Monday, September 29, 2014

The Success Series (with WhatsApp and Facebook) - The Samosa Vendor

Hidden amongst all the bleak, dreary, depressing and pessimistic thoughts in my blog, there lies a promise I once made -- that I will explain the immensely significant impact of motivational quotes on me. Promises are meant to be kept. I have been receiving millions of motivational messages on WhatsApp, Facebook and increasingly rare face-to-face conversations. Since I am yet to give up the belief that my blog would be seen by history as a one of the most creative human achievements ever, I decided to share a few of these "must-read" messages as a part of a "Success Series". Future students who read this blog as a part of this school syllabus may take note of the important messages, and live their lives accordingly. I would also leave a short write-up of my own thoughts on, and my interpretations of the messages at the end.

Here is a message I got recently. Reproduced as it is, except for the bolding of the title

[Fist Punch smiley] Must Read.....

The Samosa Vendor

“Today in India its unbelievable .......
The numbers are a little difficult to swallow, ......
But interesting nevertheless.”

It was my regular train journey home from work. I boarded the 18:50pm train from churcugate. When the train was about to leave marinelines, a samosa vendor with an empty basket got on and took the seat next to me. As the compartment was sparsely occupied and my destination was still far away, I got into a conversation with him.

Me: "Seems like you've sold all your samosas today."
Vendor (smiling): "Yes. By God's grace, full sales today."
Me: "I really feel sorry for you people. Don't you get tired doing this tiresome job the whole day?"
Vendor: "What to do, sir? Only by selling samosas like this every day do. We get a commission of 75 paise for each samosa that we sell."

Me: "Oh, is that so ? How many samosas do you sell on an average each day?"
Vendor: "On peak days, we sell 4,000 to 5,000 samosas per day. On an average, we sell about 3,000 samosas a day."

I was speechless.....for a few seconds. The guy says he sells 3,000 samosas a day; at 75 paise each, he makes about 2,000 rupees daily, or 60,000 rupees a month. That's Rs. 60,000 a month. OMG. I intensified my questioning and this time it was not for time pass.
Me: "Do you make the samosas yourself?"
Vendor: "No Sir. we gets the samosas through a samosa manufacturer
And we just sell them. After selling we give him the money. And gives us 75 paise for each samosa that we sell."

I was unable to speak a single word more but the vendor continued... 
"But one thing...most of our earnings are spent on living expenses. Only with the remaining money are we able to take care of other business."

Me: "Other business? What is that?"
Vendor: "It is a land business. In 2007 I bought 1.5 acres in Palghar for 10 lakh rupees and I sold it a few months back for 60 lakhs. Now I have bought land in umroli for 20 lakh rupees."
Me: "What did you do with the remaining amount?
Vendor: "Of the remaining amount, I have set aside 20 lakhs for my daughter's wedding. I have deposited the other 20 lakhs in the bank."
Me: "How much schooling have you had?"
Vendor: "I studied up to third standard; I stopped my studies when I was in the 4th standard. But I know how to read and write. Sir, there are many people like yourself, who dress well, wear a tie, wear shoes, speak English fluently and work in air-conditioned rooms. But I don't think you guys earn as much as we do wearing dirty clothes and selling samosas."

At this point, what could I reply. After all, I was talking to a millionaire! The train chugged into khar station and the samosa vendor got up from his seat.

Vendor: "Sir, this is my station...have a good day."
Me: "Take care."

What more is there to say...

"Never underestimate the Power of the Common Man".

Dear Mr.Whoever-has-all-the-time-in-this-World-to-type-out-that-crap-content,

"What more is there to say" absolutely sums it up. Your splendid story spreads a very useful message -- that one must not judge others too soon. Your story discourages arrogance, and encourages us to get to know others; who might impart to us some valuable success lessons.  Even if we momentarily put aside the moral core of your message, your story is an artistic achievement. It had me engrossed and entertained. The twist in the end was totally unexpected. The character development is admirable; the character arc of the narrator in your autobiographical story changes gradually but firmly from being a moron who judges people by their appearances to a moron who judges people by their wealth. This is exactly the message I want children to hear, so that they will grow into better individuals. Thanks for sharing your enthralling experience. I encourage you to keep spreading goodwill.

The Freudian Couch


  1. Haha I thought that this guy remained a moron none the less. Now he feels bad because the other guy is a millionaire. I will never understand the change in behavior that happens when people hear the word money. Money has already segregated people into humans and non humans aka rich and poor. This story is wrong on so many levels and so subtle that it will go right through your brain without giving you a chance to filter it. That is why conditioning hurts. Like I once mentioned.

  2. Hey, thanks Supriya! Glad that you feel the way I do about this story. You are right, such things take effect in a subtle way, which makes it a lot more cringeworthy


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