BENGALURU: He had set his sights on entering the courtroom in a black gown and for that, he worked in a dairy, in hotels and other places while he studied law. For the last six years, he was working under a senior advocate in Bengaluru. But with courts remaining shut during the Covid-induced lockdown and with no cases before them, he had almost hit a dead end. But not the one to be discouraged, the young lawyer is now dishing up some ‘chatpata’ fare like paani puri and masala puri at his native village.
Prathap Gowda V S (30), a native of Valagerehalli in Maddur taluk of Mandya district, had been practising law under a senior high court advocate after completing his BA-LLB course, taking up both civil and criminal cases. “I returned to my village in March as courts were shut and only a few cases were being taken up daily online, which left me with no work.
For the first two months, I did nothing. I spent time chatting with friends and meeting people. But then, I realised that the situation will not change any time soon and I have to fend for my family,” he said. Prathap got married last year and the couple have a one-month-old girl child. He realised that he could not make any earnings with his law practice, but wanted some work. “I was hesitant to ask anyone for a job as they may make fun of my education,” he said. “I neither have any farm land nor property. All we have is my parental house in the village,” he added. What came to his rescue were the cooking skills he had picked up during his bachelor days.
Happy to not be sitting idle, says lawyer
“Our village is the biggest Gram Panchayat in Maddur taluk, with a population of about 9,000. But there are hardly any chaat centres. That’s when I decided to pitch the idea to my brother and together, we decided to start a chaat joint. With an investment of Rs 10,000, we turned one of the front rooms in our house into a chaat centre,” Prathap Gowda V S said.
The eatery opened last month and Prathap has been dishing out Paani Puri, Masala Puri, egg rice, Gobi Manchurian, omelettes and other dishes. As word spread, people started coming for takeaways. “We do business of about Rs 1,500 every day, but there’s not much profit right now. We’re happy that we’re not sitting idle. We get vegetables in the morning and keep everything ready by 3pm when our shop opens. We are also making sure that we use disposable biodegradable plates. “No job is big or small. We don’t know how long we will have to deal with the Coronavirus, but till then, I will work here. I can get back to my law profession later,” he added.