30 June, 2015

Chai Stop - no more.....

Five years ago, as a new blogger, I had told my readers not to miss the chai (tea) here if they happened to be passing by....

Two weeks ago, we were there - after a very long time. For old times' sake, we had had our usual chai & chaTTamboDe (daal pakoDas). While writing my earlier post, I was worried about an upcoming temple blocking the view from the tea-cart. My worries had not materialised. Things were more or less the same. This time though, there were lots of fearless monkeys....

While exchanging pleasantries with the affable owner of the tea stall, I asked him about his children. In the past he would always tell us about the daughter who did him proud by topping Tirthahalli taluk  in the Class 10 exams - not a mean achievement for a student studying in a place like Agumbe.

Happy as ever to talk about his children's academic achievements, he told us - amidst chasing monkeys- that both his daughters were engineers working for MNCs in Bangalore, while the son was studying to be an engineer. As an afterthought, he had added that whatever the achievements of his children, he would never give up on his tea stall.....

He then spoke about Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan and how India would have been a very clean place if the first PM of the country had initiated something on a large scale. His logic was that since the citizens had a servile attitude back then, they would have obeyed orders and keeping our surroundings clean would have become a habit with us by now.

 Pleasantries over, we had taken leave of him - exchanging good wishes, etc... little realising that this would be our last meeting with Mr.Premanand.....

Yesterday, local media announced to shocked citizens that Padiyaar Maam (as Mr.Premanand was popularly known) was no more.

From a common acquaintance, we came to know that he had contracted the Kyasanoor Forest Disease, commonly called Monkey Fever because monkeys pass on the deadly virus to humans. Many a time, this fever can be fatal, as it turned out to be for Padiyaar Maam.

A lover of books, one shelf of his cart was dedicated to books, mostly in Kannada. These books, he had told us, were gifts from customers. He would spend all his free time reading them. Customers could read them too - while waiting for their order.

Because people from all walks of life visited his tea-cart, had informal chats with him,... he was a well informed man.  He could talk about a wide range of topics. Thanks to our conversations with him, we knew that he had been featured on Discovery Channel (something to do with catching King Cobras), had done bit roles in the TV series Malgudi Days,....

Like the obituary from his friends (the pic above) says - he will be missed by all those who pass  through Agumbe Ghat. May his soul rest in peace.....   

2 comments:

  1. RIP...
    Scary to think that any of his customers could have contracted the deadly disease just as easily!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right! Nuisance, yes.... but, none of us had thought of the monkeys as carriers of deadly diseases....

      Delete

Century on the Bronze Anniversary!

This is my100th post, and today is the eighth birthday of Alter Idem !! That's an average of a post per month......1.04 to be precise!!...