Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pachchai kuththal.

By S. Nivedhitha.
A practice called pachai kuthal which played a very magnificent role in the lives of ancient people is now wondered among the people of this technical world. This pachai kuthal which is made in our body with a lot of pain was once started to identify people during days when there were no means of communication. In very ancient days this pachai kuthal was common among people . Generally those days soon after the marriage, the groom goes to make his earning for his new life or go for fight in wars. The names in their hands or any other part of the body are useful to identify the person.

Basically, this is done with a sharp needle which pierces deep into the body. It results in a lot of pain and blood also. Later, it brings a green mark accordingly, due to the green ink used.

When spoken to one Mr.Venkatesh who was the lone person in this field, found in the marina grounds, he gave us many interesting details. Coming from some hilly villages of our country they said “We do this work for years together. Our grand fathers and great grand fathers started with this and we do this for generations. All days we sit here except for the 'thiruvizha' times during when we go to places like Mylapore. "Per day we don't get too many customers. We get some one or two or above very rarely. We don't make a very good profit out of this job but still we do this because our ancestors thought this must not go out of our country"

But in recent days there is something called tattoos when asked about the influence of these tattoos in their work, his reply was "rich people who can afford more money go to big show rooms and do tattoos which are done with electronic machines. People who cannot afford that much of money come to us. We can also make those big and more complicated designs which these tattoos are usually like. But since the pain kills the marrow, people either prefer small designs, their names or only the initials of their names.

There was some design carved on stones. "Sometimes youth prefer temporary tattoos, so we pour inks in these and press these in their body. It is temporary and does not bring a lot of pain. Men prefer in chest and hands while we don't get too much girls. Very rarely girls come and they prefer hands."

It is also said that these pachai kuthal is healthier to bones.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bar tenders

By : S. Nivedhitha
Photos: Mahmoodha Nowshin

Bar tenders, people with a different profession who are all time busy especially in the evenings. Students who do hotel management courses get their own interest of bar tenders and take up a three months course in the institutions.

Getting inspired by this job, Soban along with his other partners Mukesh and Subash, who did their diploma in hotel management in the SRM university who met up together in the same institution where they did their bar tending course got inspired by this and started a separate bar tending academy. Having 80 students in this academy, they give training to these students who pay up for their course and also get paid up for their services in private parties.

One of the very rare professions among other jobs in Chennai, when asked, Soban, 24 year old said, "Finished diploma in hotel management in SRM university. Since I am a hotel management student, I have to be in the hotel industry but the way the seniors in the hotel industry treat juniors is very worse and left some distance between the guest and me. That time I had an opportunity to meet bar tenders. That was when, I noticed these people had higher level of interaction with guests and other people than the other students. So I decided to become a bar tender and right now I am loving it. We work from 10 am to 5 pm and and after that we go and take up private parties whcih goes on from 6 pm to maximum of 2 am. Most people do not know what is bar tending. Since we work in bars they just know that we pour drinks and liquor. But it is not only that, but there are many more challenges in it. Our parents knew clearly about it and so they are happy about it. After I came to this job, I became familiar among people and also got many  invitations from theVIPs."
When I spoke to the students who take this training course they had many different opinions to share.
Vicky, a 19 year old student who was doing his diploma in mechanical engineering in Sriram college said, " I discontinued the Mechanical engg., course one year back. I lost my interest and discontinued that course. I had my own passion in bar tending and so i joined this academy. I did my 3 months course and now am working for it. Though at first my parents hesitated to accept this, later they had to accept this."

Rakesh, a 24 year old who finished his diploma in bar tending said "This is a booming industry in recent days. My parents still oppose this. I am taking a three months training course and later will find a profession in this."

Dinesh , 19 year student of Hotel management who takes up this 3 months training says "am doing my second year diploma in hotel management in SRM university. Since my exams are over I come here for classes from 10 am to 5 pm. During my college working days I take up evening classes. So bar tending is my full time work. I need to concentrate full time in this alone."
Mukesh, one of the partners in this academy says "Some students take this as an extra course. Mostly hotel management students take up these classes. Some students work here full time after their training period and some join various other works after they finish their training."

Parties are not very common but still these bar tenders get many invitations from in and around their known circle. "We have not started giving advertisements or even pamplets. Our academy's first anniversary was celebrated 2 years ago and from that we got many various party invitations. We get a profit 15 times more than what we expected. We are planning to open a restaurant in a month or two" said Subash.

But, among the 40 or 50 people in this academy who took this job the most important thing to be noticed is that these people do not drink. They tell, "It is only our self control. We came to this due to passion and that does not mean that we need to drink. We enjoy this profession than anything else..."
(Views of the readers are welcome on the subject - Bar tending as a course and profession)