The classic street staple of Mumbai, Vada Pav, is said to have first originated in 1971 in Dadar. It was curated by Ashok Vaidya, a street vendor. And since then, there has been no looking back. The vada pav has spread through Maharashtra like a wildfire and boy, are we glad. Because inspiring all of us alike, is Satish Vada Pav Wala who has dedicated his life to providing school kids with vada pav for just ₹5. And it’s a winner with all customers. Curly Tales decided to meet with this man, who in today’s time still sells one vada pav only for Rs 5 and serves everyone with a smile.
Satish Vada Pav Wala
With a stall located in Sion, Satish Gupta has been selling his quintessential vada pavs for over 30 years now. They are crisp, piping hot and spiced to perfection. Bole toh ekdum teekhat! And what’s more, for school kids one vada pav is only priced at ₹5. This decision to feed school kids at such a low price comes from a life full of struggles. It wasn’t easy to reach this stage in his life for Satish. He had to battle several obstacles. Read on to know the full story.
“I began with working at a school canteen for about 20 years and then I somehow lost that job, then for 2 months I was jobless and that was a hard phase for me as I had to manage my children’s education, food and so on literally no salary,” said Satish in a conversation with Curly Tales.
“I’ve seen a lot of struggle during that period and I used to get just Rs 100 or 200 and survive on that money. I had to think in the morning whether I could even afford a packet of milk for that day. When kids used to ask whether they could go out, I had to think twice as I had no money to lend them.” Even his housing situation was in peril. With a wife and three kids, he has seen a lot of financial struggle. On top of that, no one had been supportive of them during these extremely hard times. Satish could barely arrange two meals for his family and the slum they lived in was also demolished. But even in such situations, his family never left his side and stood by him.
How Did The Vada Pav Stall Come To Be?
Setting up anything in Mumbai is not an easy task as we Mumbaikars are well aware of. Satish faced the same trouble when setting up his stall in Sion circle. But his desire to be able to do something in life and also end the problems of his family, made him take on the struggle in full swing. And so, the stall where many would come to eat vada pav was born.
The Story Behind Vada Pav @ Rs 5 For Kids
When we asked him why he was selling his vada pavs at just Rs 5 even in today’s expensive market, Satish told us a very nice and inspiring story. He said that his children have faced a lot of struggle, there have been days when they have gone hungry and so he feels a connection with these socio-economically backward children and he does not want them to go hungry the way his own kids had to in hard times. And so Satish finds a lot of happiness when he feeds these children. Isn’t Satish’s work and his devotion towards these kids just amazing? We say yes!
What Does The Vada Pav Maker Like?
For the past 30 years, Satish has been feeding people his vada pav, but the man himself is a fan of food made by his wife! “I like bhaji made by my wife and the puris she makes along with them are best of all,” he tells us. So sweet right?
A Day In The Life Of Satish
So what does a day in the life of Satish, the famous vada pav wala in Sion, look like? Hear it from the man himself.
“I wake up at 5:30 in the morning, freshen up and perform my daily prayers and then around 10 am we begin working on the vada pav mix. And when the kids are home, they help me with chopping onions, cutting chillies or even with peeling potatoes. With their support, work gets done quickly by 11 am. Then I have my tea and breakfast and around 1:15ish leave for the stall.”
Once at the stall, the entire day goes by making vada pavs for a vast customer base! ” Around 2 pm we start the counter and once we do, work goes on until say 7 pm daily. All days pass by just like that. Sometimes it gets so exhausting that I wait for Sunday to get that essential break. ”
Whoa! We sure know how that feels like, waiting for that precious Sunday! But we salute the incredible work and dedication Satish exudes for his vada pav stall and his initiative to feed kids for such a low price is highly commendable. We wish him and the vada pav stall all the best! Do drop in for a lip-smacking vada pav people, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Watch this for another inspirational story from aamchi Mumbai:
And if you know of more such inspirational stories, do let us know in the comments below!