.

As the couple makes sense of the sudden outpour of love, Kanta Prasad, the owner, talks to Humans of Bombay about their journey. Married off when they were just children, he says they didn't even know what was being done to them.

I was 5 and Badami Ji was 3 when we got married in Azamgarh, UP. The only memory I have of the ceremony is of her hair in a braid; she looked like a doll...We had no idea we’d been married off; so when we met once a year, we’d reunite like old friends.
baba ka daba couple
Source: Instagram/Humans of Bombay

Later, when the two started understanding things better, they realised their responsibilities and decided they'll give their kids better lives than they had. So, they moved to Delhi and Kanta Prasad became a fruit seller.

We’re luckier than most, but we knew we didn’t want our kids to have the same fate as us. So when I held our daughter for the first time, I decided to leave UP. We moved to Delhi in 1961.
baba ka dhaba couple
Source: Instagram/Humans of Bombay

Admitting that his wife is a better saleswoman than him, Kanta says that what kept them motivated was small happiness like having chai and biscuit at a tapri. This gave them the idea to open their own tea stall.

We then opened a chai stall. It took a toll on us financially, but Badami Ji had faith in me. I remember asking her 'nahi chala toh?’ She smiled and said 'koi baat nahi, kuch aur karengey!’ I wouldn’t have the courage to do anything without her. She may look small, but she has a strong willpower!

The next step was opening Baba ka Dhaba, which Kanta says was a total joint effort as there is no aadmi ka kaam and aurat ka kaam.

In 1990, after hitting a half-century, we started Baba Ka Dhaba! Badami Ji does the chopping & I cook. There’s no ‘aadmi ka kaam’ or ‘aurat ka kaam’; 50-50 partners hain hum!

And their lives were going well until a lockdown was enforced across the country and they were left with no customers. However, with their new-found fame, things have started looking up.

And even though they are now receiving love from all over the country, Kanta says there is nothing like his wife praising him.

When you were talking to Badami Ji just now, I overheard her saying 'Dekho iss umar mein bhi kitni mehnat karte hain!' Yeh toh best compliment hua na, madamji?.

Love and mutual respect, it has nothing to do with money. Never did. You can read their complete story, here.

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“I was 5 & Badami Ji was 3 when we got married in Azamgarh, UP. The only memory I have of the ceremony is of her hair in a braid; she looked like a doll. We thought we were attending a party–we wore new clothes, ate ladoos, performed rituals & went home. We had no idea we’d been married off; so when we met once a year, we’d reunite like old friends. As we grew older, the responsibilities of being ‘pati’ & ‘patni’ became clearer & at 21 Badami Ji came to live with me. Our friendship slipped into love–we’d grown up together & known each other our whole life. We’re luckier than most, but we knew we didn’t want our kids to have the same fate as us. So when I held our daughter for the first time, I decided to leave UP. We moved to Delhi in 1961. Here, I became a fruit seller. I’d get fruits from the mandi & Badami Ji would set up the stall. In the afternoons, Badami Ji would take over; she was a better saleswoman than me! As our family grew to 5, we began selling vegetables–we had our fair share of good & bad days. But we’d keep going for the times when we could afford chai & biscuit from a tapri. My favourite day is Friday though–that’s when Badami Ji makes aloo baingan! We then opened a chai stall. It took a toll on us financially, but Badami Ji had faith in me. I remember asking her, ‘Nahi chala toh?’ She smiled & said, ‘Koi baat nahi, kuch aur karengey!’ I wouldn’t have the courage to do anything without her. She may look small, but she has a strong willpower! So, in 1990, after hitting a half-century, we started Baba Ka Dhaba! Badami Ji does the chopping & I cook. There’s no ‘aadmi ka kaam’ or ‘aurat ka kaam’; 50-50 partners hain hum! But after lockdown, our business tanked; my older son also lost his job. We were barely scraping by–food was going to waste & we had no money to buy vegetables. Lekin waqt hain, badalta rehta hain–out of nowhere, a stranger came & took our video–the next day, we woke up to a line outside! Since then, all news people, company walas & customers have been coming & going. But when you were talking to Badami Ji just now, I overheard her saying, ‘Dekho iss umar mein bhi kitni mehnat karte hain!’Yeh toh best compliment hua na, madamji?"

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