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Sweet smell of success Cyril sells his bakery products on various footpaths in the city
Sweet smell of success Cyril sells his bakery products on various footpaths in the city

Frenchman Cyril dishes out a host of French breads

“Many people do not realise that life in Europe and the West is always not a fairytale. As in India, the working class has to work hard to make ends meet,” quips Frenchman Cyril, who quit his job as lights co-ordinator at theatre shows in France to start a bakery, dishing out a host of French breads in India. “I started this business in Kodaikanal in 2005, with my partner. I had been travelling to Kodaikanal frequently and fell in love with the place. The small bakery we set up managed to do fairly decent business for most of the year.”

On suggestions from a host of friends and the need to have a source of income in the winter months, when tourist inflows drop in Kodaikanal, Cyril decided to move to Bangalore in September last year.However, the business deals failed to come through and Cyril and his partner were forced to sell their products at various footpaths and traffic intersections in the city. “We have two small ovens, which is used to make all our bakery products and sell them in the city. Though Business has been picking up, we need to sell everything we make in a single day to make profits.”

He says, “We start baking at 2 in the morning. We finish by five and go to deliver the products till 11.30 at places across the city. We do not have a vehicle and are unable to make trips to outlaying areas of the city.” Cyril started the business by delivering the cakes and breads at call centres. However, he was forced to shelve the operations as the transport costs were too high.

Talking about Bangalore, Cyril bemoans the fact that the city is losing its green cover fast. “Unlike Kodaikanal, which is a small town and much quieter, Bangalore has become a noisy city, full of traffic jams and water and power outages. The loss of the green cover that the city is so famous for is also increasing temperatures.”

Cyril enjoys dal and rates it as one of the best Indian preparations. “I enjoy simple meals with a lot of vegetables and a lot of dal. It is not very spicy and is nutritious as well.” He speaks a sprinkling of Tamil, apart from English and French. Once a tennis player back home, Cyril does not follow cricket much. “It is a complex game and the fact that it has become over commercialised makes the watching experience less enjoyable.”

He loves watching Tamil movies, though he claims that he does not understand many of the dialogues. “I like watching Sivaji Ganesan movies occasionally. I am a fan of Dhanush and Vijay, who I feel are very good actors.”

Would he ever want to return to France. “Not really, India has been full of surprises and has been fun. I don't think I would enjoy life in France as much as India.” He can be contacted on 9738174004.

NIKHIL VARMA

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