What is in a name, you may ask? Well,as in the case of a rose by any other name will smell as sweet, a vada-pav by any other name may taste as spicy too. Vada pav, being already popular among mumbaikars, it is no surprise the Shiv Sena thought of making it more popular. A big event was organized, where different vendors participated and selection of the best vada pav was found out, and this was named the Shiv Vada Pav. Also, standardized vending carts or stalls were designed, and vendors were later certified to sell their vada pav with the SHIV brand name. What an idea Sir ji!
Shiv vada pav stalls sprung up at various locations, instead of going in for any vada pav seller,people would look for the Shiv brand name, and of course they could be assured of the quality.

Perhaps, the shiv sahakari movement, while certifying the quality could have charged a fee too. This income could have gone to the Shiv Sena coffers (?).

By attempting at best standard, the shiv vada can perhaps compete with the other branded fast food items, e.g. the mesmerizing McDonald burger, the domineering Domino pizza, etc. This innovative brand of vada pav could one day go out to invade other countries too, where it has not already entered.

Well, I have yet to taste a shiv vada pav; however seeing the crowds that gather around the vendors, would be enough proof to say people put their money where the mouth is.

Would not other popular snack items like, ‘puttu’, ‘idiappam’ etc like to copy this branding and may be naming these items after their regional party name. This way, the parties would become popular and there would be more followers for the party as also the branded snacks.

School students, college students, office returnees (to refresh themselves after being pushed down on the railway stations and to spend the interim before joining the long bus queue to get to their homes), why elderly people, all of them get easily bowled, particularly when they see others at the stall with their fingers holding the partially eaten vada pav (the soft-cushioned, hot-and-flattened aloo masala ball, coated with besan paste, and deep fried) and their faces radiating; and if at all you want to say ‘wow’ to indicate your delight, this should be done even before you start eating, since, any way, you have to open your mouth wide enough to accommodate the stuff. Some returning from office might as well care for the ‘busy housewife plying her evening care’ and for the kids who would ‘run to lisp their sire’s return’ and surprise them too.

People would throng more often the Shiv Vada Pav ‘stalls’, as if to get the blessings of SHIV (Lord Shiva) and, in some cases, Shiv-Parvathi also, since some of these stalls at least are ‘run’ by the joint effort of the husband-wife combination!

Sachin Tendulkar, it is reported, has a weakness for vada-pav which he has himself admitted. He and his son Arjun would very often relish this Indian equivalent of the Burger during his cricket practicing sessions in Shivaji Park grounds. And, when he scored his 28th century, Vinod Kambli, his friend, landed up at the party organized to celebrate this event, with a parcel of 28 vada-pavs. One might wonder whether there is any link between Sachin’s hittings and the vada-pav! If so, the Indian cricket team selectors should keep this in mind and, during practicing sessions at least before before major matches within the country, arrange to serve vad-pav (the ‘shiv’ brand, of course ) to members of the team. If this boosts the team in terms of making high scores, instead of ‘boost is the secret of our energy’, there could be advertisements on TV saying, ‘vada-pav’ is the secret of our energy!’

No wonder, E-Venture, a PE funding firm has invested Rs.21 crores, as reported in newspaper, in Goli Vada-Pav, a national venture planning to roll out this humble pie across the whole nation.


About cvsubramaniam

Former Director, Department of Electronics & Informatiin Technology, Government of India.. Authored Book on Human Resource Management. Published 80 plus articles on HR, Management, S&T, general topics.
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