B. Nagaraju, Fruit salad and juice vendor

Who doesn’t love to dig into a bowl of freshly cut seasonal fruits? Especially, if it is sprinkled with just the right amount of chaat masala?

It is with this fruit-loving clientele in mind that B. Nagaraju set shop opposite KBR Park to whip up bowls and bowls of freshly cut fruits, topped with a bit of chaat masala for those who want it, and some freshly squeezed mosambi juice for thirsty joggers. Nagaraju, who moved to the city a few years ago from Ravulapalem in East Godavari, began his business as a fruit salad vendor three years ago along with his wife. “Business is good in this area. We have a lot of joggers from KBR stopping by for some fresh fruits and juice. Families of patients, who are undergoing treatment at the Indo American Cancer Hospital down the road, too come here for fruits, apart from regular commuters who stop for a quick bite,” says Nagaraju, elaborating the business is particularly brisk in the summers with nearly 300 to 400 bowls of fruits being sold in a day. “Monsoons and winters however tend to be a bit dull with just about 150 to 200 plates selling.”

While some very health conscious clients do request him to top their fruits with a bit of honey, there are others who prefer their salad without dressing. “I don’t keep honey because it is not too feasible. Besides, the fruits are best had as is, like most of my clients prefer.”

A typical day for Nagaraju begins at 5am with a visit to the Kothapet fruit market. “We have to go early to the fruit market because that is when you get the best produce. Besides, I have to open my stall by 6am every day because that is when most of the joggers come by. We do business till 10pm each day since there are always buyers coming by till late evening as well,” he says.

But don’t the long hours every day bother him?

“I don’t have much of a choice. I need to earn as much as I can. This year my two daughters will start school. So I need to earn well so I can educate them,” he smiles.