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19 August 2015

GIRIMANJA, THE SMILING RESTAURATEUR

Some people come into our lives for a very short period, and in that time-frame, leave a lasting impression. Manjanna was one such gentleman.
Enter the place at lunchtime on any given day, you'd be greeted by people already waiting for seats, stewards at express speed serving meals and clearing tables, and in the midst of them all, Manjanna (more popular as Giri Manja) multitasking - managing the cash counter, finding seats for customers, personally going to every customer to ensure he/she is satisfied, taking orders on phone, etc. It was probably the stress of it all that took its toll.

Recounting a few instances:
*When we once returned from a long trip and were yearning for home-style food, I remember calling him from the airport way beyond lunchtime. And all he said was 'Doctor-mai, don't worry, just come over. I'll keep lunch ready'. 
*We once asked him why he addresses every single person with a salutation-anna/mam/mai/thamma. He said be it an eight-year old, or an eighty-year old, he'd never call anyone by name.
*Once busy with work, we went there after a very long gap. He kept asking us why we hadn't come, if the taste wasn't as good, if we had any complaints etc.

The sentiments expressed here, I'm sure, would be echoed by every single customer who's ever visited his place. The personal touch made every customer feel like a king. 

On the fateful night of the 13th of August, the news spread at the speed of light, of what had happened, that everyone's beloved Manjanna was no more. People thought (actually hoped for) it to be a hoax message circulating on WA. But then, no one in their right minds would circulate something like that if it weren't true. And the bitter truth dawned.

He will be sorely missed. 
RIP, Manjanna.

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