I am awed by the undaunted spirit of small entrepreneurs and small time traders. I shall begin a series of sketches on such small enterprises. The first one is the petti kadai or the roadside bunkshop.
I found this sunshine shop under a large shady tree on a quiet road leading from a village as it intersected the highway to Bangalore. I think this shop moves because I did not see it on my drive back to Chennai from Bangalore.
The shop was meant to cater to the needs of the villagers who waited for bus at the bus stop closeby. The shop offered cookies, bananas, scented betel nuts, cigarettes, shampoo sachets, water bottles. There was also a cheerful blue telephone booth that I saw a few people use.
I bought some coconut and butter cookies stored in large glass jars, my husband bought a few honey flavoured lozenges. The shop keeper allowed my son to pick his toffees from the glass jar placed on a rickety wooden table.
I wonder why the shop moved: did it move into the village or to a busier junction on the highway? The astute entrepreneur would have had his reasons for moving.