‘Summer is definitely better than monsoon'

Few years ago, when the rains wouldn't bless his fields, Venkataiah, then a farmer, would pray the skies open up. And eventually, when they didn't, he had to pack whatever little was left of his possessions and head for the city to eke a living.

Today, the same Venkataiah wishes the rains stop. Rainfall, which has lashed the city over the last few days, has not just battered its infrastructure but punched a hole in the pockets of those who earn their keep on its pavements.

Hawkers like Venkataiah who make a living selling ‘panipuri', ‘moori' ‘mixture, etc., are finding the going tough this monsoon season. The sudden outbursts are catching them off guard, sometimes soaking up their wares.

“Since there was lesser rain yesterday, I hoped to do more business today. But, then sudden rain in the afternoon accompanied by strong wind led to my stuff falling on the ground,” grumbled Aagaiah, selling ‘moori' mixture on Tank Bund Road.

Leaving his basket unattended, he was taking shelter, when a strong gust overturned it. The polythene sheets shielding the wares from the rain proved to be of no use. “Every year, during monsoon season our business takes a beating. But this time, the rain came too early,” rued Mr. Venkataiah.

Since the monsoon arrived, uncertainty has been flirting with people like him. Anticipating fewer customers during heavy rains, hawkers say, they usually bring lesser stocks. With ‘pani puris' getting soggy in the season, there are not many takers for them either. Hawkers selling roasted corn, on the other hand, report brisk business. “It gets difficult to run for cover each time it rains. Summer is definitely better than monsoon,” said Mohammed Abbas, selling fruit salad and ice cream from a makeshift table.

The city's sun-scorched denizens might disagree, but, for some hawkers rains only bring more misery.

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