By P.T. Bopanna
The owner of Papera, Adengada Rajesh Achaiah, who serves authentic Coorg cuisine, has been collecting traditional Coorg artefacts for the last two decades.
It was a nostalgic moment for me as I got to recall my early teenage years over five decades ago at my ancestral home at Kadangamurur, near Virajpet town in Coorg, where I grew up in my early years.
Most of the items displayed at Papera were in daily use in Coorg households several decades ago, but have almost disappeared now due to ‘modernisation’.
They include clay pots and pans, wicker baskets, fish traps, puttu presses, ladles, rice measures, etc.
Though I had seen most of the items on display during my early teens at the Nadmane (ancestral house), there was one item on display which I had not seen. The item consisted of two thick sticks, joined in the middle. Rajesh explained to me that the contraption was used for castrating a bull!
Rajesh has used every available space in the restaurant for displaying traditional household items used long ago in Coorg.
He said: “Many of the items belonged to my grandfather. I did not want to discard them. I also collected many items from various parts of Coorg.”
Asked to name his favorite item, Rajesh pointed to an earthen pot (Shakala) made out of a single piece used for reheating food.
Rajesh says most of the customers to his restaurant take selfies of the displays as they wait for their food to arrive.