As mentioned in my earlier post, here is the add on to it! This is also from the same trip. We visited a temple town called as Thirucherai, where the presiding deity is Saranatha Perumal with his consort Saranayaki. This was excerpts from my small tete-a-tete with the sherbet seller there!
Meet Mr. Vasu from Thirucherai
This frail looking young (!) man has been making mocktails at Thirucherai for only 40 years now. Have a look at his colourful conoctions!
Whenever I travel South, I try and whip up as much as I can of these tasty drinks. The different varieties are mostly Nannari Sherbet, Rose Sherbet, Lassi, Neer More, Chilli More, Paneeer Soda, Masala Soda! Vasu's shop sells only the sherbets and more varieties. I always bring back a bottle of Nannari or Rose from Kumbakonam, and treasure it with drinking only a glass a day. I dont offer this to guests as well. It is highly probable that I am not a big fan of aerated drinks, and prefer the natural ones because I have travelled and drunk some of the most tastiest conoctions ever made in this country!
I seem to have a tongue for drinks. Whenever the new name of a drink, preferably made my human hands is announced - I end up drinking it. I dont have water at hotels, but the drinks that I have even in the most obscure places seem to have caused no harm to me. And no, my systems are not the stong bear-it-all types.
Getting back to Vasu, he has 3 children. His youngest son is in college, and the first two daughters have been married off to Chidambaram and Nagapattinam. He is the sole earning member, and all the money that went to the books, jewels and all that jazz was earned by making these delicious drinks! He had his shop at the Thirucherai bus stop, which was removed due to a political party's demand and then he had to station it opposite to the temple.
This trip was in April. Thanks to the heat and the kathiri veyil, we ended up having 7 glasses ( 4 of sherbet and 3 neermore -we were 4 people). He charged us Rs. 35 totally. I dont know what kind of a calculation that was, but it was just that!
Recently, in June I visited Madurai - Alagar Koil. Sad, but there a paneer soda costs Rs. 10 and I was offered colour soda ( read as Pepsi) at most places I asked for Soda. My dear old Soda is slowly dying. I wish one of these MNC's take it up and revive the tasty drink. It wont be all that tough and many like me would have the pride of sharing the taste with their kids!