It was my usual train journey home from work boarding the 20:50 train at Paranur. When the train was about to start from Guduvanchery, one Samosa vendor with his empty samosa basket boarded the train & sat next to me. As the compartment was sparsely crowded and also my destination was far away, I felt like interacting with the Samosa vendor for sometime, as a time pass.
Me: Seems like you have sold all the Samosas today.
Samosa Vendor: Yes, by God's grace full sales today.
Me: I really pity you people. Wont you get tired if you do this tiresome job all the day?
Samosa Vendor: What to do sir! This is our job. Only if we sell Samosas like this every day, we will be getting a commission of 75 Paise per Samosa we sell.
Me: Oh is it! On an average, how many Samosas do you sell every day?
Samosa Vendor: If it is peak time, we sell around 3000-3500 Samosas per person. If dull time not even 1000 will move on that day. On an average, it will be around 2000 Samosas that we sell every day.
I was speechless for a second, since if it is 75 paise per Samosa and that guy says he sells at an average of 2000 Samosas every day which means his daily earnings is Rs.1500 approx and his monthly earnings come to Rs.45000 per month (OMG!!!) I further intensified my questioning and this time, not for time pass, but out of curiosity.
Me: Will you prepare the Samosas yourself?
Samosa vendor: No. Our owner prepares these Samosas through Samosa vendor and we just sell them here. After selling, we will give the money to him and he will give us a commission of 75 paise per Samosa we sell.
I was unable to speak a single word further. But that person continued.
Samosa vendor: But one thing, most of our earnings are being spent on Drinks itself. Only with the remaining amount we are able to take care of other business.
Me: Other business!! What is that?
Samosa Vendor: It is land business. In 2007 I bought 1.5 grounds of land at Urapakkam for 3 Lakhs and I have sold it a few months back for 15 Lakhs. With that money, I have purchased some Land inUthiramerur for 5 Lakhs.
Me: What did you do with the remaining amount?
Samosa Vendor: With the remaining amount, I have set aside 6 Lakh for my Daughter's marriage and 4 Lakhs I have deposited in the bank.
Me: How much have you studied?
Samosa Vendor: Third Standard pass. Stopped studies when I was in the 4th. But I know how to read and write.
I was almost in a shocked state and his next statement nailed me right in the head.**
Samosa vendor: There are many people like you & us who dress well wearing ties, shoes, talking fluently in English, working in AC rooms. But I don't think you guys earn as much as we do wearing dirty clothes and selling Samosas.
What can I speak after this?! I am talking to a Crorepati!!!****
At this point of time, the train chugged into Chrompet station and the Samosa vendor started from his seat.
Samosa vendor: See you sir. My station has come.
Me: Take care.
Well, what can I say after this incident!!!!!**** *
Each one of us will have experiences , some of us would wish to learn from, but most of us do not. Learning without thought is labour lost, thought without learning is perilous.