As we’ve been enjoying our lunches, we’ve also been admiring the Sri Durga tableware. Who doesn’t love a plate that keeps all of the food items separate? And stainless steel cups and bowls. And spoons that nest perfectly.

We asked Manju about the tableware and whether we could get it at the local department store. Nope. For steel, you need to go to the steel shop.

I’m not going to lie: sometimes our conversations with Manju are a bit confusing. His English is good, but our Kannada is nonexistent, so making arrangements to do something like go shop for tableware is a bit hit or miss.

He told us to meet him at 3 PM, with a rickshaw. And so we pulled up to Sri Durga at precisely 3. Manju came out to talk to the driver, explained where we needed to go and then said a good bit more to him that neither of us understood.

And off we went! Where? I’m not really sure. Somewhere in downtown Mysore, We just stayed in the rickshaw until it pulled up to a steel shop. The driver watched us approach the open storefront, then called and gestured for us to go up the stairs in the back of the store. This meant going behind the crowded counter where half a dozen men were selling steel items to a dozen customers. 

“Really?” we said, looking back at our driver. “Up there?” 

“Go! Go!” he said, gesturing. (I suspect that the directions Manju gave our driver included the fact that we’d be confused and that he’d have to tell us many times to go up the stairs.)

And so we went behind the counter and mounted the stairs and at the top found ourselves in a huge room stacked full of metal bowls, plates, pans, silverware, cups, cooking utensils and urns.

A young man helped us find all the things we were looking for, then brought our stuff to a scale, where he weighed it all together then wrote down each item on a sheet of paper.


Then we went back downstairs to pay at the front counter. Here’s Sara paying for hers.


The lady in the pink sari on the right was only interested in her iPhone.


The whole trip, from our arrival at Sri Durga to our return to our front door, took 38 minutes. It was a whirlwind drive-shop-drive fever dream where we were never exactly sure about where we were, what we were doing, or what anyone else was saying. Such fun. And we got some awesome cups, spoons, bowls, and plates. Set of 4 of everything, in indestructible stainless steel, cost me less than $8.50.