Petty Kada(Petty shop), the microshops selling anything ranging from beedi to the latest edition of Time magazine. These shops which first mushroomed in the villages are still going strong. Almost everyone in the village depends on these shops. The young sneak in for a taste of pan masala, the ladies come in to buy the lemon, the oldies stroll in for the newspaper and tobacco and the college kid to take a look at the latest issue of 'Fire', the anti-crime magazine which is more of a porn magazine itself. It has something for everyone in that little space. There are no franchisees for them. Each petty shop is independent from the next one.
It is so small that there's hardly any space left after the shopkeeper sits inside. The unmissable item of the petty shop during school days was the soda. Its not your usual branded soda. This comes in thick green bottles with the pressure kept intact using a goli(marble). And it has got more fizz than the modern sodas. Alongwith soda bottles are the long line of 'Rooh afza' bottles in all imaginable colours, lighting up the shop. Another major attraction was the 'naaranga mittayi'(lemon candy) which also comes in a vareity of colours. Its crescent shaped and tasty to the core. Then, there's the eternal favourite 'ruby' orange candy, costing 25 ps apiece with its addictive taste. Speaking about Petty kada, its not fair to ignore a member of its family, the legendary 'thattukada', which serves such delicacies as dosas, rasa vadas and omlettes. From my experience, these ultra economic shops serve better food than many of those famous star hotels. Ironic that, we also have 5-star thattukadas in Kerala.
Even now in cities, amidst all those glitzy shopping malls and high rise glass and steel structures, there are these tiny box like structures which dot the city landscape. The items that are available hasn't changed much with the changing times. Maybe, this is one of those examples of 'some things remain just the same'. Yes, some things have to remain the same to remind us of those golden olden days.
On the snap- Took this during the Palakkad trip. After seeing 1000s of petty shops, this was the only one that I've seen which has put the name 'petty shop' proudly on the board.
PS- Thanks a ton to all those who showered in sweet wishes on my and my blog's birthdays.
your crusader Praveen