‘Bengaluru Nagarada Basavana Parisheya Badavara Baadaami Kadalekaayi’, a folk song describing the age old annual groundnut fair of Basavanagudi, Banaglore, that I heard from my father.
Badavara Baadaami Kadalekaayi - the groundnut is considered a poor man’s almond, among the Kannada people.
I always wanted to attend this fair and last week, I did, for the first time. And what a fair it was. The Bull Temple road was like an anthill swarming with a million people.
So many people, so many delights, colourful sights, snacks to eat, knick knacks to buy, vendors and their queer contraptions, plenty for the camera.
And of course, there were the groundnuts.
The age old fair is one of those few links that connects today’s Bangalore to our charming Bangalore of yesterday. And what more, the vicinity hasn’t changed much either – there is the Ramakrishnashrama, there are the trees of a garden city, there is the bugle rock garden and the Bull temple and other temples close by.
Amazing Tapioca chips to the right.
I will have to retract my request for these chips from Malayali friends – disappointed with the hurtful tapioca chips sold at Hot Chips – they were so hard they actually hurt my teeth, jaws, tongue and the inside of my mouth, I had asked my Mallu friends to get me some from Kerala.
This guy with his flourishing little push cart business amused me.
Check out his contraption. I did not check where the power supply was coming from. I should have.
And I should have asked him what this neat brush was made of.
A mixture of roasted baby corn, chopped raw mango, pineapple and cucumber with salt and green chutney. It turned out to be a big portion and he took fifty rupees for it!
I gave him a business tip – give out smaller portions and charge half – more people will want to go for it. No maam, he said, I already have so many customers buying this he said with a smile and showed me his business cards – he caters to parties, weddings, birthdays!!
8 years in IT and I never bothered to have a business card!
Boiled peanuts – and shelled. At last, I no longer have to shell them myself – a real value add and meaningful customer care.
Gooseberry with ginger, tamarind and another root that’s my favourite – don’t know the name.
All you need for making pickle.
Dry fruit – figs these, threaded together. And at last, they have become clever – the cart is covered in a metal mesh so window shoppers will not pop raisins and dates into their mouths.
A pretty sight like a bouquet – these salted tapioca chips.
Not sure if these are sweet potatoes or tapioca.
Rangoli stencils. And they have lots of new designs apart from the traditional ones – much innovation here.
Irresistible. Aren’t they? 20 rupees a piece, I bought some 11 pieces at 15 each.
A paper worm tied to a string that wriggles when you pull. Chumma – just to do time pass – go for a walk with this and scare unsuspecting passersby on the street.
Astrologer. Put on the headphones and listen to your future.
Turn the key and have cute babies crawling all over.
My grandmother used to take some Rangoli in her hands and wave her hand across the floor in a sweeping motion, like a magic wand, skilfully pushing the white powder into the slits between her four fingers. I never learnt the art from her.
Thank God they now have a plastic equipment to help you do it.
These pipes are also for ‘just time pass’ – they are filled with liquid and bubbles – you turn them up and down and see the bubbles moving rushing upward, dancing, wiggling.
This doll was the most amusing of all. It dispenses a gummy multicoloured candy. The candy inside a plastic bag is twisted around a thin pole tied to a cycle. The vendor squeezes out the candy as needed and makes small shapes out of them and then gives them away. He has customers from a little boy to a grandma.