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From 'Samosa Ajja' to 'Anna' of Mangalore

From 'Samosa Ajja' to 'Anna' of Mangalore

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Dec 27: For over 30 years (the figure varies) Samosa Ajja, who has been selling samosa to primary, High school and College students of St Aloysius schools and college was given this name by the students as he was selling piping hot samosas for the hungry students. He has been a ubiquitous figure in School and college premises of this particular college for more than 2 ½ decades and many students of St Aloysius school/College must be fondly remembering this old man who regularly satiated the taste buds of the youngsters with those delectable samosas.

Now, at 78 (on his own account) Mudukeshwar Mudeyappa Malagi who is still a regular at the college premises, is called as “Anna Ajja” by the students due to his uncanny resemblance to the original national hero Anna Hazare, who, as we know has become a national phenomenon in the country and the biggest head ache to the ruling government, since the last one year. His Gandhi cap, spectacles and the white jubba-dhoti makes him the student’s Anna Hazare. Samosa Ajja is rather bemused by the changed soubriquet but is not overwhelmed or perturbed. He wants to target the students to sell his samosas, chikkis, peanuts, burfis and jilibies and the students swarm around him especially during lunch hour and after the school/college hours.

School and college going students may miss classes but M M Malagi is a regular who positions himself in the most noticeable and favorable position where students of both high school and college can easily reach out to him. With his two bags filled with goodies and his Gandhi cap he is instantly visible to the students who come searching for him. After all where can they get two samosas for Rs. 5/- at the rate of Rs. 2.50 paisa per samosa in Mangalore? Students find in him their savior, the one who gratifies their hunger or their craving for junk food. One could see high school students coming with Rs. 5/- and going away with chikki, burfi and jilebi each for three rupees and still managed to get back Rs. 2/- from ajja.

M M Malagi comes from Kavoor and goes to the market to buy his other junk items. He comes to college campus at around 9.30 am. He has a foldable plastic table to keep his bags and a stool to sit, waiting for his customers in students. He is permitted to keep his belongings inside the college building by the school management. Once he arrives at the campus he returns only at 4 pm after the students return from school. It is commendable to note the unwavering energy of the man who never thinks of retiring. “I do it for my living”, he says with his eyes constantly trying to locate his customers from among student groups.

M M Malagi came to Mangalore from Badami Taluk 30 years back. “My nephew had got a job in the harbor and we came to Mangalore”, he stated to a question what made him come to Mangalore. Soon after his arrival here he started this business of selling samosas to start with and slowly included other junkies for which students have an appetite for. He is able to make a business of Rs. 500/- to Rs. 600/- every day and take care of his family of 4 children and a wife. His children are grown and are earning but for Malagi the thought of retirement is an anathema.

While his zeal to work and earn his living is commendable it is to be noted that he sells samosas in unhygienic conditions. The plastic he uses to store the hot samosas is not of food grade quality. Nitin a 9th standard student who was savoring a samosa at 12.30 pm during the lunch break says it was hot. So, one can imagine how hot they might be at 10 am when they are put in the polythene bags.

He also distributes the samosas with his bare hand, in which he also collects the sweat-soaked coins and notes. He is not revealing all details but says he gets the samosas from people who prepare them regularly for him. It is an open secret that he has been able to sell samosas at low prices because of the usage of recycled oil to fry samosas by the manufacturers. Even the carry bags in which the samosas are kept look unclean and overused.

Shilpa a plus student of the college says she gets diarrhea if she eats these samosas as they contain lot of oil. But there are many other students who have no complaints and have developed a kind of habit to eat them. What is baffling is that some students are Ajja’s regular customers for samosa as they are addicted to it and it is sure to have a deleterious impact on their health in the long run.

If Samosa Ajja or our own Anna Ajja pays attention to these details he would do a great service to the student community. I wonder why school/college management failed to draw his attention to the need to maintain cleanliness.

