Weaving through the paddy fields of Wayanad at the crack of dawn, the car stopped abruptly at a T-junction. A cursory scan of the windy road revealed what looked like a make-shift tea-stall on the roadside.
The tea-stall was a rather curious site. Apart from being the solitary functioning establishment in the vicinity, it seemed like a hub of fervent activity on the otherwise silent road. As my friends initiated some friendly chat with the locals, I feverishly peered through the glass display for the only thing on my mind – Food!
My eyes followed the contents of the display, eliminating the customary options along the way. Finally, I chanced upon an untested fare – Pazham pori (crunchy ripened banana fritters). One bite slapped the drowsiness out of my system (or at least my taste buds)! The small piece of plantain from this nondescript tea-stall had redefined the notion of taste for me. The crispy, salty chick-pea batter complemented the soft, sweet interior in an almost romantic way. Within minutes, I had greedily devoured half a dozen. As I sat there, finally satiated, the tea-vendor gave me a wholehearted smile. Probably, this is what people mean by the joy of feeding.
As we sped past the pools of gold and green, shimmering gloriously under the morning sun, my mind kept returning to the first-ever bite of Pazham pori. Banana fritters are now my new favorite chai-time snack.
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