Motoring

At this petrol pump, get ‘fuel’ for the rider too

Deepa S, a staff, serves buttermilk to a customer at Simis Fuels

Deepa S, a staff, serves buttermilk to a customer at Simis Fuels   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

Besides tanking up for your ride, enjoy a glass of thirst-buster for free at this petrol station at Muttathara

It’s a little after noon and the sun beats down harsh. As the serpentine queue of autorickshaws at Simis Fuels, off the National Highway at Muttathara, lengthens, a smiling Deepa S, a staff member, greets customers with a tray full of tumblers of sambharam. Taking a breather in the cool shade, some of the drivers heartily chug the pick-me-up, before resuming their ride.

For the past three months, customers arriving at the petrol pump have been getting a chance to not just refuel vehicles but also to quench their thirst free of cost thanks to the staff and manager of the outlet. “Earlier, we were serving soft drinks, but shifted to buttermilk on popular demand when the mercury started rising. We have been offering the thirst-buster to all customers and passengers irrespective of their vehicles,” says Satheesh Kumar S, manager.

Sambharam ready to be served to customers

Sambharam ready to be served to customers   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

Satheesh says the management was “happy” to give the go-ahead when he suggested the idea. “This is one of the few petrol pumps in the city to have LPG facility, and so, often, you can find long queues. We felt that serving customers something that’ll help them relax would be the least we could do,” he adds.

Sambharam ready to be served to customers

Sambharam ready to be served to customers   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

The management has employed a person-in-charge for preparation of the drink. Around 30 packets of curd and four bubble top cans are brought in daily for the purpose. “Salt, crushed ginger, curry leaves, green chilli and coriander leaves are also added to the buttermilk,” says Satheesh with a smile, adding that they source cans with filtered water to make the buttermilk.

Satheesh Kumar S, the manager of Simi Fuels at Muttathara

Satheesh Kumar S, the manager of Simi Fuels at Muttathara   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

The service goes on for a couple of hours starting around 12 pm as the day gets hotter, while customers are served black tea from 5 pm. Satheesh insists that it’s not going to be a succour just for the summer as the fuel station plans to continue the favour due to the “warm reception” from customers. Like Baiju Ousep, an auto driver from Valiathura, who often swings by for LPG refill. “This comes as a big relief, especially on hot days when we don’t get the time to stop for lunch during back-to-back rides,” he says, pausing to take a sip of the refreshing sambharam.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:29:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/besides-tanking-up-for-your-ride-enjoy-a-glass-of-thirst-buster-for-free-at-this-thiruvananthapuram-petrol-station/article26589052.ece

Next Story