We have heard the Indian fable of the crow stealing the vadai from a granny frying and selling the traditional doughnut shaped South Indian delicacy.
The moral of this fable, don’t fall for flattery, however unfolds when a sly fox tricks the crow into dropping the vadai from its beak.
Seeing the crow perched on a tree branch about to enjoy its meal, the fox wanting the vadai for itself hatches a plan to get it.
The fox greets the crow and praises its great beauty. He then adds:
I am sure someone as beautiful as you will also have a sweet voice. I would love to hear you sing a song.
The crow’s pride swells hearing this and the hoarse voiced bird opens its beak to sing.
Out fell the vadai and dropped to the ground. The fox grabs it and runs away.
The moral aside the strong imagery of the granny frying vadais remains a key mnemonic feature of the fable.
There is another children’s story that says we can see a granny frying vadai when we gaze into the full moon.
Indeed stalls with grannies frying and selling vadais is a common sight in areas in Malaysia with South Indian communities.
The photograph above shows granny Vellamah Muniandy, 73 selling vadai in the Semenyih town centre. The town people flock to her stall which operates from around 2pm to 6pm to buy her delicious masala vadai, paruppu (dhall) vadai, curry puffs, banana and green peas bhondas (balls).