Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ode to Delhi Winter: Eggs

(Text and photos by Pupps Roy)

Students snacking before they enter for their tution class
Last year it was 1 for 5Rs. Last to last year it was 1 for 5Rs but 8rs for 2 again this year its 6Rs for 1 or 7 for 40 Rs. There's an inflation and it shows everywhere in India so why not with the egg industry? Why would they be exempted? Autumn reflects the transition from summer into winter. Mercury in Delhi starts dropping and the poultry price starts increasing. This happens every year in Delhi. So here is the story. Sometime in the month of September Egg-walas(egg-man) flock up in every colonies of Delhi with their cart full of eggs in different choice and size. Eggs, one of the notorious body warmers for Delhiites can’t wait to enter in their lives. The arrival of night becomes one and half hour earlier than summer and these Andewalas(egg-men) adorn their carts with their ingredients and utensils and they are out on the rutted roads of Delhi. They are here, there everywhere.



Eggs in different forms. You can have it boiled, half boiled, fried, half fried, omelette or toast with eggs. Just tell him and he will do it for you. He is making it right infront of you so you can stop him if he is frying your egg a little longer than you want it so. He is your egg-man, Andawala. Imagine cool breeze blowing on your face and you are taking a hot bite of a boiled eggs spiced with onion, green chili and corriander. Winter doesn’t get better than this.

Yogesh is chopping green chilli and not wearing a sweet grin. But he tries to. He is found everyday at the corner of Ljapat nagar 4 ring road

Mostly these egg-men hail from the rural districts of Bihar and UP. In summer they sell Kakri, a vegetable from the same family of cucumber and radish. Greener, thinner, little spirally in shape and longer than cucumber and it tastes chewy and soft as you go on eating. You have to eat it with a dash of chaat masala and lime. After the month of August Kakris slowly exit from the vegetables Market and just then they are replaced with eggs. And now eggs roll all over Delhi to bring warmth to the delhiites.

Smoking oil waiting for the chili and onion


Cheap diet, pretentious, tasty and considered as almost vegetarian in mostly Delhi households. So why not eggs? Have you forgotten the old commercial "Meri jaan, meri jaan murgi ki ande, Sunday ya Monday roz khao ande". This daily diet of Delhiite becomes rife in winters and around these "thelawalas(egg cart men)" become the gathering of heady passersby, mid-lifers, hard labourers, drivers, students and many of us. An uniform clad cabin crew maybe going to the fancy places for snacking but he knows exactly what he is eating now. Eggs for the evening at this nameless mobile egg cart. He devours a boiled egg in one gulp. He is sorted. The egg-wala serves one by one with his utmost pleasure and skillfull hands. Cleanly deshelled boiled eggs, nicely fried eggs without burning the white, well cooked omelet and perfect egg toasts with exact amount of chilli and salt. Because Delhiites will not pay for bad food so he has to be perfect. Your egg meal is over and you ask for napkin and he gives you a piece of a newspaper cutout. "No napkin sir, sorry!". Such a nice thought of recycling paper. Amazing!!!!