Can you imagine quitting a well-paying white collar job and all the incentive that it offers, just to open a juice shop? For Manu Babu, a native of Mathoor in Kochi, it didn't take too long to give up his career of eight years to run a small juice shop at Chakkaraparambu junction. Manu opens his make shift juice shop called Yamis at 9 in the morning.
His 'kudam kalakki' drink is a bestseller which draws crowds from all over. The crowd in front of Manu's juice shop begins as soon as he opens it and continues till 11 am. Even his family backed his decision to quit a secure job to follow his passion."They were all really supportive. I am not robbing anyone. I earn my living by working hard. Then what is the issue?" Manu argues correctly.
Manu may have studied only until plus two but life has taught him many valuable lessons. He was ready to do any job to earn a living. This 29-year-old is of the opinion that opportunities are galore if you are determined to work hard. He used to work as a helper in hotels even when he was a student.
In 2010, he got placed in a private firm. Soon, from an office helper he got promoted to a supportive executive. However, fate had something else in store for him.
Manu's mother was diagnosed with cancer and the family struggled to make two ends meet. "When the treatment began, it became difficult for me to manage my job and my home. I had to be with my mother. So, I quit my job. However, it didn't save my mother; she passed away in 2018," Manu tells.
"I began looking for a new job after my mother died. However, I would only be hired as a fresher. The salary, too, wasn't impressive. My father runs a small shop like mine. That is when I thought about opening a juice shop. It slowly developed into Yamis one and a half years ago. There is no pressure of professional set up here. There is no one to chide you or put you under stress. This job actually makes me happy," smiles Manu.
It is the unique name, 'Yamis' that catches attention in the first place. Yamis, is the pet name of Manu's daughter Mrinmayi which means goddess Sita or the one who is born from soil. This beautiful name was chosen by Manu and his wife Vidya.
Pickle and buttermilk
It was one and half months ago that Manu introduced the special kudam kulikki sarbath at his juice shop. Other than the fresh fruits that are used in the juice, all other ingredients are prepared by Manu at home. Juice is prepared and served in earthen pots which gives it a unique flavour. Nellika moru and masala moru are other special drinks served at Manu's shop.
Freshness of gooseberries and refreshing flavour of buttermilk make the nellika moru a delightful drink in the summer. Manu, who loves developing new recipes every week, reveals that his next item would be 'acharum morum.' However, one has to visit this quaint juice shop to find out what it is.