To Hapolo Blesson, serving people for nine hours a day is more fun than work. An ardent fan of Salman Khan, Blesson is known as the most colourful waiter among his mates, even if strangers find him shying away from conversation.
This boy from Manipur never gets tired. “I like serving people. Every day I work for about 7-9 hours. I eat, talk, laugh and spend most of my time playing silly pranks on friends in the restaurant. Sometimes I fight!” says the young lad. Blesson has made great friends among his customers too. “Simreh has been a regular customer. He is a good friend,” he says, smiling. He points out that it only gets cumbersome at work when customers choose to stay back even after closing time. “We can’t kick them out, so we have to bear with them. Sometimes, it gets ugly when they are drunk and start fighting,” he maintains.
After work, Blesson enjoys watching films at the cinema on Brigade Road late at night with his friends. But he misses his four brothers and parents back home. He says, “I miss my family. Bangalore has a different culture from ours. Especially Christmas at home used to be a huge affair [sic]. We used to start preparing for the festival in November itself. Here, I haven’t made any plans as yet. I really miss home!”
Two and a half years ago, Blesson came to Bangalore with dreams of pursuing graduate study, quite unaware of the economic hardship it would involve, and was waiting at tables before he knew it. But he’s never stopped chasing his dream, and is doing a correspondence course in Arts from a university in Manipur. Ask him about his future plans, and he smiles and says, “I don’t make plans!”