Tag Archives: bangalore

The Kadlekayi Vendor

Off we go on our evening walk. It is drizzling. We head out towards 8th Cross, the “M G Road” of Malleswaram. The Margosa trees keep the drizzle away, but only until 9th Cross. I hear him before I see him. Tan tanna tan tan. And repeat. As we turn the corner onto 8th Cross, there he is. A kerosene lamp on his cart burning bright. Swish, swosh, swish, swosh are the sounds made by his ladle, as he sends the peanuts scurrying from one side of his pan to the other, and back again. Hot, fresh, salted peanuts. Heaven! His deft and experienced hands make three of those long, but thin paper potlas, cones, neatly folded in at the top, in quick succession. My potla is empty in a flash. Hands held out , and to my left and right, get me a few more more peanuts, and these are then savoured, one by one.

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This is a brief recollection of just one of the rainy May/June evenings in the 70’s while visiting Bangalore. A lot of my time was spent in my grandmother’s home on Margosa Road. The transition from getting to play cricket, hockey, football, pithoo, eyes-pais – late into the evening in the Delhi summer to rainy evenings every day in Bangalore was quite frustrating for me. The kadlekayi made up somewhat for it! 🙂

Final word: Well, the evening rain is back in Bengaluru (the North-East monsoon), and I got to sample the wares of one such kadlekayi vendor yesterday. He seems to have mastered the art of holding the potla while filling it such that not a single peanut makes it past the middle. His way to make more profit from the Rs. 10 that he earned from the sale. 🙂

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School fees hike in Bangalore for 2009-10

Schools are in the process of deciding the fees hike for 2009-10.    Maybe they have already decided.  Typically it is in the range of 5-10% per annum.  Some schools may be going in for a much larger hike – market value – as they would call it.

School fees – inclusive of tution fees, books, uniforms, transportation, and other ad-hoc expenses throughout the year – for one child may range from Rs. 40000/- to 80000/- in many of Bangalore’s elite, but not “International” schools.

I can understand the hikes in the context of an inflationary economy.  Another context could be competetiveness – you want to pay more to retain/attract teachers.  Given my understanding of the benefit of economies of scale, I would find it difficult to accept (not that the school would care for my opinion) that increases are required to manage growing costs due to a larger student population.

Many of us may find ourselves with zero salary hikes in 2009, if not salary cuts.  That is not bad by itself, if it provides job security. I am not sure whether this is the case across all industries/jobs in Bangalore.

Anecdote: I heard of a case where a parent asked a school principal whether they could cap the fees hike for 2009-10.  The principal called a sub-ordinate and asked him to issue a Transfer Certificate for their ward.  Arrogance?  Apathy? Any other adjective for such a behaviour?  I sincerely hope that this incident did not take place.

So:

1. What %age of our income should be spent on your child’s eductation?  5%, 10%, what?

2. What should one do if they lose their job?  School fees are an expense too, but is it the last one that one must look to curtail?

3. Should the State Govt. Education Dept. step in and issue dictats on the %age hikes that schools can charge in 2009-10?

4. Are schools justified with a behaviour – if you cant afford to pay, just take your kid out of school.