Friday, March 12, 2010

Udupi Stores - a recollection

Udupi Stores was located at the end of our road. It could viewed from the verandah which borders the street-facing edge of our house. A battered, iron board (rusted at a few places) which bore the same name announced the presence of the shop to onlookers. It's closed since five years or more. I'm not sure about the exact year in which they shut their shop. As the name of the shop suggests, they must have come to Bengalooru from Udupi.

It was still that time when we could buy betel leaves, coriander for Re. 1. I remember, we were asked to run and bring some coriander leaves, betel leaves, green chillies, the like. Betel leaves were kept in a flat, round cane basket. They were always sprinkled with some water, to keep them fresh, i assume. Glass jars lined the front of the shop. Toffees, sugar candies, kobri mithai, haalu-kova, two-three types of biscuits, filled these jars. We never bought these from them.

We found Udupi Stores very convenient. An immediate requirement, and we could take a few steps to this shop. It was run by a couple. The husband and the wife ran the shop. I did see their daughter a few times at the shop (i don't know whether they had other children). The daughter was married and had two sons. The boys would spend their holidays with their grandparents, sometimes passing time at the shop too.

Both were thin and wore spectacles with black frames. I recollect the couple locking the shop at about ten in the night and go home. They had to pass our house to go to theirs. Somehow even after all these years, i can picture them very clearly. No, i didn't know where they lived. And yes, I never saw them after that.

After it's closure, we did miss the shop's existence. It formed a part of our childhood. Indelible, i hope.

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