Name: Waseem, Occupation: Chat/bajji maker
It is 4 p.m. in the evening and Waseem is setting up his shop. The cart standing two arches before the Charminar is tall and quite big Waseem is arranging the stacks of masala vada, samosa and the kadai full of ragada to draw an appealing sight of food. On one side of his stall is dahi vada as well. Placed in a circular row, one row on top of the other and in between the vadas are fried red mirchis. That Waseem hasn’t yet began business for the day is evident from the unlit stove and the empty bin next to his cart.
This spot near the Charminar isn’t a permanent one for Waseem. “I come here for a month during the ramzan season as one can do a lot of business during this time. Business houses, shoppers, tourists everyone takes a break and grabs a bite. Business peaks during the evening as most people come out to shop or stroll around. Festival is all about making merry and meeting friends,” says Waseem.
Waseem has a permanent chat shop at Aseem market and says he is very content with his business.
“I have learnt to make bajjis from a very young age and I don’t like my bajjis to be thick with besan. I keep them crunchy so that customers enjoy it with a tea or just like that with chopped onions and chaat masala during other times,” says Waseem.
Waseem also likes to talk nice about his masala vada. “During roza time snacks are common so I make a lot of masala vada. Another favourite during this season is the dahi vada,” he adds.
Waseem is from Hyderabad and lives in the old city area. He and his family looks forward to the festive season because it adds to the family’s income.
(I am is a weekly feature on men and women who make Hyderabad what it is)