Technopark is not only about techies cosseted in their swanky air conditioned offices. It’s also about tens of other employees, each of who contribute to its smooth running in their own little way. Among them are back office staff members, gardeners and groundskeepers, security personnel, restaurant workers, cleaners, bus drivers… MetroPlus takes a look at some of these familiar faces in Technopark and what endears them to techies.
Anthony Pereira – Assignment inspector
He’s “the man on the yellow scooter” to many in Technopark, who is always buzzing about the place. Formerly employed by a private security provider in Technopark, he found employment with Park Centre when he retired from the job at the age of 58.
For the past three years now Anthony is Technopark’s go to man, sort of like a first responder for any crisis that arises on campus, related mainly to security and administration issues.
“I do whatever needs to be done, liaising with Park Centre and top brass of the companies on campus,” says Antony.
“For example, once, late at night, I came to know of a scuffle between a couple of techies, who stay in Menamkulam, and their landlord. The police were called and when it became a Technopark issue, I sorted it out for the techies. I got a Parker pen in reward from the MNC that they work for,” explains Anthony.
He also functions as the official tour guide of the Park.
“Many school and college students, some from different states, come here on study trips, booked in advance. I take them around campus and explain its glorious history and show them the buildings and companies.”
C. Reny – Traffic warden
Reny, who techies say is always to be found with a smile on his face, has been working in traffic control on campus since the mid-90s, when Technopark itself was a fledgling enterprise.
“I was 19 or so when I got this job. Back in the day, there were not many cars and it was relatively easy to find space for them. With each year, it’s as if the number of cars increases exponentially. Throw in buses, cabs and visitor cars and it’s a right old jamboree, particularly during rush hour – 8.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. We have to be on our toes then,” says Reny, who hails from nearby Powdikonam.
Reny manages traffic near Tejaswini building, in front of the bus stop of Bhavani. “I am proud to say that there has not been an accident on my watch in all the 20 years I have been here. I believe that such a clean record is largely due to my attitude. I strive to be always pleasant, especially when dealing with irate drivers. A smile can really work wonders.”
Gopakumar – Security guard
Employed at a small firm on campus, Gopakumar spends most of his time admitting people in and out of the company’s offices. It’s a job that he’s been holding for five years now.
But techies know him not only as a soft-spoken security guard, but as an artist too! “I have a diploma from the School of Fine Arts in the city [now the College of Fine Arts, Kerala]. I have always had a keen sense of observation, which helped me in my artistic endeavours. Now, it helps in my job as a security guard too,” says Gopakumar.
He likes painting dreamy landscapes, inspired by his travels in Maldives and West Asia, where he worked as a designer before settling down in Chirayinkeezhu. “These days, thanks to my work schedule and commuting issues, I rarely get time to paint,” he says, with a sigh. “My ultimate aim is to hold an exhibition of my works in Technopark.”
Jayasheelan – Tea shop worker
Sprightly Jayasheelan a.k.a. Sathyasheelan, an employee of a coffee shop in the food court of Tejaswini building, is a sort of a brew master, in the sense that he serves over 750 cuppas a day! “Sathyasheelan makes awesome tea and coffee,” avows techie Nishanth Nazim, a regular at the coffee shop.
Sathyasheelan, a native of Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu, takes the compliment with his ever present grin.
“I have been working here for the past one and a half years and I have built up a regular clientele. The menu has over 50 odd brews such as masala, lime, green, black, ginger, ‘pepper tea’ and other refreshment beverages like chocolate milk, badam milk and so on. Actually I make whatever my customers want,” says Sathyasheelan, who had been in the catering business back home before he came to the city.
Several of his fans tell us that he makes mean kadis (snacks) too, particularly egg-chilli bhajjis and bread pakodas, which get sold out as soon as they come off the fryer.
“The key is in the masala mix, for the batter. I add a generous dose of pepper for the former and homemade vegetable masala in the latter. I know my kadis are good that’s why I don’t make them often!” he adds.