Get a paan and some fruits

This paan-wallah has been serving customers near our house for as long as I can remember. His day starts at 6:30am, when he bathes at an outdoor water tank and scrubs his pots to a gleaming sheen. Then washes all the paan. As kids we used to reach over and grab some of the 'sweet paan masala' on the way to school. After Sunday fish curry lunch, we would all get paan and act like grown-ups – chewing and spitting out the juice through reddened teeth. Even now I ask for my, “ek mitha paan banana, katri supari, chuna kum” His wife lives in Uttar Pradesh. He would take a month off each year and visit her (what sacrifice). Now his three sons help at this stall and run other stalls of their own.

Here he is preparing for some of his early customers. The fruitwallah from the stall behind is posing as well.

The yellow cast is from the funky tarpaulin to protect from the blazing sun and occasional downpour


The Fruit Stall. Another pic from an earlier trip two years ago. In both, a taxi awaits and people walk by. Fruit-wallah brags that the blemish-free, ruby red pomegranates were imported from Kabul. So I got those to support the Afghani farmers in addition to my regular sitaaphal.

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