Meet Nirmal, Pillar Of Our Community, At Coral Island Shopping Ctr Subway Store


Let me tell you about my friend, Nirmal.

It’s pronounced NEAR-mull, like normal.

That’s what he told me the day we met.

Take it from me.  He’s so much more than normal.  He is a pillar of our community.  He deserves to have a light shine upon him.

Nirmal is a manager at the Coral Island Shopping Center Subway store in Bulls Head.  He’s Sri Lankan.

He’s a real people person.  When the pandemic was still raging and people were getting vaccinated, Nirmal told me that he missed people.

On the rare days that he wasn’t there when I was, he was definitely missed.

I’ve been shopping at Subway for a couple of years now.  I go especially for baked Lays’ original potato chips.

I can’t get the exact size and flavor I need anywhere else except at Subway.

I’m only interested in going to one location, the one where Nirmal is.  This is a man who genuinely cares about others.

It’s not just about good business with him.  I’ve witnessed him act the same way countless times with other customers.  He knows his regulars well.

Take my word for it.  New ones also receive the same friendly treatment.

They almost always become fast friends.

Over the two years I’ve known Nirmal, we’ve become good friends.  It’s no exaggeration to say that he’s my brother.

He’s the kind of person who has a happy smile and a good sense of humor ready at all times.  Going the extra mile is second nature to him.

I have a restricted diet.  I must have chips with the freshest date.  When there are no fresh chips on the shelf, he always makes a beeline for the back of the store and finds some for me from a box that he has to climb a ladder in order to reach.

On days when I wasn’t feeling particularly happy, he always made me so.

In a world that can feel cold quite often, Nirmal is the kind of person who warms you up right away.

He’s just a nice guy.  Plain and simple.  So if you’re in the neighborhood, do yourself a favor and say ‘hi’ to my friend, Nirmal.

For the second time that day, the sun will have risen.

Banner Image: Sunrise. Image Credit – Rachel Cook


Michael Raz

Michael Raz is a Staten Island songwriter and folk music artist. You may have seen him performing at open mic parties at various island bars and clubs over the last few decades.

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