It’s hard to ignore his toothless smile as he serves you. If you have ever treated yourself to a cuppa at Indra Darshini Hotel, you would have experienced H.R. Prakash’s hospitality. The man is swift and takes care of your needs without even saying a word. In fact, he knows most of his customers by name. “I have been in this profession for 35 years,” he states proudly.
Prakash started off as a waiter at another hotel, where he worked for 17 years. When it shut down he joined Indra Darshini, off Infantry Road and has been working here for the past 17 years.
“No, I never thought of doing anything else. Initially I got into it as it needed no qualification but just hard work. I am not educated and I like this profession as I get to meet new people. Waiting on tables is good, because you do not have to slog it out in the kitchen,” he reasons. “Sometimes I also get to walk down to offices close by and supply coffee or even deliver a parcel,” he says.
“This is a good place to work. They are kind people and I cannot think of working anywhere else. So I do not mind the long trip to work as I forget my worries when I am here amidst these people,” says the man, who travels from Hoskerehalli to Infantry Road by bus and works long hours, in spite of suffering from asthma.
Prakash has a tough family life — his wife is not keeping too well and his 18-year-old daughter had to discontinue her studies to help support the family. “It’s sad but I need her help,” says Prakash. He has siblings who are “better off, but they too have their own worries and problems. I cannot just dump my problems on them. So I try to be as independent as I can be,” he says.
He is 58 years old now and says he will continue to work as long as his body lets him. “Health sometimes takes a toll on me. But I don’t like to give in to my weakness, and continue to work,” he says. “My job demands that I stand long hours so these days I find it a bit tough to sit for long and it’s painful when I try to get up. Life teaches you many lessons. No matter how bad you hurt on the inside, when you serve food to someone with a smile, you might sometimes just be aiding them overcome their pain and loneliness,” smiles Prakash.
Keywords: H.R. Prakash,