Baba Ka Dhaba’s Kanta Prasad and Badami Devi Get Featured in Humans of Bombay, From Child Marriage to Running an Eatery, the 80-Year-Old Are Couple Goals!

Humans of Bombay now featured the couple who runs their eatery and pens down how Kanta Prasad and Badami Devi have come this far. From child marriage to running an eatery at 80, let us know about them, a little more as they continue to give all of us major couple goals.

October 13, 2020

Social Viral

7 min

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Baba ka Dhaba—a small street-side eatery in Delhi that everybody knows in India, thanks to a viral video captured by food blogger Gaurav Wasan. From struggling hard to get back in basic earnings per day during a pandemic to giving major life goals, have set a footmark in our life. It is not only how they continued to struggle without letting age come in their way, but the viral story also regained our faith in humanity. Official Humans of Bombay now featured the couple who runs their eatery and pens down how Kanta Prasad and Badami Devi have come this far. Prasad was all in praises for his wife, without whose support, he said, would have never been able to continue with his business. From child marriage to running an eatery at 80, let us know about them, a little more as they continue to give all of us major couple goals.

Prasad was 5-year-old, and Badami Devi was 3-year-old when they got married Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. At the time, they didn’t know what they were being tied into. “The only memory I have of the ceremony is of her hair in a braid; she looked like a doll,” Prasad was quoted saying in the Instagram post. As they grew older as friends, they understood the responsibilities of being ‘pati’ and ‘patni.’ He added, “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.” 

After giving birth to the first child, Badami Devi and his husband moved to Delhi in 1961. From starting as a fruit seller to vegetables to opening a chai stall and finally in 1990, their journey will awe you. “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!” he added.

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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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Because of the lockdown, like many businesses, Baba Ka Dhaba also became the victim of the economic slowdown. Their older son also lost his job. But they continued to struggle, with the hope that one-day things will be back to how it was. “Out of nowhere, a stranger came & took our video–the next day, we woke up to a line outside!” Kanta Prasad added. And we all know what happened after. Social media highlighted plight and Indians stood up to shower help in every way possible. The fact that the couple never lost their hope, is one of the biggest lessons we all should take from the viral story.

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