Wednesday, 4 May 2016

(Bags, Pickles and other livlihoods)

 Paalaguttapalli (Dalitwada) , Pakala Mandalam, Chittoor Dt, AP 517152.  (Bags, Pickles and other livlihoods)

The village is a habitation of largely landless labourers, with about sixty households   We moved to the village in 1995, in our twenties, after resigning our jobs, with some readings of Gandhi and a belief in Gram Swaraj. Local concerns here ranged from dalit issues   to organic farming and swadeshi efforts. We have engaged in personal capacity as one of the community. We did not want to become an NGO. Various interventions from ayurveda to afforestation to livlihoods have been collectively done with the people

The village has faced recurrent droughts over the last years, and agriculture has slowed down and there is large scale underemployment.  People survive by grazing a cow or two, and last year distress sale of cattle also began. We have been working together on addressing the water situation through various rain water harvesting processes, and discussing cropping patterns that need less water - but other livelihood options need to be worked out. The women make excellent pickles, and some of them stitch well. We are looking at these initially.


Bags 
Orders can be placed at Aparna Krishnan, nagesh333@gmail.com
Costs include packaging and posting


14" by 17", with handles (capacity 4kg)
- plain bag - 50/-
- additional charge for kalamkari strip - 15/-
- additional charge for embroidery - 15/-
- additional charge for zip - 20/-
- additional charge for standup style - 10/-
- additional charge for long shoulder length handles - 10/-
- additional charge for screenprinting - 20/- for 100 bags, 15/- for 500 bags

Small drawstring bags (7" by 5") - 30/-
Small drawstring bags (7" by 5") with embroidary or kalamkari - 40/-

Large drawstring bags (14" by 10") - 40/- 
Large drawstring bags (14" by 10") with embroidary or kalamkari - 55/-

Larger capacity gusset bags (14" by 17") - 75/-

Customization of orders undertaken.
                      

Plain bags  (17"*14") Rs. 50/-















With kalamkari panel  (17"*14") Rs. 65/-













With hand embroidary (17"*14") Rs. 65/-


 























Standard Screen Print (17"*14") Rs. 65/-

Image may contain: 1 personImage may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing


Standard Screen prints (17"*14" bags with kalamkari panel)  80/- 


Image may contain: 1 person, tree, outdoor and nature


With kalamkari panel , long handle  (17"*14") Rs. 75/-

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing


With embroidary , long handle  (17"*14") Rs. 75/-

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With kalamkari panel and embroidary Rs. 80/-, and long handle  (17"*14") Rs. 90/-

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Standup bags (plain) (17"*14") Rs. 60/-
(with embroidary or kalamkari panel - Rs. 75/-)












Gusset bags, for larger volumes Rs. 75/-

 










Drawstring bags (small - 7" by 5") with kalamkari Rs. 40/-


Drawstring bags (small - 7" by 5") with embroidary Rs.40/-
No automatic alt text available.

Custom Screen print Drawstring bags (Small - 7" by 5")  Rs.50/- (45/- for large orders) 



Large drawstring bags (10" by 14") Rs. 40/-


Standard Screen print Large drawstring bags (10" by 14")  Rs. 55/-

Image may contain: one or more people


 Large drawstring bags (10" by 14") with  embroidary or kalamkari panel  Rs. 55/-

No automatic alt text available.

Custom screen print and with kalamkari panel- Large drawstring bags (10" by 14")  
Rs. 75/- for 200-500 peices
70/- if over 500 peices.

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Custom Screen prints (on plain bag 17"*14") 
Rs. 70/- for 200-500 peices
65/- if over 500 peices.






 Laptop Bag

















Gusset bags with a base, zip and an inside pocket for cell phone.
(17" *12", base 5")
(Rs 130/-)



The women have been working hard, with complete commitment to quality and neatness. When I tell Rani that the quality is uniformly appreciated, she tells me, "That is what we need. Money is secondary." And every customer has uniformly appreciated the work.

Understanding the expenses involves, and the need for a revolving fund, they have decided to keep part of the profits they get aside towards this. When an order comes, they make sure that everyone gets a fair and equal share. They have taken complete charge of the work, from collecting the cloth from the neighbouring transport office 10km away, to handing the costing and the stitching, to the pcking and parcelling from the post office, including all the dealing with a recalcitrant staff there.

