#2 – Idli for a Buck – Paatima

Paatima, which translates to Grandmother, is what Kamalathal is fondly known in the Manchester of the South—the beautiful city of Coimbatore. 

She has been selling idlis for a mere Rs 1 per piece for the past 15 years. She has customers aged anywhere between 10 and 65 years; maybe even more. 

At the very young age of 82, she manages to make idlis from 5 am in the morning (when she wakes up) to 12 pm (when the restaurant closes) in the afternoon. 

Kamalathal serving idlis to the students of Panchayat union middle school at Vadivelamplayam in Coimbatore. Photo Credit: M. Periasamy, The Hindu

When asked why she sells idlis for Rs 1, she replies that she is doing it for Punniyam (good karma). The other thing that stands out in the story is the reason her customers keep coming back—they swear it is Kai Pakkuvam (or the artistry in her hands), and the cost, of course.

Does she not remind us of our own grandmothers?

I am sure all of us have a special story with our own grannys, nanas, meemaws (get the context? 😉 ) or whatever nicknames you gave her. 

If your granny is around, go around and give her a hug and tell her to make you her special. I am sure she will do it without a second’s thought to her best possible extent. 

Isn’t it funny—sometimes the most important bonds are those quietly around us.

For full article, read: Paatima’s ₹1 idlis a crowd-puller in Coimbatore

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