Chilis in the sun
I walked to the market today. As convenient as it is to order things online, it can never replace that walk down 8th cross, where lemons are sold in baskets for one-fourths the price in the cheapest supermarket and where I get to see my old friends – the women who seem to have been doing business forever. I thought of you today when I saw big mounds of chilis of different types. I remembered how you used to make tamarind-chili mix that tasted so yum with hot rice and ghee.
Chilis also remind of those days when I used to travel to the industrial areas and you’d urge me to buy lentils and chilis and other grains from the roadside near Patancheru – oh, the sight of the colorful produce in the hot summer sun! The chilis would look almost psychedelic – glowing in the sun, especially the red chili. How tasty it used to be! They had the local market there on Thursdays and I’d make it a point to come back via that area on those days – just so I could buy from them – straight from the fields. Remember how huge the greens would be?
Mmm. I always think of you when I walk on 8th main – can you believe that the old women outside that 13th cross store still sit there in the afternoon and clean the grains and rice for that shop? It is such a sweet sight – to seem them happily gossiping as they work at their own pace as they’ve done for probably decades! Incidentally, the shop owner’s wife looks quite posh these days – dressed in legging and kurtis. I hardly recognized her the other day. Their kids have all grown!
It amazes me how we used to take a cycle rickshaw to Malakpet to buy a bag of rice those days along with the annual groceries, Mi! I’d love to sit on the footrest of the rickshaw – and get off whenever the guy had to go up a slope. Those were fun days! Life was so simple. Do you know that I now buy only two kilos of rice at a time? Why store when there are shops all over the place?
I thought of making chana today – but changed my mind as there were veggies I wanted to use up first. Maybe sometime during the week. I have to make meal plans for the next two weeks to make sure Vidur eats healthy when his college timings are erratic some days. So strange that they the lunch break from 2-2.30, but then it is not so bad if class starts late or if they have a break in between. Wish you were here – what fun it would be.