Only a Vada Sambar


A servant who serves excellently from his whole heart with due courage and humility is never a servant, but a master of his work!” ¯ Ernest Agyemang Yeboah. It was an ordinary brown paper packet that arrived with the delivery man.

The order was for a plate of vadas, some sambar and chutney. The package did not lend too much hope to the taste of what lay inside, but for the price paid, one did not expect regal packing nor exquisite flavour to food just meant to fill one’s belly.

The packet was opened, the first bite made, yes indeed, with some fear and trepidation! The taste was unbelievable! Crisp and fresh, and with savour no Five Star could come close to, the vadas were relished one by one.

‘Who could have created dish so divine?’ The vada was put down and a hand reached for the phone, “The vada sambar you just delivered…” “Yes,” said the voice of the hotel owner at the other end, wondering whether the new man he hired had let him down, and a complaint about the quality of the food was coming, “Yes?” he asked.

“That vada sambar was incredible! Just like my mother used to make!” In the small hotel, the owner put down his phone, and walked to the kitchen.

He looked at the new disheveled worker, sunk cheeks, and pale skin, from working too close to fire, and away from the outside world, but he looked up, and there was a gleam in his eyes, “They liked it?” And the owner nodded and smiled.

The owner marveled at people who invested themselves in whatever work was given to them.

It was only a vada sambar, but wherever the package went, it went with all of the simple cook’s integrity packed in it. The owner walked closer to the cook, and heard him singing a tune.

He smiled, because there were few who sang while they worked, “The customer was very happy,” said the owner, “He said your vada sambar was just like his mother used to make!”

The cook smiled and continued singing and curious, the owner went close to hear the words, and smiled as he heard what was being sung: Do what you do, do well boy, Do what you do, do we-ell, Give your love and all of your heart, And do what you do, do well, Do what you do, do well! “Yes,” whispered the owner to himself as he left the kitchen, “Even if it’s only a Vada Sambar..!”

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