The pleasures of Palakkad
From the thrill of a lottery ticket to the wonder of herbal kashayams
I am standing outside “Kutty Lottery" in Palakkad, Kerala, deciding whether to buy a ticket with the bumper prize of Rs2 crore or Rs4 crore. The man behind the counter assesses me encouragingly, as if trying to decide if I am a piddling first-timer, risk-taking regular or dare-it-all high-roller. He is bare-torsoed with a full chest of black curly hair that matches the bush on his head. He wears his blue lungi folded at the hip in half-mast. Pink lottery tickets flutter in the sultry breeze: plump and ripe for the picking. They are spread out like a solitaire deck on the wooden table—each line denoting a different Judgement Day.