Chennai’s 70-Year-old Sells Idlis for Rs 1.5 a Piece, Says Doing for ‘Satisfaction’

Veronica, 70, and her husband Nicholas, 72, live in a rented house at Adambakkam area in Chennai. Veronica, has been running a small business selling Idlis for over two decades. Where Idlis are rare to find even for Rs 10 a piece, Veronica sells hers at just Rs 1.50 per piece. The good-natured lady goes the distance, literally. She charges no money for delivering her Idlis to the doorsteps of those who leave for work early in the morning. Similarly, if one goes to her home in the morning, they can have 7 Idlis, all for just Rs 10.

For her daily living, Veronica sells Idlis for up to Rs 300 a day. She then directly invests her daily income for the next dayโ€™s preparation of food. She says she does this for satisfaction, not profit. Nicholas, on the other hand, has been working for security at a bank ATM in Chennai, from where his salary is used to run the coupleโ€™s daily living.

Nicholas said, โ€œInitially, an Idli was sold for 50 paisa and 1 rupee, and now my wife sells it with sambar and chutney for 1.50 rupees. There are more than hundred families relying on our Idli shop. Myself and my three daughters, who are married, donโ€™t look after her Idli business. It was only Veronica and her efforts, feeding hundreds of families even during tough times. Everyday she starts her work and gets busy from 3 AM, purely doing this for her satisfaction. Despite repeated attempts we havenโ€™t got an old age pension yet.”

It often appears that those who are not affluent in terms of wealth have the most generosity of heart. For instance, recently, a destitute woman in Karnataka, who begs outside a temple for her living, donated her hard-saved money to the deity she believes in. Kempajji insisted on meeting the head priest or the administrator. When she met the priest, Dattu Vasudev, she pulled out 40 currency notes of Rs 500 each and handed it over to him. A surprised Vasudev asked her why was she giving money to him. She said she had saved the money for a purpose and requested him to get a silver face mask for the deity, Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman), of the temple.

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