Tomatoes in Muddunur

Wednesday, December 02, 2009 Dr. Vishaal Bhat 0 Comments


Everyone has a favourite childhood story. I have quite a few. This one is tomatoes in Muddunur. Back in the days when the computer was unheard of as a household necessity, and when the Colour TV wasn’t available in colour, my dad was posted to a small rural village in the Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh . His office was at Prodattur village and the closest town (if you could call it that) was Muddunur. Now the area is very harsh, environmentally and culturally. My parents are from the neighbouring state of Karnataka and were non-telugu speaking. So language wise and culturally it was a complete change, also, the environment was that of a semi-desert. My mom recalls that there were all sorts of reptiles and it was a very dry and arid region. She also used to tell me about all sorts of scorpions which would enter our home and nest in my dad’s shoes. Oh! And yes the, local leader than was one Mr.Y.Rajashekhar Reddy (Who later became Dr.Y.Rajashekhar Reddy, the previous chief minister of Andhra Pradesh – recently expired in a helicopter crash), whom my dad recalls as a customer at his bank.

The harsh weather and arid region made it difficult to grow any sorts of vegetables or for that matter any crops around the house. Hence every weekend dad would go to the nearest town to buy the week’s supplies. It so happened that we fell short of tomatoes one week and since it was not feasible to go to the town to get some, she asked our neighbour for some. I was 3 years old then. Mom asked me to go and fetch the veggies from the neighbours. But then a problem arose… my mom wanted at least 3 tomatoes and my tiny hands could carry only two…. So my brilliant mind worked up an idea!! I asked the neighbour to stuff one into my mouth!

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