Dabba Chetty Kadai — Medicine Men

Tin boxes are stacked on top of each other with their mouths welded open. Dark, wooden cupboards that have long lost their sheen display multi-coloured bottles. Traditional charms hang from the darkened ceiling. A steady stream of customers armed with long hand-written lists patiently await their turn, mindless of the heat and traffic. The Dabba Chetty Shop on Kutcheri Road has survived over a century in the place it initially began, watching Mylapore grow from a quiet neighbourhood into the city's bustling cosmopolitan hub.

Seated on a wooden bench opposite a digital weighing machine, K. Badrinath watches his customers as his fingers drum the fading green sunmica on a wooden table. Four generations down the line, there are few changes in the shop since it began in 1885. “My great-grandfather S. Krishnaswamy Chettiar started it. Of course, one can't be sure why he began a shop that sold herbal medicine, but I've heard that back then, we also sold paint, hardware, provisions and other things. At that time, it was just a small room with a thatched roof. The rafters and the cement roof were put in later on.”........Read More


Source: The Hindu

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