>RICHMOND TOWN – Ecosystems around the park

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Steaming hot corn
On cold winter days, there’s nothing like a steaming hot piece of succulent boiled corn, smeared with dollops of lemon, salt and red chilli powder to warm you up. I’m not saying your insides will get warm, its more likely that your fingers will have to do the juggling act, because when this piece comes straight off the flames, its boiling hot !  There was a time when a half piece of corn cost us Rs.2/- and that was about all we could afford with our meagre pocket money. So we would actually buy one piece and end up sharing it !
Pick the softest one
The process starts with identifying a soft corn cob. It then gets unwrapped for you, and put into boiling hot water on the kerosene stove.The leaves will be kept aside to wrap it in, before it gets offered to you with all the spicy masala on it. Soft boiled corn is a great `in-between’ snack. It fills you up without making you full.
Get the masala stuff put on it
As you can see, there’s a lot of equipment to be lugged around. A kerosene stove is mandatory. As are tongs. We don’t want parboiled fingers now, do we ? Then there are masala boxes, fresh lemon slices and of course the corn stacks which need to be fresh. The aluminium plates are to keep the pre- boiled ones in.
Retail outlet on the move
This is the mobile stall. The ubiquitious `thela ‘. It completely suits the purpose – to take your business where the business is. Lightweight and easy.
Her name is Mani
This is Mani, the owner of the thela.She stands near the main gate of the park, almost everyday when the weather is good. In 2010, there were heavy rains that lashed Richmond Town one evening. The drains underneath are blocked -with rubble and more rubbish. They are never cleared in time, so water levels rise to almost 12″ when it rains non-stop during the monsoon. Cars stall and trees fall because their roots get shaky with all the random digging that goes on 365 days a year. So last year, the corner near the park where Mani stands got flooded. A huge silver oak fell on a passing auto, taking the electric pole and wires down with it. The auto driver did not survive and the lady who stood here with the corn, got electrocuted.  When we do not know people’s names, they become just a statistic to be talked about… for a while.
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