Posted on Leave a comment

Remembering an old vegetable vendor

There was a vegetable supplier for Appa’s restaurant. Her name was Meenachi from Pollachi. She used to dumb big baskets – full of vegetables every alternate day, without bothering to bargain the price or even collect the cash. Whenever my father pays money she used to accept it gladly.
What was more important for that dark skinned, white haired and white sari clad women with no blouse to cover her chest was, Appa’s special Guntur tobacco, which was spicy. ‘Sami pokalae koncham thalai suthum’, mildly intoxicating is Sami( my father)’s tobacco’ she used to say.
imageI remembered her, when I saw this appliance on the kitchen table of my niece in New Jersey. Meenachi used to pound tobacco leaves in a similar appliance, but of brass metal, fully extending her legs, seated on the floor and singing some folk songs.
She volunteered to do any work any time, whole heartedly. We had several such characters around Appa; all good men and women, doing business but not business minded. They were like our extended family.
One Pappad maker, we called him pappadakAran Chitambaran, whose dying wish was to see Appa, before dying. My father,
immediately went to his hut and spoke a few words of consolation. Chidambaram closed eyes fully satisfied.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *