My readers would by now be familiar with the variety of pherrywallahs that ply their trades on our streets.
This post is about another such pherrywallah who finds his place here not because he supplies me with his ware regularly but, for the sheer novelty of his business. The very nature of his product makes his trade high value low turnover and infrequent purchases from the same clientele.
Aleemuddin the vendor, and his younger cousin Altaf are originally from Shopalpur where there is a small carpet making cottage industry in its last legs. His family have been weaving carpets for generations going back to Mogul days when they supplied carpets to the ever moving armies in the Deccan plateau. Today, that cottage industry faces extinction due to competition from machine made carpets and so Aleemuddin sources carpets from other centers in India in the northern parts as well as from his own family’s dwindling output.
You can see that to switch from a manufacturer to a trader, Aleem has brought in man made carpets as well as smaller items like door mats to sustain himself.
He is not very verbose, but maintains that he makes enough to sustain himself and his immediate family of a wife and one child with another on the way. He however says that he will see that his children get proper education and go on to other livelihoods rather than the family business of carpets.
This is Chintan. Another one of Pune’s Pheirwallah entrepreneurs. He is a particularly important contact for me as he supplies home made stape food for many people from the South of India living alone in hostels, and fellows like me, too lazy to prepare the two vital items that my father simply adores.
In the picture, he is doling out idlies. These are steamed rice/lentil cakes.
He also supplies Medhuvadais.
He plies his trade on bicycle and announces his arrival with a bicycle air horn
He supplies accompanying coconut chutney and sambhar free of charge!
The two stainless steel vessels that hang from the handlebars contain sambhar and chutney. Behind him on a side saddle, he has his stock of vadais.
Chintan comes from deep down Tamil Nadu. His clientele however is eclectic as, though idlies and vadais are South Indian dishes, they have now become ubiquitous throughout India. Chintan grinds the dough for his dishes every evening in an electric wet grinder.
The grinding is actually done with a stone grinder and it is quite an engineering feat to have developed a modern equivalent to the old stone grinders that I have seen my mother use to grind dough.
Purists would still insist on using the old stone grinders!
Chintan’s wife steams/fries the idlies and vadais early in the morning while Chintan prepares the chutney and the sambhar. By 8.00 am Chintan is off on his bicycle and normally sells his entire stock off by around noon. He then returns home, which is about five kilo meters from our township to rest and organise for the next day.
Chintan is the third from his family who have been supplying me with idlies and vadais. His cousin and his uncle before him handed over this beat to him and moved on to other townships in an ever expanding city. There are now six of them vending the same stuff in different localities.
I would be hard pressed to satisfy my father’s craving for these dishes without Chintan playing his role in my life.
It is amazing how smart entrepreneurs find ideas for products and services.
Here is a story that should put a smile on a lot of gung ho types. Perhaps even persuade them to spend some money on a grand idea.
A news item caught my eye this morning and before I go off for the week end, I wanted to share my views on the branding of the tablet.
This review is a fair one and I am very happy for the development and the launch of the gadget.
What is unfair about the product is the brand name given to it – Sakshat.
Saakshaath (साक्षात) in Sanskrit has various meanings each depending on the context. Nearby, Within sight of, Personified, Obvious, and Incarnate, the last being the most commonly used.
I am sure that the last word, Incarnate, is what the branding genius had in mind, but he could have been more circumspect had he chosen a more phonetic spelling for the gadget.
To me and I am sure to many others, it sounds like Sack Shat. I am sure that the brilliant minds that thought up this brand did not have this in mind.
One of my favourite reference books goes by the title of this post. The author, I am sure would not have thought of this new shocker for me.
Our newspapers are frequently advertising a new Mutual Fund offering.
The advertiser is a highly respected and conservative, Tambram (Tamil Brahmin) family run company from the South of India.
My understanding of this advertisement was straight forward. Promoting a new MF. I was made wiser by my son who thought that this was hilarious. I was puzzled till he asked me to google for ‘Golden shower’. Before disambiguation, I was led to this wikipage.
I am now wiser by hindsight. I wonder if the Sundarams are!