Comment on this article

  • sarthak ishan, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 22 2012

    where nice samosa he sells

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • sachin kumar maroli, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Wed, Jan 11 2012

    Thanks to daiji..nice to see him after long time. samosa ajja i miss u. still i remember your samosa taste. I am regular customet of ajja in my school days.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • susanna, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Sun, Jan 1 2012

    What you said is correct V K jois. I think you should eat them regularly and improve your immunity!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • susan, mangalore

    Sun, Jan 1 2012

    hey samosa ajja!! mising you :)

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vk Jois, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Fri, Dec 30 2011

    Its nice to see an old man still working for his livelihood even when his children are working.
    I must say eating such "unhygenic" and "junk" foods are good for immunity and healthy life. Of course pasta,pizza etc. etc. might be "very hygenic", If you care so much about hygiene and immunity, health, then please cook them yourself and eat!!!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raulen, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 29 2011

    AJJERE rocks!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gilroy, Mangalorre

    Wed, Dec 28 2011

    AS far as I know, Samosa Ajja came to Mangalore in 1987. I was in I B.Sc. that time. Initially he used to sell peanuts. He used to come to hostel also. My friend M. S. Shashidhar used to talk to him in his native Kannada.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Neil, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    While the real intent with which the author refers to "unhygienic conditions" may be genuine, it would be also appropriate to mention that not one person among the 100 students I knew personally have been affected in the long run. On the contrary they seem to uphold the alternate theory that this has built up their immunity at a young age. Let's accept this - food grade plastic and mineral water are all affordable luxuries only recently in India and most people of the earlier generation grew up without these. While those weren't perfect times, it is just a straight forward fact that disease and health problems are actually more in number now as comapres to then. Let's give the man his due, as he has done no harm and stop trying to make an international standard food service out of it.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • santhosh, dubai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    i had bought 1 samosa at .50paisa before 10 years and still remember the taste. hats off samosa ajja....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bro. Lancy Fernandes SJ, Jeppu/ B lore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Great example for people who give up living after 60. He really needs our appreciation. Happy to see u Ajjare on daijiworld. Wil he be given a reward by NDTV or CNNIBN???

    DisAgree [2] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Suresh Aithal, Managalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Yes in front of every Primary school or High school there are many Ajjers.They are fighting for their lively hood.I am greatfull for their work because they work hard wont cheat any body wont steal.They may be may need to maintain cleanliness.They may not tought for this.Let they live long.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Daniel, Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    2 famous personalites in aloysius campus. One is sugarcane vendor mangli and the other samosa ajja:)

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dhiraj, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Never forgotten the taste and still privileged to have the Samosas from SAMOSAAJJA. He is active and loving. Business oriented but never to forget he is caring. Price of the samosas and the shape have changed but he is the same with the words and loving nature. The trademark is his dressing style. He is the only business man who has sustained in Aloysius over the years. Thanks for the article and I am sure will always eating samosas from samosaajja. The present offer form samosaajja is BUY 3 SAMOSAS FOR JUST 5 RS.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil, Kudla

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    It is nice to see that senior citizen is is doing something fr the society. kind information about hygiene, if he is going to follow or somedody suggests for that , i afraid if he is selling samosa for 2.50 per piece. happy selling samosa ajja

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Arvind K.L., Kushalnagar, Kodagu

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Smosa Ajja Namaskara, Very nice to see him after 13years, each and every Aloysians remember "Samosa chikki" ajja. he is great. I Still remember, once we called him for Independence day flag hoisting in aloysius hostel. we honouerd him with shawl and fruits , It was great day. I salute to "Chikki Ajja" JAI HIND.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • syl, magnalore\dubai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    santhoshpv, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Read article again it picturized samoosa as a junk food..

    About nutrion fact you cant say there is no nutirion also because there will be ingrediants like potato,onion,green piece or some veg stuff which is better than some frozen chicken used in pizaas

    This guy is selling samoosa from decade and nothing bad happend for anyone as far as i know.

    We people sititng in comfort zone goin to some posh restuarent may find what ajja is doing is unhygnic and unclean.

