Monday, September 11, 2006


After a very early Sunday morning darshan at Mangadu, a temple near Poonamallee, I returned home with just about a quarter of an hour left to meet Rajaram and proceed to Putlur, a small village about a few kms before Tiruvallur.

The reason this time was certainly not railfanning - much more mundane, bread and butter - or should we say rice and dhall issues. At Putlur, on the 10th of every month a market springs up - in shanties - a word probably from the tamil sandhai. We were there to do a recce, and probably some shopping for everyday needs.

Rajaram has been there before, and he assumed the role of a guru - just as he does always. We reached at about 10.15 am, and being hungry I just tucked into steaming idlis and a couple of vadas as Rajaram watched by, waiting for his cup of tea.

We waded through the makeshift shops - just four wooden sticks over which was strung a piece of thick plastic to cover up as a roof - looking at the stuff up for sale. Everyone had something on offer, the provisions needed for a good Indian meal, gaudy trinkets to adorn the village girl's hands and forehead, pickles dripping in oil et al.

There were even a couple or more of enterprising chaiwalahs, juicewalahs, and even some eateries which served up piping hot puris, vadas etc. only if you were brave enough to savour them. Many traders did brisk business, and were also brave enough to tuck into the gourmet fare offered by the couple of stalls.

We had about an hour to shop till we dropped - and we picked up some dhalls, peanuts, fried grams - all dry items. Not brave enough, you'd reckon. The presence of Rajaram reined me in, and probably saved me from some kind of Putlur Belly.

Shopping over, we took the 11.15 EMU toPerambur and headed home, satisfied at our experience, and expecting accolades from our families for a job well done, and money saved in the bargain. It was a sort of an anticlimax when folks at home just continued having their lunch - why would they be interrupted by such trifling matters?

The next 10th on a Sunday falls in December 2006, and we plan to do Putluring with our spouses. If not for anything else to sing Sandhaikku vandha kili.....


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