In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the only provisions stores in Gandhinagar was the Parvati Stores situated opposite Rani Meyyammai School and the Gandhinagar Ladies’ Club. It was run by Mr Balasubramaniam, the brother of the Tamil poet, Ki Va Jagannathan. Mr Balasubramaian used to sport a tuft and was always seen with his trade mark Vibhuti. Naturally, the store was known as ‘Iyer kadai’.
Iyer kadai was popular among not only the housewives of Gandhinagar, but also among the school children. During the break, hordes of children will converge on Iyer kadai, with one anna (1/16th of a Rupee, aprox 6 paise) asking for ‘kaal anna odacha kadalai, kaal anna kamar kat, kala anna achu vellum, kaal anna kaile‘. 6 paise then could buy you a bit of broken gram, a piece of native toffee, a lump of jaggery and still have a balance of quarter anna!
Today, the building houses a fast food chicken joint, ‘Kozhi Idli’.