By | Ramesh Ranjan, Founder & Editor – www.humanengineers.com
Its also said that don’t judge a Book by its cover and so true it is.
Here is a story that has been in circulation on the Social Media for some time. A very interesting story of a Samosa Vendor.
The Samosa Vendor
At bombay…It was my regular train journey home from work.
I boarded the 18:50pm train from Church Gate.
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 Almighty’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 1 rupee 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 week 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 1 rupee each,
He makes about 3,000 rupees daily, or 90,000 rupees a month.
That’s Rs. 90,000 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 1 rupee 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 here at Bombay. 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 80 lakhs. Now I have bought land in umroli for 40 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, post office, mutual funds, gold and bought cash back insurance.”
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 and suit, 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 True Indian 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.”
Welcome to the real India
How often have we come across such a situation and more importantly such people. We tend to form opinions of people based on their looks and appearances only to go wrong later.
Most of the times our opinions are based on Stereotype thinking. For vast majority of Indians, success means working in a Corporate Job and anything else is looked down upon. Our Society always craves to “work in a Corporate Job” and your Social Status and perception of success depends on where you work and how high you are in the organisation and the life style you portray.
Times are changing fast, many a youngsters and professionals are breaking this stereotype thinking and myth and that’s one of the reason that India is fast becoming the “Start Up” capital of the World. Ola, Uber, Urban Clap and a host of other StartUps are beginning to change the perceptions of many jobs and bringing dignity to people on these jobs. People are beginning to believe and see merit in Self Employment and embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit.
No one can afford to overvalue the reputation that his method of making a living is more superior to another persons method of making a living. Dignity of labour hasn’t yet come of age in the Indian Society. It weighs heavy on many peoples dreams, hopes and aspirations. It all comes down to a basic respect for humanity. We should learn to respect a man not by his actions, stature, career direction, abilities or lineage but only by the fact that he is another human being-just like you and me.
Dignity of Labour indicates that all types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior/inferior. Its about time that we stop judging People by their Looks.
Ramesh Ranjan is the Founder & Chief Editor of Human Engineers an organization being formed to help Organization’s to “make the most of its People” and co-creating value thro’ People”. He is a certified CEO / Leadership Coach, Mentor for Startups, Blogger & a Speaker.
In a career spanning nearly 3 decades, he has been Head of HR and held leadership positions in India & globally in organisations like Schneider Electric India, American Power Conversion (APC), Chevron Texaco/Caltex India, Praxair India, Co Systems India, Indian Herbs & ITI.
He was the Honorary Secretary of the National HRD Network, Bangalore Chapter – 2000-2002, Cluster Lead – NHRD Bangalore Chapter (Whitefield & ORR) in 2014 and currently the Vice President – NHRD Bangalore Chapter. In the past, he was the member of the India HR Council of the AMCHAM, New Delhi, Panelist on the Roundtable of HR Directors of Petroleum Companies, ISP Mumbai and Member of the India HR Council of Conference Board.
He strongly believes that HR is not for faint hearted professionals. He believes that “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going” and can be reached at email@example.com