Aaquib Chhipa, Ahmedabad: A 46-year-old in Ahmedabad has come up with a unique way to show nationalism. He offers a discount on the burgers that he sells, provided his customers agree to sing the national anthem with him in public.
Parthiv Thakkar offers Fakiraa’s Burger, at his car cum stall on the road from Panjrapole Circle to Vastrapur lake. He offers a 20% discount to his customers if they sing the National Anthem with him publicly on the road.
Talking to Gujarat Exclusive, Parthiv Thakkar said many people don’t know the difference between the National Anthem and the National Song.
We as citizens of this country must be proud of being Indian. My customers and I sing ‘National Anthem’ at least six times a day on the road, publicly and loudly. Often those who are close by stand up in attention and join us.
He said the youth who throng his stall has enthusiastically taken to singing it and getting a discount too. “I accept whatever amount they give me,” said Thakkar.
I provide a 20% discount to anyone who sings the National Anthem with me. “Several college students visit me just to sing the National Anthem and they don’t even ask me for a discount,” said Thakkar.
How the National Anthem idea came?
Parthiv Thakkar, who is also a professional musician, said he has spent half of his life in England, the US, and Canada. In England, the British didn’t stop me from hoisting the National Flag or singing the National Anthem on Independence Day or Republic Day. British mayor and the public joined us.
If I can sing the National Anthem on foreign soil for 12 years then why not in my own country. And what I love is that here they appreciate the gesture and even maintain discipline when it is sung.
What do people say about the National Anthem discount?
Nitin Kapure, a young media professional, who frequents the Fakiraa’s Burger stall, said he gets the taste of both ‘Swad and Sewa’. He said the burgers also taste different from what is offered elsewhere.
Fakiraa’s Burger started during Unlock 1
Corona hit the country’s economy and Fakiraa’s burger owner as well who started his business after Unlock 1.0 when COVID restrictions began to be eased in June this year.
Initially, I was hardly able to sell two or three burgers a day but college youth have helped me immensely as they posted videos of my stall on social media and this helped spread the word.
“As of now sales are good,” said Thakkar.
Restaurant experience in England
Thakkar said he returned from the US as his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. She is now on the mend but it hit them financially. It was his daughter who suggested that he start a small outlet to sell food particularly those that he had learned to cook while working in restaurants in London.
To survive in England, I used to work at a restaurant in the morning and perform musical shows in the evening. My restaurant experience helped me learn their food recipes which came in handy now.
Thakkar said after the suggestion of some of his customers, he has started another branch of Fakiraa’s Burger in a rented space opposite Kids City near Kankaria lake in Ahmedabad. He offers the National Anthem discount here too.
He says once his wife’s cancer treatment is completed he will return to England and donate the Fakiraa Uncle outlet to somebody who is genuinely in need. He hopes to give it to a widow or a differently-abled person who is willing to work hard.
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