They bought motors for their machines, and worked on getting them fixed with the help of others in the village. They have put aside time to go to Chennai and learn screen printing on their own, and have practised that in the village till they acheived quality.

Challenges

There have been many challenges. When the motor breaks down. they need to take it to Tirupathi for repairs, as there is place closer. The auto fare up and down crosses 1500/-, and one trip puts paid to their earnings. The bus stop is 4 km away, and to  take the food pedal meachine there is hard, and also the bus driver usually does not oblige to loading it.

To parcel the bages means a trip to Pakala which would again entail an auto for 400/-. The post office, a small branch, sometimes turns them back saying that they are overloaded. that would mean expense and a wasted day for them.

But they take all this in their stride and move on without complaint ot comment. Thay are glad for the chance to work and earn for their children.

Five of them are currently involved, and more wish to join in. As orders get more, they also will.









Feedback

Bhadra S Bhadra

I am so happy after I got these bags, the kind of(no plastic, very Indian look, strong) which I wanted for long. Today I started packing sarees of my boutique in these bags , which will surely make my clients happy. Thanks a lotAparna Krishnan for your kind cooperation. Please convey my heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful ladies who made this possible.

 


Meena Radhakrishnan  
My bags from Dalitwada are here! Aparna Krishnan, thank you, and thanks to Anita and her team . Cute embroidery and pretty kalamkari panels make it look more lovely. Glad to have been associated with you and your team 


 



This is work in progress in an art project by Poorna students and teachers (Vanitha and Ambika). The bags were procured from Paalaguttapalle via Aparna Krishnan.
Watch this space for more to come! 






Vivek Chandrasekaran

The bags have arrived. Getting ready to distribute sweets this diwali in cloth bags!! The bags also conveying a message of reduce the plastics usage in our lives. #noplastics
Thanks to annapurna and team from Paalaguttapalle (Dalitwada) in getting them ready and delivered in time.Thank you Aparna Krishnan ma'am for all your coordination...

 Kavita Ralhan Indoria

Received the beautiful bags. Thanks a ton Aparna Krishnan for introducing me to these beautiful talented bunch of ladies. The quality of the bags is excellent and without a doubt total value for money.




Thank you Aparna, Varlu and team for these beautiful embroidered sturdy cloth bags. They can easily hold 3 to 4kgs of weight. My husband and I were thrilled to receive these and have been using them regularly now. This is a small attempt to replace plastic with cloth.

Thank you Aparna Krishnan for your effort in running around and getting these wonderful bags,I received them yesterday.. They are simply too good...the fabric and stitching quality is great. Convey my heartfelt thanks to Rani, Shyamala, Annapoorna and Lakshmi.

Deepshikha Gupta  

These beautiful handmade bags go out with today's parcels to reach homes  .. I sincerely hope and pray Aparna that the village ladies are able to turn it into a permanent livelihood /source of income. These bags are so sturdy and beautiful at the same time !!





Bindya Mathew 
..the bags that says a dozen stories..
..from the hard-working women of paalaguttapalle village..(Daliwada)
 These 140 bags are handed as a return gifts for an auspicious event.. with sets from Seven Yarns..






Jeya Velu  

Discovering Self bags. We gave cloth bags instead of plastic folders, which can be reused for
shopping. Aparna Krishnan and women from Paalaguttapalle village made it possible, many thanks. Our bit for the environment.
Check Aparna's blog to know about the village.http://paalaguttapalle.blogspot.in/

Dhandapany Kalianasundaram
Aparna Krishnan thank you for the wonderful bags you had sent from the village. Made with love by the beautiful people there. It is of great quality and every stich is to the perfection! Thanks again for such high quality product and sharing with us :)
Guys if you need some high quality cloth bag and at the same time you can help some villagers who do not have water and are depending on making cloth bag and pickles please write to Aparna Krishnan if there are any questions please ask me!

