Poochackal, Alappuzha: At Poochackal, on the coastal strip of central Kerala, no one wonders what one would get for Re 1. Offering a piping hot sukhiyan (a snack prepared with jaggery and green gram) or bonda from the glass cupboard, Babu would say, “It costs just one rupee."
At his small tea shop near the electricity junction at Poochackal, Konnothu Nikarthu Babu charges only a rupee for snacks. Presently, he sells sukhiyan and bonda for one rupee. Earlier dal vada was also sold for a rupee but he stopped making it after the vada mould broke.
Babu has been running this shop, near his home, for the last 30 years. He says that when he started the tea shop, the actual price of these local snacks was Rs 1, and he hasn’t increased the price since then. The price has remained the same for 30 years though the size of the snack became smaller.
Pazhampori (banana fritter) was sold for Rs 3 in the beginning. However it has been raised to Rs 5 now.
Lots of people, including the students of the nearby school, throng the tea shop in the evening to buy Babuvettan’s ‘one rupee’ snacks. He prepares more than 1,500 pieces at his tea shop every day. Babu says that ‘more sales with less profit’ is his motto.
Babu’s wife Omana too joins him at the tea shop to help him run it. Though the shop doesn’t have a specific name, the students who are also loyal customers call it the ‘unda kada’ (snack shop in local slang).