*The Samosa Vendor.*
A short, but, a real story
Today in India its unbelievable …….the numbers are a little difficult
… but interesting nevertheless.
It was my regular train journey home from work. I boarded the 18:50pm
train at from Paranur. When the train was about to leave Guduvanchery, 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 do sell on an average each day?”
Vendor: “On peak days, we sell 3,000 to 3,500 samosas per person. On dull days, we can’t even move 1,000 samosas a day. On an average, we
sell about 2,000 samosas a day.”
I was speechless…..for a few seconds. The guy says he sells 2,000
samosas a day; at .75 paise each, he makes about 1,500 rupees daily, or
45,000 rupees a month. That’s Rs. 45,000 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. Our propreitor 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 Urupakkam
for 3 lakh rupees and I sold it a few months back for 15 lakhs. Now I have
bought land in Uthiramerur for 5 lakh rupees.”
Me: “What did you do with the remaining amount?”
Vendor: “Of the remaining amount, I have set aside 6 lakhs for my
daughter’s wedding. I have deposited the other 4 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-coditioned 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 Chromepet 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…!*
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