Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hole in the wall

It really looks like it, doesn't it? A tiny shop, marginally broader than its door, with the big signboard at the entrance almost completely faded, it is strangely out of place at the entrance to Thyagaraya Road, one of Chennai's shopping hotspots. If you stop to think about it for a minute, however, you will find that there is nothing incongruous about it at all, this is the way it has to be, with the shops catering to the day-to-day essentials of a household being placed right up front and the other, once-in-a-while items pushed further inside. Problem is, times have changed. This shop would have done roaring business (literally) in the days when powdered spices did not come in handy packets, when everything from pepper to chillies had to be bought whole and then brought in smaller quantities to these shops where they would be ground into fine powders, the ones that make Indian cuisine what it is.

And in those days, you wouldn't dare step away from the shop to watch life go by, because you needed to be sure that your chillies were being done just the way you wanted and that they did not mix with others. Today, even if the shop seems anachronistic, it is good to see it there, offering proof that there are still some really old-fashioned folks in the city!


Sherry said...

Ahhhh I can almost smell the air rich with spices, jasmine, and ghee sweets at Pondy Bazaar. The only thing the photo is missing is the color of the crush of life and crowds. :) Thank you!

Hilda said...

There is something to be said for tiny shops where the owner knows you and what you need, and you get only what you need and not be bombarded by a hundred things asking to be bought even if you don't need them. Peace and contentment, I think. Wish there were more shops like this left.

LVISS said...

Why dont other countries copy us and fill the roads with all kinds of shops and mechanics.

Shantaram said...

>> Sherry>> Hmmmmmm..... right! Thanks for stopping by!!

>> Hilda>> True; maybe this shop will last only for another decade, at the max.

>> Ravindran>> Maybe we don't want them to?