Editorial comment – Life’s little surprises

Nisar Bibi at the Laqere market. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Nisar Bibi is content.

She’s happy with what she has been able to achieve to date.

Her life hasn’t been a bed of roses, yet she maintains a picture of joy and happiness.

It radiates in her face.

Her joy emanates from being able to finally own a table at the new Laqere Market in Nasinu.

It’s not the big story that most readers would have expected on our People page yesterday.

However, in her little tale, sits a picture of resilience, and appreciation of life’s little “riches”.

It’s a real story of how people are doing.

Ms Bibi was one of the first few market vendors to book a table at the newly-built market.

It was a treasured moment for her.

After many years of selling vegetables in Ba and later in Suva, it was the first time Ms Bibi acquired a table — something she said she was happy to have attained on her own.

Separated from her husband, Ms Bibi has lived the life of an independent woman, selling vegetables and other items to sustain her.

She talks about her joy at finally being able to have her own table, one she did not have to share with anyone else.

“Some might think owning a table at the market is nothing, but for us vendors it is a treasured moment because it’s where we will invest our time to earn a living for ourselves,” she explained.

She has lived in Narere for the past four years and had been a vendor at the Suva market once.

“It was hard for me to sell at the Suva market because expenses were high and travelling daily is costly.

“Now I travel for a very short distance from home to the market daily.”

Her three children, she said, were married, so living independently was something she had quickly adjusted to after her separation.

Change was inevitable, and it was tough at first, she admitted.

“It wasn’t easy having to leave Ba, but I had to try and stand on my own two feet and selling vegetable was something I had done well in the past so I rededicated my time to it again,” she said.

“I’m content with what I have and what I earn every day. This opportunity has allowed me to grow as a person too.”

Ms Bibi believes it’s important for women to have their own source of livelihood so they could provide for themselves when the going gets tough.

Like many vendors in the new market, she remains optimistic about the endless opportunities the market offers for vendors.

In a world overtaken by a virus, we are pressed for time and news content.

There is an overload of COVID-19 news.

Caged in by lockdowns and the global downturn in tourism and travel, we find ourselves virtually stuck on a platform that is brimming with negativity, with just intermittent bursts of optimism as nations slowly deal with the pandemic.

In the face of this new normal sits Ms Bibi’s story.

It may not be the big report that makes the front page.

However, there is optimism, hope, perseverance and commitment for what may seem minute to the masses.

Sometimes we need to be reminded about the little things that make life very different for all of us.

These are the little things that make life special.

They place us on different platforms.

Sometimes we are so engrossed in life’s big issues that we forget the little moments that bring us joy.

There has to be a balance.

Let’s find that balance and live life to the brim.

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