S A Syed Haroon sells tea wearing his lawyer’s robe in Erode on Friday morning
ERODE: From the busy life of a lawyer in the Madras high court and the Supreme Court to riding a ramshackle bicycle selling tea to make ends meet, 69-year-old S A Syed Haroon has seen it all.
The senior advocate took to selling tea in May, two months into the lockdown, when he received a message from his bank reminding him that the minimum balance in his account had dipped below the permissible level.
“When I got the message from the bank, I decided to do something of my own to run my family,” he said.
Syed Haroon, a senior advocate in the Supreme Court between 1996-1999 and the Madras high court since 2000, was born in Coonoor in Nilgiris in 1951. He later moved to Erode in 1967 when his father, a railway employee, got transferred.
After completing his schooling in Erode, he signed up to study law in Government Law College in Chennai in 1974. “After completing law in 1979, I joined the Congress party and appeared for many leaders in the Supreme Court between 1996 and 1999,” he told TOI. Since 2000, he has been practicing as an advocate in the Madras high court.
The lawyer said he used to earn about ?60,000 a month through his practice. “I have two daughters and a son, and have spent all my earnings on them,” he said.
With the lockdown came a new set of miseries. On March 24, Syed Haroon came back to Erode to live with his family. Though he’s nearing 70, he wanted to be on his own financially. “I am a senior advocate, but I don’t have any savings, and I felt disconsolate when I received the SMS from the bank,” he said.
To make ends meet, Syed sold vegetables in his locality, but got a lukewarm response. It was then that the idea to sell tea crossed his mind. “Instead of setting up a tea stall, I wanted to sell it on my bike,” he said.
His new business earns him ?500 a day, but fuel expenses proved a drag. “I flipped away my bike, and looked forward to selling tea on my old bicycle…it’s both cost effective and good for my health,” Syed Haroon said.