Thursday, December 18, 2008

A unique name

It was a sultry summer evening; I was waiting for the bus at the stand. With darkness fast approaching and no good story yet for the coming edition, I didn’t know whether to feel restless or enjoy the cool sea breeze that can draw anyone into the lull of sleep. That’s when I noticed a pan shop with a peculiar name, Post Graduate Pan Shop. Out of curiosity, I first bought a couple of water packets and slowly started a conversation with the owner, Mr. Prasad.

Obviously, I was not the first one to enquire about the name. The shop spoke a lot about his trials and tribulations. A post-graduate in Commerce, his excellent academic record couldn’t earn him a job of even Rs 3,000 a month. After enrolling himself at Employment Exchange, he waited two-long futile years in the hope of hearing from them. He kept himself sane by doing sundry jobs. Finally, he thought of self employment and opened a pan shop. The name drew flak from the local MLAs and municipal corporator. Mr. Prasad was pressurized to change it for it became a testament of a limping political system.

A few blocks away in Andhra University, the pan shop story stealthily sneaked into the classroom discussions of MBA courses. Later, the students did a case study on Mr. Prasad’s unique venture under self employment.

On my last visit to Vizag, my hometown, I went there to check if the shop exists. I saw Mr. Prasad busy attending to his customers. Little seemed to have changed in all these years. He looked prosperous with a slight paunch and peppered hair. The shop is slightly bigger now.

Even today the name catches attention of many passersby.

8 comments:

  1. Good read! Very interesting! Keep posting..

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  2. "Post Graduate Pan Shop" Prasad was our neighbour in Maharanipet, you know when we lived in the Kanaka Durga hospital down. Nivedita was a regular to his shop for the Badam milks...His Mom lost her husband young and she really struggled to educate him. We always appreciated that he stood his ground about the shop.
    Nice of you sudha to mention him...I wish he knew we admired his grit...

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  3. I did an exclusive story on him when I was heading the Indian Express' weekly feature edition, Weekend Express.

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  4. Great start. I feel it could have been my story as I was not able to get a job of even Rs. 3000 after completing my masters.

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  5. Great story to start blogging with. The journalist in you is still alive:)

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  7. I read a few writings of yours. I really admire the way you write. In few words you say a lot. The beginning of the writing is so intersting that the reader holds his breath till the end. They are very realistic. Bhasha par achhi pakad hai tumhaari. Keep writing.

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  8. Thank you so much for your comments. You are a writer yourself and your opinion mean a lot to me.

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