Krishna Kumar 

These 50 wonderful bags we ordered came through a small village named Paalaguttapalle, Chittoor district in AP. Can be used for carrying goods up to 5 kgs easily. And also a worthy alternative for plastic bags.
The story behind the bags is, they are made by few women in that village. Farming being in a sad/not-so-satisfying state, they learned to make these bags, to sustain their living. Also being a part in eradicating plastic use making their efforts for a eco friendly environment. 


Image may contain: indoorA gift from Palaguttapalle (Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh).
*******
I received these bags on Saturday afternoon. I wanted to rip off the package and distribute them to everyone in the bank, but I am glad I thought better of it. They are very sturdy and cute, and perhaps one of the last deaperate attempts at livelihood. I bought ten of them and have only been giving away to like minded friends.
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While our unapologetic, brainwashed, consumerist lifestyles keep siphoning away life from our rural hinterlands, megalomaniac stunts like demonetization literally crush the life out of informal economy. Failed crops, deliberate marginalization, gambling education, and repeated humiliation by asserting that somehow they need to be “salvated”by the likes of us, we make a mockery of a self sufficient economy and feed off it like thieves. We, who have not known these uncomplaining shoulders at all. We, who have our heads and eyes in bubbles for so long that we have the audacity to “speak for them”without the courage or integrity to share with them.
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Countless Varalus, Eashwarammas, Anithas, Annapurnas are rendered hungry at the mercy of our “obligation “ and “generosity”when we decide to buy what they need to sell.
We may want to clearly strike a difference between our needs and wants. We may then gradually do away with the latter and supply the former with needs of others.
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Poverty is not an alien infestation. It’s a crime. A crime we are all guilty of. A disease which is man-made and is deliberately kept alive. One which breeds many more with it. It takes tremendous honesty and self-reflection to even be aware of the hundred thousand privileges we are born with. Yes, I know the metaphysical answers of the nature of duality, the non judgmental, guilt- free experience of the physical drama, the illusion of finite resources and the possibility of overflowing abundance in all spheres of life. It is, however, something which continues to ache me and confuse me. We need to buy what our informal economy has to sell. If they perish, they atleast know it. We think we thrive on capitalism, but we are already dead and not even aware of it.
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I don’t know many Aparnas out there, today. I m not sure if they wish to be known either. I thank her and she dismisses it...Much thanks for the bags, the blogs, the stories,the pictures, the milk, the aswagandhadi, the gods, the rituals, the school, the cattle, the jallikattu, the annadanams, the sangatis, the muggus and the commitment to do it all. Much love and best wishes to you all. <3

 Reena Sujai and Sujai Chellappa have been ordering bags for the sarees, and the smaller embroidered pouches for the blouse peices for their handloom business.
Very happy to see the work the women do so meticulously and so sincerely get the appreciation it deserves. They really work hard to satisfy.

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Hastavem
#inspiringstories

Paalaguttapalle (Dalitwada) - A Village.
No automatic alt text available. Annapurna,29, has been trying to rebuild her life. She has been through many many difficulties.
Varalu grew into a very nice, gentle girl but entered into a bad marriage and pais heavily. Now she is bringing up her three children singly.
They both along with other women of the village are self employed by making pickles and beautiful bags which is been sent to customers.
It is also commendable at the quiet way the confidence and enterprise has built up over the years.
 
#hastavem #womensday #shemeansbusiness

Bhadra,

"Hi, good morning. Disturbing you early in the morning, I want to place an order for 100 bags, same type as I have taken earlier. Please revert once you are free.



Bhawna "Good morning Aparna. I have received the bags. Thank you so much to you and everyone . The bags are really very nice. Thank you for the handles on them. That's very thoughtful.

I loved the bags. I have loads of silks and banarsis. I was on a look out for saree bags. Thank you for taking the initiative as this helped people who are making bags and the end users like me. The quality is really very good and the bags are very well made and the handles attached are thoughtful. Thank you once again to you and people who made these bags for me. Thank you for considering my request of putting the zip. Stay blessed and happy.