    But if you go and check the kitchen of some nicely furnishd hotel in mangalore you may find something worse than this.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shaukath, Mangalore/London

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    He is the most popular Aloysian

    DisAgree [2] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nadim, Mangalore / Bahrain

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Samosa Ajjeru, nice to see him in pictures, remembered loads of old memories... You Rock !

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • santhoshpv, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    syl Mangalore, the samoosas that ajjer sells are too small in size and there is hardly anything of nutritional inside. Besides he also sells other eatables which can be termed as junk food. Better think thrice

    DisAgree [52] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Good to c u on daiji.....I'm proud of u and u will do much better in future! All the best....keep going....

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Good to c u on daiji.....I'm proud of u and u will do much better tasty samoosas in future! All the best!!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • vivian fernandes, dubai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    In my school days 1997 for samosa 25Ps...he was giving everytime free if i buy 1Rs dat is 5 samosa..i cannot forget his hot samosas taste...some time he gave me credit also when i had no money..love u Samosa Ajja..I know in the rainy season he was facing very difficult to sell samosa, holding umbrella in one hand...he is really a hardworker in this age also ...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fredrick Correa, Pernal/Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Stephen Quadros, Permude. Thanks for sharing something which tells of this man's personality. I am sure, he was getting tremendous satisfaction in this job as he was charging very very nominal amount. May God give Anna Ajja a long life and good health.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • meena mohammed, mangalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    When we were in school we too had a few anna ajja's outside our school campus selling chikkies, tamarind seeds, akroot, etc. we never thought of hygiene at that time. Now that we are aware of it why cannot we try and help our Anna Ajja and others like him by educating him. buy him a nice big hygienic box to put his samosas , some gloves etc.Will go and check on him when i am in town next.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anna, mangalore/mangalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Prathap kumar, Mlore/Dubai: mangli is still there selling S cane juice in front of canara school urva...-)

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • varadhraj, magnalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Eating these samoosa are far better than eating real junk foods such as pizaa burgers and getting some long term deadly deceases..

    think once....

    DisAgree Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse

  • syl, magnalore\dubai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Dear writer the word Junk food is nt applicable to food like samoosa

    "Junk food is an informal term applied to some foods that are perceived to have little or no nutritional value"

    whereas samoosa he prepares are served same day they are not stored using preservatives.

    If it was that unhyginic every day many students were suppose to go sick and get admitted.

    We must appricated a age old man's endless effort of self dependencys where most of the people after50-60 takes retirement and enjoy back there in comfort zone..

    Therez a lot to learn from him.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse

  • Stephen Quadros Permude, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    I remember Samosa ajja with all gratitude.
    He used to give discount for poor boys like us.
    And he was too kind and compassionate.

    DisAgree Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veerendra.R.Achar, Mangalore/Saudi

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    i still remember during school days 1991 i didnt miss a single day without eating Chikki..... it was so delicious. Thanks for Daiji for this article....

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dexter, Abu Dhabi

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    We had been enjoying samosas from Samosa Ajja for .50Ps. Now its Rs.5, whatever. But I think the word Junkfood in this article is a little too harsh for Ajjas food.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prathap kumar, Mlore/Dubai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    A good memories even though Samosa Ajja was not ther in our time We too had The One and only Mangli.

    DisAgree Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • prashanth, mangalore/mumbai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    very nice to see ajjer after a long time the quality of snacks which ajjer supplies are in high and regarding the hygene issue he is supplying the snacks from past 30 yrs and still now there is no complaint from anybody regarding his snacks quality and even the management knows that long live samoja ajjer

    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • joboy, mloe/dubai

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Heyyyy our samosa ajja!!!!hats off to you!!!!

    DisAgree Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nitin, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Samosa Ajja rocks. when i was in school day in aloysius we never use to miss eating samosa from ajja.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nithin Poojary, Mangalore/UK

    Tue, Dec 27 2011

    Samosa Ajjeru nice to see him after long time....Aloysians remember every teachers, lecturers who taught us...at the same time Samosa Ajja is also one of the sweet memories in our life..

    DisAgree [6] Agree [77] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : From 'Samosa Ajja' to 'Anna' of Mangalore


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