6 PM. Has it stopped raining? It has. Wait. There is that light drizzle again. Never mind. We are ready to go. The sweaters are out. Protection from the chilly winds that accompany the May showers. My father & uncle were as comfortable in their panches, as I was in my shorts.

Out we go. We head out towards 8th Cross, the M G Road of Malleswaram. The tall Margosa trees seem to be holding the drizzle away, but only till 9th Cross. I heard him before I saw him. Tan tanna tan tan. And repeat. As we turned the corner onto 8th Cross, there he was. The kadlekayi vendor. A kerosene lamp on his cart burning bright. Swish swosh swish swosh were the sounds made by his ladle, as he sent the peanuts scurrying from one side of his pan to the other, and back again. Hot, fresh, salted peanuts. Heaven! His experienced hands made three of those long, but thin paper potlas, neatly folded at the top, in quick succession. My potla was empty even before we reached half way down 8th Cross. Hands put up, and to my left and right, got me a few more more kadlekayi, and these were savoured, one by one.

My ears perked up as we were crossing Janatha Hotel on our right. Were my dad and uncle making a program to visit Janatha for Sunday morning? The thought of the delicious Vada and Masala Dosa triggered some primal neurons, and I found myself wiping that dribble from the edge of my mouth. We were now at Sampige Road. Left or right? Right would take us past that nice little bakery before Malleswaram circle. Take a left, and we would be walking past a used book, magazine, comic book vendor at the junction of 10th Cross & Sampige Road.

Across the road, on the corner, was another push cart. This was the corn on the cob seller, grilling it on charcoal, and protecting it more than himself, with an umbrella. This corn was the natti (local) variety. Quite different in taste. I pulled at my dad’s shirt, and pointed, but a silent later was implied, in the smart left turn taken towards 10th Cross.

Even as I was busy plotting how to get them to stop at the used books vendor, my uncle did so himself! He picked up a few copies of old Chandamama, negotiated the prices, and handed them over to me, ignoring my dad’s protests. I decided I would be pushing my luck to ask for the Indrajal comics of Phantom & Mandrake adventures, and kept quiet.

A sudden spurt in the drizzle, made us take shelter in a shop for a few moments. As the rain stopped, we walked towards 11th Cross, took the left turn, and to me, faced what appeared to be a fairly steep climb back towards Margosa Road. We walked past ladies, young & old, mostly wearing the saree differently, like my grandmother did, all leaving the Krishna temple after the evening prayers. The “madshar mamis” as they were called with reference to the way they wore the saree must have carried small buttis (baskets) full of flowers as offering to Lord Krishna.

We took the left turn at Margosa Road, and I noted that today the musical instruments shop was still open. I had visited the shop once with my mother, when she went to buy a spare set of strings for her tamboora. We waited for the owner to come and open the foldable wooden shutters that covered the front of the shop. The large glass window showcased 3-4 string instruments, and the owner would sit on a raised platform inside. I could see him through the glass window, a customer in front of him. He seemed to be busy tuning the instrument, as he had his head cocked to one side while his fingers were busy turning knobs one way or the other.

Soon, we were back home, toweling off our wet hair, and with a nice hot cup of filter kaapi in the hands of the elders.