“Meen, meen”, cried the young lady with the biggest smile I had seen the entire day. When we looked in that direction, a wave of spices wafted through the air – spices just been fried in oil. Oh, it made me drool. Before I could say anything, someone had hit the brakes. It was the time for a break.
This was a makeshift shop run by ladies selling freshwater fish which they probably had caught from the nearby waterfalls – Ganganchukki & Barachukki (popularly called ShivSamundram).
It was a big tawa (griddle) & she was meticulously placing marinated fish (pieces of fish) on the griddle. The fish had so much oil that there was no oil required to fry it. And within minutes of placing it on the griddle, the lady would pick up fried fish and hand it over to the hungry people waiting patiently in queues.
I don’t know if it was rains or the time of evening or the magic of waterfalls, but every other car passing by would stop over as soon as the lady cried, ‘Meen’ & wait for their share of fried fish, topped with green mint chutney, placed on a piece of news paper.
Or it could be the joy in the voice of the lovely lady selling fried fish on a rainy evening in Karnataka.