Looking for a quick bite that won’t burn a hole your pocket? Bhaskaran’s bite-sized snack shop has parippu vada and appam for Rs 2, ullivada, bonda and sukhiyan for Rs 1 – a fairly sumptuous small eat that won't cost you Rs 10. The veritable snack bar – a glass box with a wooden frame from which the cheerful yellow paint is beginning to peel off – displays its fare from behind the old cycle that its owner rides every morning to Urakam bus bay in Cherppu, Thrissur.
Bhaskaran honed his culinary skills as an employee at a tea stall. He started his own mobile snack bar 16 years ago when marrying off his daughters landed him in debts. Till about four years ago, everything was sold at Rs 1 per piece in his shop. But the price rise made it unaffordable and hence the marginal increase in the price of some of the items to Rs 2, says Bhaskaran.
The one rupee snacks helped him pay off the debts. He is able to provide for his family with the income, he says. His wife Sulochana and son-in-law help with the preparation of the snacks. The day starts at 3 am for the family. After getting the snacks ready, Bhaskaran takes the cycle to the bus stop and the shop opens at 9 am.
The snack bar-on-cycle used to be parked near the liquor bars. When the outlets closed, the business suffered and he decided to move to the bus stop. Bhaskaran says on most days he sells snacks worth Rs 1000. The parippu vada and bonda are all smaller than their usual tea shop versions but are definitely yummy. He does not make to order but makes them in large batches for some devotees who buy Bhaskaran’s snacks to give as offerings in Churches.