– Anjana Narayan
Have you ever wondered how the Josephite hangout place came into being? I recently had a chat with the Chettas owner. He went on to tell me the story.
It was established 15 years back by Mr. Thamban. He is a malayali and is the owner of ‘SK Bakery and Juice centre’ or how we Josephites belovedly call it ‘Chettas’. The word ‘Chetta’ means brother in malayalam. The story behind the name of the bakery is quite fascinating. The senior Josephites used to place their orders by addressing Mr. Thamban as Chetta and hence the name.
As our conversation progressed, he told me that he opened the bakery in its current location as it would bring in a lot of customers which include students from St. Joseph’s PUC and College of Commerce. On an average, he earns about Rupees 5000 a day. He also mentioned that on the days when the college remained closed, he lacks business.
A typical day in Mr. Thamban’s life starts at 7 and continues till 11. Students start crowding at the bakery by 7.30 in the morning. There are various choices displayed on the menu, they include milkshakes, puffs, samosas etc. The preferred drink of the students is the most celebrated one on the menu, ‘The Oreo shake’. When I asked Thamban about his personal favourite he laughed and said that he liked all the items on the menu.
Thamban doesn’t work single- handed, he has 4 members on his crew to help him with the day-to-day chores. One prepares the beverages, the other takes orders and the third sits behind the cash counter and Thamban makes sure that all the work done is co-ordinated and leaves the customer satisfied. He also mentioned that he had competition from the stores around his bakery. He maintains a good rapport with students. He gets along well with them. Mr.Thamban being a successful entrepreneur, I asked him about his advice to Josephites who want to stand on their own feet and start their business. He said, ‘If you have an idea, go ahead and execute it!’ He also added that, one shouldn’t be afraid to take risks and must have the courage to face any situation.
Stories like these of ordinary people often go unnoticed. Mr. Thamban is a prosperous owner of a bakery and he has overcome numerous hurdles to reach the position he is in now. Students who have passed out from the institution often meet at Chettas to relive their old times. It is also a place where friendships blossom. Chettas holds a very special place in every Josephite’s heart. Years later when we look down memory lane, we will cherish the moments we shared at this homely place called ‘Chettas’.
Photo Credits: Daniel Rosario