NH 66 between Padua-KPT Dotted with Roadside Vendors Selling CLAY Cookware from TN
Mangaluru: CLAY takes over most of the National Highway 66 between Padua Junction and KPT Junction in the City, and even though having vendors selling products on a busy highway is a safety hazard, NHAI officials and our local concerned authorities have turned a blind eye. This stretch of the NH is dotted with roadside vendors selling clay cookware from Tamil Nadu. Oh well- when corruption and bribery is involved in such things, our government servants are happy making a few BIG bucks here and there.
Travelers venturing out on a long or short drive en route this NH, are waylaid by a motley bunch of vendors seeking to lure them with clay cookware — pots, pans, glasses and bottles brought from various places in Tamil Nadu. This NH stretch that is usually dotted with fresh vegetable and fruit sellers is now proving to be a good market spot for the clay pot sellers also; they cleverly position themselves close to fruit and vegetable vendors for easy access. These Makeshift clay pots ‘shops’ display their products to catch the attention of motorists. The clay utensils include pots in black and brown, ‘cook and serve’ curry pots, tawa for rotis, tea cups etc, all priced from Rs 200 and above, depending on the size and variety.
Raju, the pot seller says the water storage pots are a favourite with those travelling or for the use in homes, as they keep the water cold for a longer time. Raju says, “People who travel by cars usually stop, enquire and buy. Many people have also bought various clay products. We do not ask them the purpose, but I feel they are used for a good purpose at homes, restaurants or businesses.”
Another vendor Shekaran says, “This is my first time on this highway and I have been able to do decent business. I will be in this spot for a few more days and then try to move closer to the city where there are not too many traffic restrictions.” He finds that people familiar with clay pot cooking don’t ask questions. “Only first-timers who want to experiment with mitti-bartan (mud utensils) ask about ways to wash and clean the pots and whether they can be used on a gas stove or should be used only over a wood fire,” he smiles.
Clayware is also being marketed online by several online aggregators. However, the roadside vendors believe they can sell better because buyers can test their pots and check for a crack to avoid buying poor products. Shekaran explains the technique: “Knock on the vessel and listen for an even clinking sound. If that sound isn’t sharp, the pot or any clay ware is defective.” Sellers of clay cookware are cashing in on the demand with high prices, especially to people who look like first time buyers. Prices on these caly products vary, but doing a quick bargain may get you a better deal. Go ahead and bargain if you must: they expect it.
Raju adds, “Chennai claynware is very popular. We buy directly from pot makers and bring them here by truck load. We come selling along the way and wait for a wholesale buyer. Once we find our wholesale buyer, we return home.”. Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean was quite astonished as to how the pots were piled and tied in the truck. And the way they were unloading the clay products was also tricky and quick- a person on top of the truck throws pots, one by one, and a person standing below catches them-if he misses, then you what?. So if you are looking for clay pots etc make a trip on NH 66 between Padua and KPT junction, and tell them you came to know from Mangalorean.com!