16 June, 2021

Nemesis On His Platter

A restaurateur and his son sully with their crimes a success built with sweat

Nemesis On His Platter
Up, Up, Then Down
  • Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain founder-proprietor P. Rajagopal began as owner of modest grocery store in K.K. Nagar, Chennai
  • From one restaurant in 1981, he now has 48, including 23 in US, UK, Canada, Dubai, and other countries
  • They attract 1.2 lakh customers daily, and earnings that are said to run into at least Rs 1 crore a day
  • Madras High Court sentenced him to life imprisonment for murdering the husband of his employee’s daughter Jeevajyothi, whom he wanted as third wife
  • His son charged with human trafficking, for sending four cooks to US on forged/fake documents


His story has all the key ingredients of Tamil pulp fiction—money and murder, superstition, sleaze and sex—with a heightening of the lurid that is characteristic of the genre. It’s also a rags-to-riches story—of enterprise, tenacity, a homely idea parlayed into humungous success. And as in classic Greek retribution, P....

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