…There is a way

While travelling in a local train in Mumbai, one can come across several vendors selling their stuff ranging from toys, cosmetics, pens, carry packs, water bottles, vegetables, fruits, biscuits and other edible items like tea, samosa, bhajiya (snacks) etc.

Right from Churchgate to Borivili and Virar on the Western route and from CSMT to Thane and Kalyan on the Central route, these vendors move with their baskets or bags from compartment to compartment.

We may feel sorry for these people doing the tiresome job the whole day. But the tale of a samosa seller is interesting.

He sells samosas only and gets a commission of two rupees for each samosa. On weekdays, he sells more, but average comes to two thousand samosas per day. That means he earns about four thousand rupees daily or one hundred twenty thousand rupees a month. That too without GST or TDS. So is the case of a tea vendor, who earns one rupee for a cup of tea. This may vary from vendor to vendor.

Though most of the earnings are spent on living expenses in Mumbai, most of them are able to meet the necessary ends like housing, marriage and education of children. One vada pao vendor in Churchgate, Mumbai has sent his both kids abroad for higher education.

These vendors have not studied much, but they know how to read and write. They know how to do business and earn money without a formal education. Compare these guys wearing dirty clothes with persons, who dress well, wear a tie and suit, wear shoes, speak english fluently and work in air-conditioned rooms.

What makes these rough and tough  guys distinct? They too consider themselves employed and happy with their lives. An educated young man may feel shame in making or selling tea and snacks, but now there are MBA and Engineering graduates, who have realised the potential of this avenue and taken plunge into this wholeheartedly.

MBA chaiwala is one example. Classroom cafe is another. Tandoori tea is one more. A group of MBA graduates have come together to start dairy business. There is an IT engineer, who uses charkha (spinning wheel) to upcycle plastic wrappers into beautiful bags and mats. There are many examples of this nature.

The moral of the story is that no work is below standard, if you decide to do it with your skill and innovation, and of course with a difference and passion. You not only get employed, but can generate employment for others as well. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

–Kaushal Kishore

images: google



  1. I have to agree with you, Kaushal, because to my mind, it is what is in your head that is more important than what you do. I know of a few people who had to adapt after they escaped from Poland. One of them a professor of history drove a taxi for a living. Of course, he would always have the knowledge but could not be in academia as his English was not to that level.
    The trend you describe is healthy for the reasons you have so eloquently and convincingly put forward. My admiration is for the ingenuity of the lady making mats and bags from discarded plastic! The business acumen and the hard work of the sellers on the trains are also worthy of respect.
    Thank you, Kaushal, for this illuminating and thought-provoking post.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Your comment reminds me of a former IT minister of Afghanistan, Syed Ahmad Shah Sadat, who was spotted working as a pizza delivery guy on a bicycle in Germany. Such a calamity makes one learn new ways to survive, and those who are not so flexible, simply perish.
      Change is inevitable, but resistance to change is our choice. I’m glad that you liked the post. Thank you, Joanna for such wonderful reflections. Much much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When it is said, work is worship, it doesn’t distinguish the nature of work. Thank you, Priti for your kind words of appreciation 😊💖


  2. I am reminded of a story. A pastor had a day job as a janitor and he was frugal and saved his money. When he retired, he was a millionaire.

    Did the pastor waste his life saving his money instead of spending it?

    Humor and love don’t require money.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The issue here is the nature of work that provides the basic necessity of life like food and clothing. A hungry man can’t think of love and laugh.


    1. You’re so right, Sowmya! Everybody plays his or her own role that’s important. Milton had written, those who stand and wait also serve the God. Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post is one I heartily agree with, KK! 🙂

    There is dignity in work and in supporting your family. We need all kinds of people in the labor market. I think many people are happiest being entrepreneurs. I worked at a variety of jobs before becoming a teacher and always valued all life experiences. Life is an education if you are paying attention.

    Thank you again for your wise words! All the best! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could very well relate with your experience, Cheryl. I have also worked in different capacities in different areas, but what I found is that being an insider, one knows ins and outs of the job, and those with negative mentality would always find some loopholes to criticise. I agree that there is value in each and every job, and we should look at accordingly. Thank you for sharing your wonderful reflections 😊💖

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, true, they don’t have much unnecessary ego and show-off, as also no GST, no income tax. Their life is simpler. Thank you, Anne for reading and appreciating the post and sharing your thoughts!


  4. “They too consider themselves employed and happy with their lives”. Most of them are even genuinely happier and have more wholesome lives than those suit & tie types who snub them. Your last sentence is particularly a good moral lesson to take away. Thanks for the message!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted to know that you loved this post. I agree with what you say, Tia. After all, it’s not only money and appearance that make one happy. Thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections.

      Liked by 1 person

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