Friday, February 10, 2006

Yoghurt and Gold Beads


More of my travels now....
The northern parts of Karnataka is known for its heat. The towns are still not as tourist friendly as elsewhere and good restaurants, little stalls selling Pepsi and Coke are still a rarity. But the yoghurt sellers are a boon. We first came across these at Mahakoota. Half the water we had carried was already empty and the coloured juices and soda in dirty bottles just didn't look very inviting. A little girl and an older woman came and begged us to eat the curds from little matkas or mud containers, curd so thick that you could cut it with a knife. At just Rs 3 per cup, the curd is so refreshing, cold, with spoonfuls of sugar.

These women and little girls either buy milk from elsewhere or milk their own buffaloes. Such sellers came upto us even in Aihole, Pattadkal and Kudala Sangama, a pilgrim centre for the Lingayats. The first picture was taken at the last place. We had already had a lot of yoghurt and didn't really want another from the little girl. But she was so sweet that I would not have minded buying one more. But before I could put my camera in the bag and look up, she had disappeared somewhere.

The second picture looks odd because I had to crop out a bad background. It was also taken at Kudala Sangama, near a long line of little colourful shops that sold photos, holy ash and souvenirs to the pilgrims.

The woman in the picture is a typical example of the women of the north. I especially love the gold beads that she has around her neck, though you cannot see that very clearly. The chain is called 'Boremala', I believe I have written about it earlier. Again I say this, I love the way women conduct themselves, so dignified, so proud.

I had asked a guard at Pattadkal why they wore turbans of a specific colour only, just white, yellow and sometimes green. He told me that was for 'shobhe', for pride, that they wore silk turbans (silk turbans are available only in those colours there). True, they look so regal, so aristrocratic. The reality is quite contrary though.

5 comments:

Ashley said...

I saw yogurt being sold on the streets when I was over there, but I was wayyy insecure about it being safe for my delicate, American stomach so I never tried it. How do they keep it cool? (sorry, I have no idea!).

San Nakji said...

that's what i love about places like India. Here all those people would have been told to move on...

Deepa said...

Well Ashley, any street food would be too delicate for an American stomach,I believe. But I think its purely psychological. If you think you are going to be sick, you wil be and you dont even need to be American! i know people who think street food is for the dogs but have no problem eating in hotels with the least cleanliness. a trained eye can make out the diff between clean and dirty street food, not all are bad.
about keeping them cool, the mud bowls I mentioned do the trick. In summer, you wil find a lot of houses using mud jars to keep water cool. the water acquires an amazing aroma and a great taste too!

I agree with you San nakji. In India, very rarely will you be told to buzz off.

Ashley said...

It's more than psychology. I wasn't truly afraid (you should see what we eat in Texas!!) I did eat cooked items like samosas and pakoras out of necessity (taking the train in rural areas, there was little choice) without incident, but I was wary of dairy items because of the temperature (since my system is used to refrigerated dairy foods). Mud bowls..hmm.. I will be bolder next time around...!

Deepa said...

be bold, be adventurous.. that's the only way to see India. sometimes it can get bold for us too!