The inspiring story of this 65-year-old ‘Parathe wali Aunty’ shows how true heroes are able to fight against every challenge that life throws at them. All with a smile on their face.
Dalbir Kaur, famously known as ‘Parathe wali Aunty’ is 65-years-old, but she has no desire of retiring anytime soon. She runs a dhaba at the Milan Cinema Road in Delhi’s Karampura area that she opens at 11 AM, and shuts down by midnight.
Living by her motto – “Jab tak hai jaan, karte rahe kaam!” (Work till you die), she has no regrets of working at an age when many retire. While giving the glimpse of her undying passion to work, she shared with TBI:
“They (the Municipal Corporation of Delhi) have pulled off my stall from here so many times, but I come back again shamelessly. What should I do? I will fall sick if I don’t work.
What would I do at home? At this age one either holds the bed or the bed holds them. I did not want to do either.”
Born in a family, where getting two meals a day was difficult, Dalbir started doing odd jobs early on in her life to support the family. And, her dedication to taking up odd jobs to support family continued even after she got married. She did jobs like sewing clothes to add to the family income.
As time passed, Dalbir’s children grew up and got busy living their own lives. It was that time when many could have considered to sit back and relax.
But neither life nor Dalbir’s passion for work left her ready to let hang the boots.
The idea of helping people through her cooking clicked Dalbir while she was visiting her parents in Punjab. But it was her daughter’s divorce that pushed her to open her own Dhaba to earn money.
While sharing how she stumbles over the idea, Dalbir mentioned with TBI:
“I would visit my parents in Punjab once a year. While travelling by train or bus, I realised that one could not eat good food while travelling. The food available in restaurants en route was incredibly expensive, and commuters were forced to have it as there was no other choice. I love to cook and thought I should help such people. Delhi has so many students who stay away from home. I thought someone should cook for them too.”
The idea turned into reality only when her daughter moved back home after her divorce.
“The entire responsibility of my daughter and granddaughter fell on me. I didn’t have much, but also knew that I didn’t want to be dependent on anyone. So, I decided to earn money while following my passion.”
But, life didn’t go any easy on Dalbir Kaur. When she opened a dhaba in 2016, MCD not only took away her signboard but also asked her to leave that place.
Then, Dalbir took a rented shop and started again. But the owner of the shop soon wanted it back, and she was asked to leave that place too.
But Dalbir refused to give up. She gathered all her courage and returned back to the original spot and opened the dhaba without a signboard. She has been successfully running it ever since.
Life struck again and two years ago, Dalbir’s husband suffered a stroke and was paralyzed. But after the major setback, rather than taking a break, she soon returned back to work and channeled her pain into work.
At IFORHER, we are proud of this courageous 65-year-old woman, who is facing life head-on. Neither life could break her spirit nor could it take away her bold smile. We hope she would keep winning over life challenges and her story will inspire many women, who are fighting for a life of dignity for their family and themselves.