Frames kept rolling through as if from a film reel. I was stuck at the memory of the tiny rickety tea-shops of Kerala. Its wooden benches, glass shelfs and the movie posters pasted on its wall. We had lot of its kind in our village. They were active with the business before the dawn, when the people started off for their work to make coir and to hunt fishes, when the retired men walked their way to mosques to offer the morning prayers, I would be passing by on my bicycle for the school time ritual 'Tuition'.
These places had the radio tuned to the morning ragas of 'Akashavani', or the Sanskrit News. They never understood it, but it formed the rhythm of their life. They had their hot tea, even hotter discussions on the day-to-day politics. The intoxicating puffs of tobacco guided them through great spirits. It was dexterous I felt, to hold the 'beedi' between their teeth and talk (than how the new generation blows of the puff holding it between the fingers).
On Sundays, I too ran to these huts, holding a steel tiffin box close to my chest, to get the hot 'porottas' and 'some mouth watering curry'. I would run faster back on the way. The tiffin would be hot enough to burn my skin.
Though these tea-shops are rare to be found these days, i'm sure. i shall find one to have the strong tea and parippu vadas, once I'm back there. I'm always bound to pondering such nostalgic memories. What to do?
* The firs snaps are from the travel blog of Mitchell Kanashkevich. The last one from Neelu's collections.