Past is all its fame. The very place which I had visited many a time in the past
I am talking about the Nisham foods super market in Royapettah which used to be
a franchisee of Vitan. Vitan too... is gone.
Customers used to throng the Vitan shop. It had two floors. It still has.
The ground floor was full of groceries, vegetables and cold store items. Snack foods.
There were three customer lanes for billing. Come Saturday the security guard
used to ask passers-by: "Would you like to take a copy of Mylapore Times?"
There was an ice-cream counter.
In the first floor one could find cosmetics, gift items, plastic household goods, greeting cards and stationery items. Sales girls were enthusiastic.
I recently visited this shop now known as Nisham foods just before leaving India.
The time was around 11 a.m. The shop looked deserted. I wanted Shaving cream.
I looked around and could not find any. I was hard pressed for time. I asked the people
around. Then one guy directed me to a shelf behind the cash counter. The place was
cluttered. With difficulty I reached the place and dished out a tube of shaving cream
and a brush.
I went to the billing counter. There was only one lane. The guy didn't quite know how to
operate the cash register.
As I was about to dart out I remembered, "Tweezers". My wife has asked me to buy a pair of tweezers. So I started proceeding towards the first floor and somebody said "You can't go there".
Just then an elderly girl came in and asked me what I wanted. I said "Tweezers" and she asked me to come along with her to the first floor.
The place was dark and dingy. Dust all around. She switched on a few lights and said we have plenty of tweezers somewhere here and began to rummage the place. Maybe she was one of the older employees who had come to eke out a living. Though I was in great hurry I did not want to
be impolite by walking away. I waited patiently. Finally she took out a box of combs which also contained many pairs of tweezers. I took one and walked away.
What a fall!
As I was getting into my car there was a call from my wife who was shopping somewhere in Mylapore: "Forget the tweezers. I have bought one pair here." I just said: "OK, OK!!"