“Do you have a pen?… Here, let me write my name. (Lakshmi Narayana – writes on a newspaper). I have never been to school but I learned how to write my name from one of my young customers who comes here to play tennis. I don’t know English much and at the age of 60, I doubt I can learn anything new. Oops, where are my manners? Would you like to have some freshly roasted peanuts or batani?
My connection with the city began quite early when I moved here from Khammam in 1989. I would visit Abids to explore the city after my daily wage work. At one point, a friend of mine told me to try my hand at this, and the rest is history. I’ve been selling peanuts and chana here for over 25 years. I’ve earned a pretty good reputation among my customers and they now call me ‘Palli thatha.’
Gone are the days when we were allowed to go inside the LB stadium to do our business. I am a huge fan of Azhar Bhai (Mohammad Azharuddin) and Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, so I would eagerly wait to watch their innings even though it lost me some of my sales. Now, all the International tournaments have been shifted to Uppal and Gachibowli so there aren’t many takers.
I love birds. Sparrows and Pigeons in particular. When I see any, I feed them. I haven’t noticed too much of a change around here in the last 30 years. Yes, okay, maybe the obvious changes, but I always put so much focus into my work that I hardly notice! I love what I do, and I do it with a smile!”