Mondays starts early for 33-year-old Imran, a fruit seller who travels from his house in Tannery road to his orchards located on the outskirts of the city.
He picks up his weekly quota of guavas and heads to his small store at the HRBR Layout in the city.
“I set up the shop by 8 in the morning on Mondays. Most of my customers are people rushing to work, who stop to munch on the guavas.” Imran adds salt to provide a tangy flavour to the sweet fruit.
“It is very nutritious and is one of the few fruit that can be grown round the year. My family owns nearly eight trees in Yelahanka and most of our fruits come from those trees.” He has been in the same spot for the last eight years and has seen the Layout and the city transform.
“When I came to this spot in the early 2000s, the traffic was very less and most of my customers used to be harried commuters making their way to the Manyata Tech Park in Nagawara. Now, I mostly cater to people who stay in the many apartment blocks that have come up in HRBR Layout and Kalyan Nagar. There were a lot more trees and it was cooler. Now, we have to set up umbrellas on our stalls and keep drinking water to beat the heat.”
An average day for Imran goes up till 11 in the night, when he packs up and leaves on his cycle. “People think that we have an easy job and do not care much about quality. We need to ensure that the fruits are fresh. Transporting fruits takes up a lot of time in terrible traffic. We also have to deal with cops and BBMP officials who pester us for money and threaten to confiscate our carts.”
Does he make any profit? “Big stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables do impact our business, and so does the rising cost of fertilizers. The lack of rain has also had an impact on the productivity. However, on good days, I make enough to keep my family running. I have enrolled both my sons in English-medium schools to ensure that they become doctors or engineers when they grow up.”