Subashree Ramdas,  gave an order of 500 bags  


The label Thugiil was started with an aim to create a sustainable fashion and also work with rural artisans. The garments are manufactured in rural Bihar by women producers and the bags that are used to pack the garments are also produced by women in a village in Andhra Pradesh. I have attached their post. If anybody is looking for bags as giveaways or for weddings please do get in touch with us , we will be happy to share their contact. 
https://www.facebook.com/aparna.krishnan.902/posts/1397775756948391

Karpagam Vinoth

A very special birthday celebration for Saatvika. She met Dr. Regi of Tribal Health Initiative yesterday. Today Aparna Krishnan mam visited us. Amal Appa, Rani Amma, Chandiran and the kids Aman and Ishan were here. Friends Niranjan, Bhuvana, Muthu, Swapna were all here. The best part was the return gift. We gave cloth bags from Pallegattepale and insisted that they should ensure there parents use only cloth bags for shopping. 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desi Seed Producer Co. Ltd

Thank you ma'm. We received the bags yesterday. 
Good quality and perfect stitch. We would love to order more bags in the coming days. 
All the best to Annapoorna and team. 
Best Regards

And some stories are carried in the winds ... (via Reena Sujai)


 


... and another 

   



(via Reena Sujai)

Image may contain: indoorThis cloth bag is lovingly made in the village of Paalaguttapalle (Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh) by a few hard working women. With the current challenges to farming, they learned to make these bags, to sustain their living. The ladies have learned to customize sizes and patterns for the bags and have even become skilled at screen printing.

These sturdy and attractive bags can be used for carrying goods up to 5 kgs easily. They are also an eco friendly alternative for plastic bags.

I also have to appreciate that the bags came to me on time in perfect condition without any follow-up!








 Aravinda Pillalamarri

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor"Bags made in Palagutapalle, Andhra Pradesh by Annapurna and her co-workers. Thanks Vigneshwaran Karthikeyan and அருண் கோம்பை for help making the screen and Aparna Krishnan for coordinating the production."













Youth Circles meet with Matthew Spikes, assistant to Senator Ben Cardin to discuss the issue of refugees. They also presented him with the Nevertheless She Persisted bag made by the women of E Palaguttapalle, a drought-prone village in Andhra Pradesh. — with Tulika Narayan at Hart Senate Office Building.








 Geetha Dinesh

What appalls me the most everyday is plastics and garbage strewn around my neighborhood and cattle feeding on them . A little effort and time spent in segregating​, refusing non bio degradable , recycling will help preserve environment in the long go.

Well the change starts with you. I am super excited to receive these lovely cloth bags (alternate to single use bags) handcrafted and embroidered with utmost perfection direct from a group of women in Paalaguttapalle village.

I request my friends to please order your bags from the link below and help touch the livelihoods of these women. It makes a great take away for wedding and businesses.
http://paalaguttapalle.blogspot.in/…/bags-pickles-and-other…
Please check out their other handworks here.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/dalitwada/photos/…
Thanks Aparna Krishnan for sending me this.



 


Deepshikha Gupta

Happiness is getting the first "Hastkaam " logo bags made by women of Dalitwaada in Chittor district - overwhelmed by happiness
... thank you Aparna for this
I know it took effort to get them made in indigo colour as the ladies didn't have it ... I was pleasantly surprised to see them in Indigo ... thank you ... thank you !!!














Krishna Kanth Telikepalli 
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I have received the blessings of lord Ganesha this morning in the form of these beautiful drawstring bags. Thank your for your quick help and prompt delivery Aparna Krishnan.
Aparna Krishnan coordinates to provide sustainable livelihoods for women at a Dalitwada, palagattupalle village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. If anyone interested in getting these beautiful bags please reach out to her. Pray Ganesha blesses her efforts.
My special thanks to Anitha, Annapurna, Varalu, Anitha, Lakshmikantha and all others in crafting these beautiful pieces.


The stuff that dreams are made of ...

Supriya Srinivasa Madhavan

"Hello ma'am. I am a student of Professor Jeya Velu. I wanted to buy about 300 of the cloth bags you had posted about on your FB page. I am getting married in May. This is for that. Please let me know when would be a good time to chat about the same".
...
First of all thank you so much! In all the indulgences that is my wedding, probably one of the few meaningful things I have done! Could you please share the names of the women who made it? IS there an address I could write to them at ?




 This is on the backside of the thank you card. It goes into all the bags - So more people get to know!



