One of my fondest memories of my childhood in KGF, is that of the Egg Man or the Egg Seller The Egg man would come around door to door to sell fresh Country Hen Eggs to people. He had his own regular customers who he visited on specific days. He lived in a village near the Volagamadhi Hills and he’d walk the distance from his village to all the four mines in KGF where he visited his regular customers on specific days in each mine.

The Egg man began his journey every day with around 150 fresh hen’s eggs that he sourced from all the houses in his own village. He carried the eggs carefully in a huge round basket with a long handle which he hung from his shoulder. The handle of the basket was wrapped with a thick cloth which acted as a cushion on his shoulder so that the heavy basket didn’t hurt his shoulder. The old man’s back was almost bent over from the weight of the basket that he carried.

He supplied eggs to our house in Nandydroog once a week i.e. on every Tuesday morning. The first thing he did,  was to carefully lower the basket to the ground and then take out the eggs one by one and place them gently in a big bowl or basin of water, which the Ayah brought out as soon as he arrived.

We children would all crowd around him and watch eagerly to see whether the eggs he placed in the bowl would sink and lie flat at the bottom or rise up. The eggs that lay flat were the good eggs and the ones that rose up in the water were bad so they were immediately segregated and the good eggs were placed carefully in another bowl.

 Every time a bad egg was detected and put aside, the Egg Man’s face would grow longer, as this meant that he wouldn’t get paid for the bad eggs! The price would be then arrived at for the number of eggs that were bought. My Mum usually bought about 3 dozen eggs to see us through the week till his next visit.

These country fowl’s eggs were always smaller than the Leghorns Eggs and also a darker brown in colour. Eating country fowl’s eggs was considered to be healthy and more nutritious than the ‘Farm Eggs’ so my mum always ensured that there was a supply of fresh country hen’s eggs  in the house for us.

This is an excerpt from my book KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE

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