One does not typically associate tea with motorcycles. Everyone knows that all classes of people drink tea: construction workers, those in business, freelance writers, journalists, firemen, librarians, computer programmers, and even teenagers at your local coffee shop. But when you imagine a motorcycle, you don’t see cups of tea, you see open road, dive bars and leather jackets. But as you can’t judge a tea based on the cup it is served in, you can sell tea off of a motorcycle.
M. Raghavan, a tea vendor, uses a motor cycle to sell tea. The motorcycle has a specialcarrier, large enough to accommodate separate containers for tea, snacks, and a hand washing device.
Because he could not open his shop on Hartal day, a day when vendors cannot open their shops in places like India, or Kozhikode where this particular vendor is located, he moved his tea shop to the street. Hartal day is typically done in protest, a sort of passive resistance. For hundreds of migrant workers and others who are dependent on restaurants in the area, this mobile business was a blessing.
Raghavan speaks on the subject,
“I run a small tea shop in the city where I do decent business each day. The revenue lost from not opening the shop for an entire day is considerable. Earlier, I used to stay at home on hartal days. But three years ago, I decided to put my motorcycle to use on such days. Many were already doing it, much before I started. I got the carrier custom-made to suit my needs’
Apparently, even hartal supporters that want the protest do not have any problems with this arrangement and have never tried to stop his business. He says,
“They are actually happy about it. Even they need some refreshment after the intense sloganeering and marching,” he says.
Though he is not the only bike in town, Abdu Rahman also sells tea off of a bike solely. The two often switch location and can cover the area. This is great not only for protesters but for workers around town. It’s a great way for them to sell tea, and maybe a great business model to bring to other parts of the world. If you just want to sell tea, maybe you don’t have to go for the food truck – a bike could be just as nice and compact. Then maybe tea could spread all the faster.