Is there anyone more worthy of this salute thanMedha Patkar who in the face of a Supreme Court Order authorizing the use of force to evict Narmada villagers nevertheless persists in raising the issue in every forum and even made time to speak with children in DC in between meetings with Civil Society Organizations, World Bank Inspection Panel, and the press. Can we prevent the govt from closing SSP gates, displacing thousands of families without rehabilitation? — with Medha Patkar in Washington, District of Columbia.









Pooja Kumar My thanks to you, Aparna for bringing these stories that could so easily be ignored into our sight. And thank you to Anita and the others for never giving up and facing adversity with courage and determination. I have never thought that I helped the women by buying the cloth bags, but rather they helped me by making them. For that, a thousand thanks!

Aparna Krishnan yes, we are helped. always. When we give, we are receiving 

The gruhastha ashrama is a phase where the man and woman take on the collective responsibility to sustain family and society. Marriage is not a limited responsibility towards ones personal well being. It was never meant to be that.
It starts with the very marriage. Let every act therein sustain that which needs sustenance.
Let every item used be handmade. My respect to my young friends Pooja and Supriya who reached out to cloth bags from the village. They have started the phase of life on the right note. Step adds on to step. Harmony is reached when thought, word and deed are in step.

(via Aravinda Pillalamarri)

I felt incredibly happy to receive the bags. They are nothing less than beautiful and the finish and the feel of these bags was just wonderful. I have posted some of these bags to my friends and can't wait for them to receive it. Will definitely send pictures. As a woman farmer myself, I feel very inspired by these women who beat the odds and took charge of their lives.      


Thank you and please do convey my regards to the women if possible, that they and their work are fantastic.  


Received 50 of these sturdy, handmade cloth bags from the women of Palaguttapalle, Dalitwada (Andhra Pradesh). I am yet to figure out how to distribute so many of these, despite Aparna's repeated emphatic assertion of , "NO! Sell ! " 

If you think you really went " green" when you stepped in an AC mall and paid for the paper bags, you're welcome to smell, buy or just take these and help connect our Anithas, Varalus, Eashwarammas, Ranis with the spaces they should own but they just don't. 
These bags come from women who persist, nevertheless. These are women who constantly fight their own hurdles and yet find strength in deified Ganesha. These are women who fed the rest of us, and are now drought stricken. These are women who still feed any hungry soul on their doorstep, without hoarding their little rations. These are women who scream through their silence. Nevertheless, these are the women who persist.
Many of my friends think these women need saving. Urban feminists try to save rural women from veils, bangles, bindis, flowers and "patriarchy". We don't need to. We don't need to dismiss their systems, traditions and practices in order to feel meaningful and educated. We need to stand up with them, stop patronizing them and act when and where it matters the most. We need to learn basic survival skills from them and come out of the ignorant buffoonery which confuses a college degree with education. If it weren't for our privileged exit doors, we couldn't last two days without them, and they would still save us.
If the gender debate hits you hard, my very feminist friends, look into the eyes of those who you consider weak and find a mirror in them. Look around and find the very, many mirrors. Help support rural livelihoods around you and see how the silenced, oppressed informal economy feeds you, sustains you and enables you to smirk and shrug everytime you can afford to.
There are qualities and skills far more important than what the socioeconomic engineering has led us to believe. To have the heart to give, and to do it with grace, is what our rural hinterlands teach us day in and day out. It's time we really listened ♥
These are the bags Aparnaji.well packed The girls have maintained the standard Its a lot of hard work I know as I used to stitched a lot on a hand operated sewing machine The arms pain.

Kriti Bhardwaj 

My friend Anupam Pratibha is very happy with bags from Palaguttapalle. She carries them to office and for groceries. They serve a triple purpose of 

-being environment friendly by gradually replacing plastic/leather with cloth, 
- creating sustainable consumption demand for rural livelihoods a
- nd their simple yet sturdy designs are more inclusive and less elite/alienating. 



Rupa Bajwa
We received sturdily stitched, made to last, beautiful bags from Palaguttapalle. They are ideal replacement for both paper and plastic and can carry considerable weight.

My child is delighted, having the aesthetic instinct of the young to zero into something beautiful and different.

We have not done much yet, since the kid has been unwell. However, here he is with one he has reserved for himself for his 'important things'.

The others are gorgeous too. The two in the other picture, complete with kalamkari border and screen printing (which can be combined on order) look beautiful.

These bags can be used for formal occasions to hold saris, folders, books and as household grocery bags. There are some drawstring, embroidered bags which we could not photograph because of a domestic crisis. They are great for disorganized people like me.


Writers, poets, columnists, opinion-writers, journalists, editors. women and men who care, do I need to tag all of you?

These bags have been made with courage and cheer in the face of drought and poverty by women who are trying to support their families through it. Little else needs to be said.

May I request, coax, cajole and bully you into ordering these? Please ask them to be customized if you have small businesses, a big wedding or any of those occasions that need elegant but simple presentation. At the same time, a chance to give back a little.   

I do hope that this post, at least, shall not go unheeded. Love.



This bag holds so much weight. It is really a brilliant job. Magic in stitches!

I never step out without one.











Spandana Kashyap 


Recently ordered these bags from this village Palaguttapalle , that has an anthology of real life inspirations ,that no personality development session can teach us.

There are these ladies who are struggling to make ends meet, but, with a great hope for a beautiful tomorrow. This taught me many lessons and is motivating for almost a month now. Thank you so much Aparna Krishnan for making these beautiful bags easily accessible for us. 

They are as strong and as beautiful as the hopes of Varalu, Annapurna, and the others. My friends and family grabbed almost all the bags in just a couple of days. I wish all of them would order many more. Dear friends, if you wish to see a sample, I am more than happy to show. 

For a family function/as tamboola bags,for your college alumni, for gifting,for your start-up they make up a great combination. I would highly recommend. 
More than bags you are sent warmth, love and hope with a touch of being responsible to the planet. I have seen businesses at the cost of nature's destruction. But, this is more than that. Not business , but is livelihood . It is about simple and sustainable living. Even the packing comes in a simple rice bag with no unnecessary hungama, that the online orders usually come in. Here is the link if you wish to order - Dalitwada. The minimum is 50 bags. They can be customized to your requirements.
Please share and pass on.










Radhika Ganganna 

"Kids in a Govt school with embroidered bags. They were very happy."















Pickles 

The tomato pickles are made by a   process of sun drying the tomatoes, grinding on the stone with tamarind and then pickling with oil without using any preservatives. The result is a very tasty pickle, unique to this area.  The pickles are lip smacking. They are costed at 350/- per kg.

Other pickles like gongura, mango, lime etc are also made.







Feedback on Pickles
  
Prabha Ramajujanm Bangalore, "See what I have, 10 kgs of lemon pickles! This is made by Roopa of Palaguttapalle, courtesy Aparna Krishnan. The village in Chitoor, in Andhra is under continous drought and the village women are trying to get some income through pickle making. The pickles are tasty. I had ordered a previous batch which I had distributed among the local people here. This time I plan to source some orders from Shops in the neighborhood, by giving out samples. I am finding how to get this done with FSSAI license and all.
I recommend other kind souls (like me ) to order some pickles to help in times of distress."
Radhika Ganganna, Bangalore, "Very very tasty homemade mango pickles from Dalitwada, Palaguttapalle, Andhra. Let me know any of you want it. They need minimum order of 10 kg to supply. If few people pool up, it is doable. Also available are tomato and lemon pickles. Cost per kg is Rs.350. A small gesture to help the poor in rural areas to make a life of their own . . ."


What does it take to feel 'connected' to the food you eat?
I found one answer. A friend I've never met, Aparna Krishnan, lives in a village in Chittoor district, called Paalaguttappalle. As with many villages in India, there is little work available with failing rains and difficult times.

One way in which the villagers earn money is by making and selling pickles. I recently bought lemon pickle and tomato pickle and absolutely loved them. There is no brand name, no fancy prose claiming organic credentials, no assertion of superlative quality, but still I felt really connected with the food I ate yesterday. And I'll probably feel that sense of connection every meal that the pickles complement.





















Enjoying yummy pickles prepared at Aparna Krishnan's village! 



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